TITLE: The Wrong Turn
AUTHORS: Sanjay Chopra and Namita Roy Ghose
PUBLISHER : Om Books International
GENRE: Historical Fiction
1944, Kohima — a small, sleepy town in northeast India. Subhash Chandra Bose and his Indian National Army (INA) along with the Japanese, are on the brink of bringing the Empire to its knees and forcing the British out of India. But, inexplicably, the tables turn. The INA’s advance is thwarted and the victory march to Delhi is halted. Seventy years later, the British admit that the Battle of Kohima was the greatest battle they had ever fought. Even more so than the battles of Waterloo and Dunkirk.
Was it then that old Indian curse — betrayal? Someone from within Netaji’s own ranks? Were there forces other than the British, waiting in the shadows closer to home, who stood to gain even more from the INA’s defeat? Or was it just love that irrevocably altered the course of India’s destiny?
The Wrong Turn: Love and Betrayal in the Time of Netaji, is a sweeping tale of passion set against the freedom struggle. Debraj, the rakish playboy and scion of a distinguished Calcutta family, and Nishonko, the fiery revolutionary sworn to the cause of the INA, must not only fight their common enemy, but also for the love of Aditi, the rebel with the healing touch.
A haunting tale of love, friendship and betrayal of an entire nation, The Wrong Turn veers inexorably towards a poignant redemption.
PLOT/ STORY-LINE: An interesting one that’s destined to make one think of what the India of today would be if Netaji and his Azad Hind Fauj were to decide India’s destiny post-Independence.
Wonderfully crafted, the story is a saga of the struggle of the people and the mutiny that took place in the Armed Forces during that time that saw a steady stream of ragged Indian soldiers desert the British Indian Army to join hands with Netaji’s fauj in their yearning for dignity and respect.
While on the one hand we see intense patriotism drive common people to leave all that’s dear to them, sacrifice their loved ones, live a life of fugitive and at times resort to nothing short of guerrilla warfare, on the other side we see the ugly face of those that seek to take advantage of the situation. Driven by selfish motives and the desire to rise up in the ladder of life they are ready to turn in their fellow countrymen. Unfortunately it is people like Goopta who are the curse of Society, who decided the destiny of India of post- Independence. Corrupt to the core, it is they who stabbed at the very core of the Independence Struggle by their deceit and ensured that they had a say in the new order.
‘The Wrong Turn’ represents not only the wrong turn in India’s freedom struggle but also the wrong turn in the life of the protagonist Debraj Mookerji the Scion of an aristocratic family who is involuntarily drawn into the freedom struggle by circumstances beyond his control.
Steeped in myriad emotions like patriotism, deceit, love, jealousy, hate and empathy, the story takes us on a journey of sorts through a part of the freedom struggle and imparts a feeling of being in the middle of the action. It also gives us an insight into life in Kolkata of those days.
The twists and turns makes the book an engaging read but…….it’s the climax that turns out to be the icing on the cake.
CHARACTERIZATION: The characters are well- developed and easily relatable. One can’t help but see in them a strong resemblance of our next- door neighbours, friends, relatives and politicians.
LANGUAGE: Crisp and lucid.
PACE: Fast paced
A truly engaging read, one that will enthrall the historical fiction fan to the core, I’ll give it a 4 on a scale of 5.
(For more details regarding the book like excerpt, buying links, author bio, etc., do CLICK HERE to visit the Spotlight on the book.)