‘Honeymoon’ That Makes Serious Reading

Don’t judge a book by its cover. Sometimes the cover of a book can be deceptive. Normally the title of a book is made catchy to attract the attention of the readers. But what can you say about a serious book having a cumbersome rather embarrassing title like ‘Honeymoon’ by Sushil Chand Shrivastav, an officer in the secretariat of Uttar Pradesh? I hesitated to read this book for more than two years because of its cover title but during this summer vacation, I started reading the book and found it to be amazingly good, highly informative and replete with shlokas, chaupais and folk idioms. The story of the novelette begins with a daughter of an air force officer, who laid down his life in the service of Mother India in the 1971 war and an idealist Sooraj, a son of the retired Vice-Principal of a College.
One marvel at the description of the scenario that was built around and after the 1971 war between India and Pakistan. It is like a refreshing memory for those who have witnessed the blackouts and horrors of the war like the huge influx of refugees from the then East Pakistan. For youngsters, the book gives a graphic description of conditions which prevailed in India in the early seventies. It swells the heart of every Indian with pride over the sacrifices and valour of the army, navy and air force of the country.
Through Sooraj, the book takes the readers on a spiritual journey as he once finds himself engrossed in religiosity and then after some time gets disenchanted with the hypocrisy and superstitious behaviour of the so-called saints.
The book also portrays the sordid and sad saga of the hopeless judicial system, which to say the least, is very realistic. The way some clever people frustrate the purpose of justice by dragging the cases in courts for years and decades has been very beautifully narrated by the writer. Justice is not only denied by adopting the tactics of delay, but it also brings enormous misery, pain, suffering and despondency among the litigants. In fact, sensitivity finds no place in the justice delivery system. It is seen that over the years judges and advocates become part of the grinding judicial system instead of providing any succour to the sufferers.
In between the book contains some thrilling events in the tourist places like Goa but it can be safely said that the book does not contain any ingredients of the cheap and pulp fiction. It does not titillate but compels us to think and ponder over the problems. The writer will do well to change the cover title of the book, which may truly reflect its contents, although it is his prerogative and yet the reader certainly has the right to make suggestions.