Book Name: Khel – The Writings
Author- Vishal Goswami
Publisher- Frog Books
Price- Rs. 145
The abandoned Haveli in Bhramdev, a hill station near Mumbai, is known amongst the local population to be haunted. People keep away from it. A group of youngsters decide to explore it and what follows is a horrifying reality they do not live to relate.
Sanya Sharma is an investigative journalist, with a shattered life and a grieving past. Having lost her husband and little daughter within a span of six months, her once perfect life is a distant dream. Depressed, unable to concentrate on work and barely paying attention to her ten year old son, she takes help in alcohol and regular visits to her psychiatrist.
Her last chance at redemption is a case of mysterious deaths on small hill station. What follows is a series of mysterious, eerie and horrifying events that Sanya cannot understand and finally with the help of a local police inspector turned friend, it dawns upon her that the Haunted Haveli is not just a small town hocus-pocus but a reality that had turned on her. The evil that she encounters slowly affects everything around her and she knows that it will finally consume her.
But why? What were the deep, dark secrets of the Haveli’s past? What was the Nawab family’s past? Who is the old woman haunting her? What are the cards and what is the card game? How is such a horrifying situation merely a game and how is she to play it? Why do the writings on the cards come true and people die? She has to find a way to save herself and her son from the evil and the game of cards that makes everything come true. People around her are dying one by one making her wonder why she is spared. Will she play the final KHEL- The Writings – or will it be the evil that will end the game?
Story in a nutshell:
The story opens up with a filmy scene of group of youngsters going to the haveli to prove that it is not haunted. A number of frightening incidents occur and ultimately the youngsters are killed one by one. The news makes to the headlines next day.
Sanya Sharma works as a journalist. Her life has always been with ups and downs. She lost her husband and her daughter in the span of six months. She is grieving and is in to depression. She has lost interest in her work and her surroundings. Her boss sends her to lead this unusual killing of youngsters. He feels that it could loosen up her stiff mind and help her recover.
Sanya arrives at the haveli only to find that the case had been shut. The local inspector, Kabir advises her to complete the report and leave Bhramdev as early as possible. But Sanya is determined to find out the truth. She resorts to the haveli at night and ends up with the cards. She realises that things happening to her aren’t normal and hence returns to Mumbai. But the cards follow her.
What will Sanya do to get rid of cards? What is the card game all about? Does she get any success in finding out the truth? Who helps her? Will the game ever end?
The story begins with a filmy scene and it kind of lessens the interest in the minds of the readers. The narration is simple and engaging. The flow of the events throughout the story is smooth. You will never lose the track of what is happening. There are many instances where the incidents have been unnecessarily stretched. For example- the description of the haveli. I felt that explicit description could have been avoided. The blurb of the book is long. It could have been made short and crisp. Changing the font color to a bright one would have been better. (Black appears unreadable). The story line is quite predictable. However, I must say that the end is surprising one. It is the end which steals the show and makes this book better.
The story lacks those ‘fear’ elements. There were no goose bumps and heart-racing incidents. I was not terrified reading it.
My overall rating for Khel- The Writings is 2.5/5 stars.
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