Dear readers, Happy New Year! Hope your New Year evening brought happiness and the coming year fills your life with joy all around the year. Do you follow any rituals or traditions for the new year eve? This year the evening was extra special as all four of us, the siblings, and our parents got to spend the evening together and we all welcomed the new year by giving extra hugs to each other. As I write this post, I have managed to read two books in eight days which is kind of an achievement for this mother of two young kids 🙂
The first one was a recommendation and the second one came via Blogchatter’s book review program. Both the genres of the books were out of my comfort zone but I enjoyed reading both. Looks like this year my reading choices of different genres will be pretty eclectic.
Disclaimer: Please note that this book mentions quite in detail about suicidal thoughts, and people mentally struggling and includes some gruesome scenes.
Book Name: The Velvet Helpline Author: Arsh Verma Genre: Fiction. Crime Thriller
About the Author
Arsh Verma is a 2017-batch Haryana cadre IPS officer. He is an alumnus of St John’s High School, Chandigarh, and Hindu College, University of Delhi. Besides writing, he enjoys drawing comics and playing golf. (Taken from Penguin)
Here is what I Loved about the book
For me, the title, cover, and blurb of the book, each of these have a very specific meaning. Guilty as charged but I do judge the books by the cover 🙂 This one had my attention right from the title of the book. The way our human brain works is that we start looking for the cues of the story written from its title but this one will challenge the notion. The title will not give away anything about the story unless you are almost towards the end of the book.
The protagonist of the story is a woman. However, she isn’t portrayed as any superwoman or the heroic characters we often read in novels. She is a girl next door who manages to stun the reader grabs attention with her courage and resilient attitude. Ayingbi Mayengbam comes from the matriarchal world of northeast India. She is someone who loves being a primary school teacher and wants to volunteer for social work in her free time. Through her as a reader, we see how one faces the subtle nuances of social ignorance and yet chooses to rise above those remarks.
She lands a job as a volunteer at a suicide hotline and thus begins her journey into the chaotic world which ends up teaching us as readers, a lesson or two about Life.
The book is endorsed by Ruskin Bond and I believe, it already says a lot about the book. In his words “Police officers get to see more of human nature, in its many aspects, than most people. Arsh Verma uses his experience and writing skills to give us an outstanding crime thriller.”
One of my favorite things about this character, Ayingbi, is her naming skills. From phones to the people she meets. Each fits the description and it is quite an interesting way of remembering the people without mentioning their names. I think I will be haunted by the mere mention of the word “Tuxedo” for a long time 🙂
In the words of Ayingbi, “I guess, that’s what growing up boils down to…this one thing…hanging on.”
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