Monday, September 02, 2013

Neil Must Die - Review

When his brother's newly-wedded young wife, Tuli, falls in love with Neil, it is considered blasphemy in the conservative Bengali household.
With his own emotions and sense of justice congesting him, Neil decides to run off from the cataclysm. Aimless, rootless, he is soon drawn into untoward methods of survival and self-destruction. But then he learns that Tuli is expecting his child. This is when Neil decides to turn around and take life by the throat. And then, life decides to slip out his hands and Gods decide Neil must die...
About The Author
Kaberi Chatterjee is a journalist-turned-author-turned teacher, born in India and grew up in a stately house under a conservative joint family system. She spent most of her childhood lost in her mysterious, huge house. Her imagination was fueled from here and she began writing poems and stories from the age of six. Born a Hindu and a Bengali, Kaberi attended an English medium Christian school where she grew up in learning about Christianity, singing hymns and carols. Kaberi grew up becoming a humanitarian by religion and spiritual by belief.
As she blossomed into a young girl, she saw life's realities and got deeply affected with the extent of poverty, hunger, unhappiness, corruption and hypocrisy around her. Soon she realized it was very difficult for a young mind to adopt a definite path of righteousness under these circumstances. Her own pain tortured her. Escapism was the sole resort. These thoughts gave birth to Neil and she wrote Neil Must Die.

Neil Must Die” – so says the author, but do we agree? True, Neil isn't mortal, and neither is he a saint. He is sketched in black and white, the complexion of his character basking in the shades of grey, not the type of hero we would idolize. “Neil Must Die” – so says the author, but do we agree?

Neil lives his life, and then runs away from it, only to try coming back to his own self. As we roll over the pages in anticipation, the constant urge to walk with Neil, and to fight with the world alongside him, flows parallely within us. We succumb to his gentleness at times, and then try to evade his raw rustic persona when situations are unfavorable, oblivious to the fact that we are gradually falling in love with Neil.

And then there is Tuli. A girl so vibrant, lively and brimming with life, perhaps her name symbolizes her nature. She is ‘Tuli’, a paint brush, painting the canvas with her own set of dreams and imaginations, often challenging norms and pursuing habits one may term as blasphemous. But then, you can’t, and you won’t blame her, ‘cause you simply fall in love with her.

For all male readers, Tuli is that girl you often craved for in your fantasies, perfect yet bordering around imperfection, and that’s what makes her all the more appealing. For all the female readers, Tuli is the friend you would have loved to have during your teens, climbing trees, smoking in hushed silences, and laughing all day.

Tuli is pretty, and she knows it. She can be childish and mature at the same time. She wishes to fly loose, and then restrains herself at times. Tuli is the girl we know, and yet we do not recognize her.

Neil falls in love with Tuli, his brother’s wife, and the story catches pace. This is the segment I loved reading the most – their passionate love making combined with the fear and confusion that comes coupled with such a relationship. While they are madly in love with each other, they can’t confess it to the outer world due to obvious reasons. The friction in their relationship, the turmoil within their souls, and the angst in their hearts heightens the curiosity of the readers, and that turns out to be the biggest plus point of this book.

However, the author tries to dabble with different genres, shifting from romance to thriller to crime, and perhaps that’s where the plot starts dragging a bit. I, as a reader, would have loved it, if the author had focused only on the love story and not tried to venture into the other genres.

Credit should go to the author to have come forward with beautiful protagonists who will stay forever in the minds of the readers for long. Tuli in particular captures you heart, and you wish her to be happy with Neil. You question fate when they face tough times, but sometimes, destiny too is etched by the writer’s pen.

 Neil Must Die” – so says the author, but do we agree? Read this novel, and let me know.

Title: Neil Must Die
Author: Kaberi Chatterjee
Publisher: Blackbuck Publication
Binding: Paperback
No. of Pages: 264
My Rating: 4/5


  1. Seems to be a interesting read! I should be reading it. Nice review Amrit :)

  2. such flawed characters always fun to read. We feel more close to them in so many ways.