Book Name: The Monk
Author: Akshay Shroff
Publisher: Gargi Publishers
Price: Rs. 195
Ten-year old Lakshya Gaitonde dreams of following a career in cricket like his idol, Sunil Gavaskar. But destiny has other plans for him.
He loses his father, Police sub-inspector Rajaram Gaitonde in the Mumbai terror attack of March 1993. He decides to follow his father's footsteps and becomes a police officer.
In the July 2006 serial train blasts on the Mumbai suburban network, he loses his mother and fiancée. In consultation with the Commissioner of Police, he devises a diabolical plan to crush the menace of terrorism at its root.
Does he succeed? How does he manage to avenge the killing of his parents and his beloved? Why does he finally don saffron robes?
Story in a nutshell:
The protagonist of this novel, Lakshya is a die-hard fan of Sunil Gavaskar and dreams of becoming a cricketer. His father Rajaram Gaitonde, a sub-inspector is proud of his son and tries his best to fulfill his wishes. Lakshya stays with his father and his mother, Shanti. They are a happy family. Destiny plays a foul game with them. Rajaram is killed in the terror attacks in 1993. Shanti and Lakshya are broken. The death of Lakshya's father awakens something inside him and he decides to become a police inspector just like his father. Lakshya's dedication and hardwork bears fruit and he finally becomes a police inspector.
Life seems to be a steady and smooth sail for Lakshya until the 26/11 Mumbai Attacks. Destiny plays a foul game, yet again. Lakshya loses his mother and fiancée. Heartbroken Lakshya meets the Commissioner of Police with a plan to put a stop to terrorist activities. Is his plan got approved by the Commissioner? A few days later to his meeting with the Commissioner, Lakshya goes missing. Where is he? What was his plan?
The cover shows a picture of a man with a gun in his hand and a view of the city of Mumbai and the title reads 'The Monk'. Isn't it ironic? With this curiosity in my mind, I started reading this book.
The story primarily talks about the terror attacks on Mumbai. The plot is intricately woven. The author seems to have done a lot of research before penning down this novel. The lucid language and excellent narration with strong characters makes this novel an interesting read. The pace of this story is moderate. The topic around which this story has been plotted is a sensitive one and you need to know each single detail about the incidents. I liked the way author briefed the minute details. The narration has been done in third person and is done quite well.
I feel that the font size could have been increased a little for every page appears too stuffed.
I have read many books that talked about the Nirbhaya case but none about the terror attacks on Mumbai. Well, today I can very well say that I have read a novel about Mumbai Terror Attacks. An engaging read, it is!
I rate 'The Monk' with 4/5 stars.
You can buy your copies on Amazon.