Sunday, April 06, 2014

In Pursuit Of A Lesser Offence - Review

Avinash Vyas is a married man who meets a young divorced lady, Sangeet Mishra. They both share a similarity in their past. That being, both have made similar felonies that they are unfinished with. But when they meet, an unexpected relationship begins between them. They eventually develop an aversion for each other and eventually part ways. The book tries to understand the complexities of human relationships as the story of Vyas and Mishra continues. In the modern day life, marriage and relationships are taking various shades and degrees of importance. The novel tries to understand the pulse of today’s people in this context. Sujata's extremely inquisitive mind tries to capture the overwhelming spectrum of emotions that whirl around love and marriage in In Pursuit of a Lesser Offence. A must read for ardent fiction aficionados.

About the Author
Sujata Parashar is an Indian novelist, social activist, poet and a short story writer. She has been writing to many magazines, newspapers and also websites. She is also recognized for her extensive NGO work, and is an Executive Board Member of a Delhi based NGO called Empowering Minds. She is also the editor of the Organizations newsletter Inside Minds. Sujata is also the author of books like Poetry Out and Loud, In Pursuit of Infidelity and In Pursuit of Ecstasy.

Is it wrong to define relationships in a way that we want, and not how we have been taught to? Often, for the sake of societal acceptance, people tend to flow with the norm, in the process compromising their happiness and dreams, something they would have preferred to follow, but bound in rules and conventional beliefs, they fail to break out of the shackles. What is more important then – going with the flow and training your heart to accept things that are not up to your liking, or challenging the set notions and leading your lives on your own terms? Love and relationship is always a complex topic to ponder upon, and that’s exactly what Sujata Parashar does in her new novel ‘In Pursuit Of A Lesser Offence.’

Avinash and Sangeet meet in various circumstances, and as destiny rolls the dice, they start developing warm feelings for each other, resulting in an intimacy that they love and fear at the same time. The mutual trust often borders around the underlying anxiety of the past showing up its ugly face again. Avinash is married to Latika, and Sangeet to Kushal, the compatibility with their partners unquestionable, when suddenly dark secrets tumble out from their nuptial bonds, and unresolved questions are hurled at them from every corner. Their strengths fatigued, Avinash and Sangeet embrace the weakness of each other, dreaming, hoping for a renewed life. However, fate can be cruel at times, and when things seemed to be going oh – so – perfect for them, they are pushed towards a new crossroad of dilemma. How they wade through the paths, and reach their destination, is what holds as the backdrop of the story.

Sangeet’s character as a wife, blindly trusting her husband, vulnerable, yet possessing a strong mental belief that things would be fine someday, is perfectly sketched. Sujata takes utmost pain to bring out her shades and emotions beautifully, and Sangeet becomes just another woman trapped in infidelity and despair, yet holding her head high and walking ahead. Avinash, the other protagonist, performs the role of an able support, holding her hands when she is lost, and promising never to leave her side. Their romance is sweet, but also filled with the doubts of an extra – marital relationships.

This is Sangeet’s story all the way, and the author does a good job in highlighting the modern scenarios revolving around love, marriage and commitment. However, I would have preferred if these subjects had been delved in a deeper manner. At times, I felt that the author was rushing through the pages, which often lead to a slight inconsistency in the pace and the flow. However, that doesn't take anything away from the beautiful story telling. The twists were often introduced at the right junctures. Also, the narrative style helps the readers identify with the characters, which in a big way adds to the realistic appeal of the plot.

‘In Pursuit Of A Lesser Offence’ is a light read, and will keep the readers entertained. The story raises several relevant queries, the answers to which are clouded in ambiguity in the current scenario, but with the changing times, perhaps, true love will find its way amidst societal pretenses, and endure the tests of self - imposed boundaries, without any fear of offences, greater or lesser.

Title: In Pursuit of a Lesser Offence
Authors: Sujata Parashar
Publisher: Alchemy Publishers
Publication Year: 2014
Language: English
Binding: Paperback
Genre: Fiction, Romance
No. of Pages: 263
Price: Rs 150
My Rating: 3/5


  1. Amrit, I fully appreciate your critiquing abilities. They are enhanced by your own experience as a writer and poet.

    Do you ever write that a book is just so bad, that only a FEW would like it? Anyway, I promise to read then next one that you choose to rate 5/ I read so sparingly, don't wish to take a chance on a 3/5...grin!!!!!
    Keep up the good work, Sir!

    1. Thanks Steve. However, I feel every reader would have a different opinion on books. What may seem good to me may not be liked by others. Or a book that I loved reading, may be termed as average by the rest. Depends on individual perception and taste :-)