Rafflesia – The Banished Princess is a novel written by author Gautam Choudhuri. This novel appeared a month ago and has already created a good response for itself in the Indian book market and book reading fraternity. Top book review websites and individual best book reviewers in India have rated the book high. The novel is about a character named Appu and the story revolves around him throughout. His life as a kid; his plight as a youngster and his marriage which is a pain; his struggle in the corporate life… so, you don’t have to bemuse yourself with the title or the cover page of the novel. You have to go through the content and then only you will understand the strength that this novel promises. I will go one step further and announce that as a psychological novel of its kind. This is something which makes you think, unlike most others which entertain you only. Rafflesia – The Banished Princess is surely a novel a to go for… let’s see what else is inside.
The chapters in the novel are not necessarily in order. Some are in progressive sequence while few of them are retrospective order. It’s all about how the character of Appu acts and the plot and the narrative shift themselves to synchronise with the actions of Appu. Appu is a person who is almost on the verge of getting a divorce from his wife Jharna who has left him dejected only after two odd days of their marriage. Jharna has left him because her marriage was forced and Appu discovers this truth only at the end of the novel after which he finds himself a kind of relieved!
Another character in the novel which gets a little attention compared to that of Appu is Rahul. Rahul is a loyal friend to Appu and so is Appu to Rahul. They stick together throughout the novel and it’s only Rahul who helps Appu manage himself. He is there always for him and also proves that really a friend in need is the friend indeed. This friendship is the strength of the novel which pulls the story ahead at times.
The novel is a little lengthy but worth reading. The details are that of the victorian era, if I am allowed to say so, protracted and at times extradited. The debut novel Rafflesia – The Banished Princess by Gautam has defied the tradition of writing spicy novels to begin with. This is something I liked a lot about the author and the novel itself.