Monday, September 22, 2014

Blog Tour: HELPLINE By Uday Mane


by Uday Mane

My Review

The story is about Samir, the son of a rich politician father. Samir learns his values from his Nana and appears to have a lovely life until he turns fifteen and Nana passes away. But his luck continues to hold till his meeting with Neha at college. She’s a wonderful friend who stands by him through rain or shine. And then there is lovely Riya and her brother Siddartha, who suffers from Down’s Syndrome. One can say Samir is lucky to be surrounded by lovely people, but then the carpet is pulled from under his feet and he turns suicidal. How much ever Neha tries to help him, Samir refuses to help himself. Read the story to find out what happens to Samir when he contacts a suicide Helpline.

The story has its heart in the right place. It talks of a young man who is forced to study Engineering while he hates it. He wants to become a writer but that’s completely unacceptable to his father. But Nana had told him he could be anything he wanted to. Torn in different directions, Samir has a tough time until Riya comes back into his life only to tell him after a few months that she’s going abroad for a couple of years. Samir is shattered. 

I liked the two short stories that Samir writes - The Joker & The Prince of Aramadia. Surprisingly, both these stories are perfectly written and make complete sense. They portray the talent of a budding writer perfectly. 

Siddartha’s character with Down’s Syndrome has been sketched extremely well and the scenes surrounding the home for disabled children run by Nana has been presented with great care. 

This is Uday Mane’s first book and I realise that the author probably wanted to say a lot. A strong editing hand would have put paid to one-third of the pages in the book and made the plot much tighter and a way more interesting read. 

Then there are the spelling mistakes and grammatical errors that have not been taken care of. I suppose one can’t blame the author for the same and it’s up to the publishing house to ensure that the book is perfectly presented. 

I was impressed by the following paragraph in the book:

“I wish for a house by the sea,” she answered almost immediately. “Far away from the city honks and horns; where the only sound is that of curtains dancing to the tunes of a strong breeze; where I can stroll on the beach after a delightful meal, not worrying about returning to unworldly demands; where I can walk bare feet, feel the sand grains between my fingers and the cold water kiss my feet, where there is wind, water and the sound of it for miles to come. I wish to be in that moment.” 

Helpline by Uday Mane is a story that touches your heart. 

Disclaimer: I received a hard copy (paperback) of Helpline from the author in return for my honest review as part of the Blog Tour conducted by The Book Club 

The Blurb

Samir is suicidal. Rachael works for a suicide helpline. Fate connects them through a phone call. And so begins Samir’s story of love, longing, errors, regret and a girl who changed his life. As his story reaches its conclusion, Rachael will know the true reason behind his suicidal tendencies. But this suicide helpline is not any ordinary service. There is more to the mysterious and yet so convincing voice of Rachael. As this new mystery begins to unfold, Samir is going to discover three things: 

What is The Helpline? 
Who is Rachael? 
What is Samir’s own identity? 

Every year, several teenagers in India attempt suicide because of failing relationships, dwindling careers, parental pressure or the competitive world. This story is about one such teenager, his early problems and the hurdles to cope with them. This story is about finding hope in the struggle. This story is about fighting for what you believe in and discovering your true identity. This is not a story about falling in love. This is a story of rising from a failed love story.

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Meet the Author

Uday Mane was born in Pune and raised in Mumbai. He works as a marketing professional during the day and a storyteller during the night. He is an avid reader, and loves to collect classic books. 

The Helpline is his debut novel that was launched in March 2014 at the hands of Padma Shri Paresh Rawal

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