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A Little Bit of Love by Arva Bhavnagarwala

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Paperback: https://shorturl.at/lsNWX

Kindle Edition: https://shorturl.at/fkxFV

My take on the book:

On Jul 26th, 2005, while returning back from a job interview, Afrah suddenly finds herself in the middle of the worst monsoon rains and extreme floods Mumbai city has ever seen. While she manages to reach her home safely, she finds a guy reluctant to get down from a bus that is quickly drowning. The stranger is concerned about the huge chunk of books he borrowed and would not let them soak even if it meant he stayed all night and starved on the bus. 

Afrah convinces him to leave the bus by offering help to transport the books safely. As Afrah lands her dream job and starts travelling everyday by local train, she meets the stranger, Sadiq again on the train. Sadiq a final year M.B.B.S. student is working as an intern while preparing for post graduate entrance exam and he travelled in the same route as Afrah few days a week.

Initially they bumped into each other by coincidence and later friendship slowly developed between Afrah and Sadiq. With their own personal troubles with their respective families, coupled with their ambitions to progress in career, will Afrah and Sadiq find love through their local train encounters, forms the rest of the story. 

The story is about two young ambitious people who had big dreams for life, who are as much similar as they are poles apart. Sadiq hardly had any friends or even interacted with people around him. He also had long running issues with his father owing to his father’s habit of loaning money to others. Afrah had similar issues in her relationship with her mother, as her mother was concerned about her marriage, especially after younger sister Bushra got married and was already pregnant with her first baby.

The author picks few well known events from the past like the flooding of Mumbai in 2005 and weaves a warm love story around the city’s lifelines — local trains. The story starts on an interesting note with two strangers from unlikely backgrounds having a chance meeting in the middle of a disaster. However, the pace of the book, especially in the first half, dampens the reader’s interest as the author takes time to establish the relationship between the protagonists.

The second half is where the author places many twists and adds more depth to the protagonists’ relationship. The characters of Sadiq and Afrah are well crafted by the author while revealing more details of their past with each chapter, retaining a certain mystery about them. The family backgrounds of each of them is also well detailed, giving a wholesome meaning to their characters and reason for their actions. 

It also helps that the story is set more than fifteen years back, when life was simpler, which helps retain innocence of the love story. With better editing of the first half, to make the narrative concise, the author could have done wonders to the story. 

A heartwarming story, which looks at love in a more practical and realistic way than a dreamy one, this story will appeal to those whose look forward to reading love stories with old-world charm. 

My rating:


This review is part of the Blogchatter Book Review Program.