When Love Came Calling
“Sometimes you have to travel far to find your true self.”
– Preeti Shenoy, When Love Came Calling
Puja, 19, is the daughter of a business tycoon and a cardiac surgeon. Her sister is basically Ms. Perfect – her mother’s favorite. All her life, Puja never had a goal or a dream to achieve something. She is an energetic, impulsive, and a confused teen. Her strict mother sends her off to a rural place in Kerala to do volunteer work.
Arush, 20, is the opposite of Puja. He is a shy, studious guy. Born and raised in Britain, he is excited when he gets an opportunity to visit India as a part of an international program conducted by his college. He had never been to India before, a place where both of his parents came from.
When Puja meets Arush at the NGO, the difference between them both is obvious to each other. Slowly, they spend more time with each other and fall in love.
This picture-perfect fairytale doesn’t last long as Arush realizes that India is not as perfect as he thought it was. Puja on the other hand faces harsh realities of life and makes few hasty decisions on impulse.
What happens when these two face hardships in their newborn love story? What are the outcomes of the hardships?
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I first thought this was a love genre. But no, it is not completely a love genre. There are other elements to it. I can’t think of a particular genre that would fit this book’s nature.
I loved the switch-ups in narration for each chapter. It was good to know both perspectives throughout the story.
The moral of this story is something that many people fail to understand or fail to be aware of.
Throughout the whole book, I was like where is this story going? Because it was unpredictable.
The story had a curveball after just a few chapters into the book and I was confused. I didn’t expect the curveball to come so soon. But it was only the beginning of some unexpected, completely random twists.
I felt a bit hard to keep up with the story pace. The story moved fairly quickly.
There is one scene I want to highlight. There is a scene where Puja gets bombarded by reporters of local news channels. What she says and what gets telecasted on the channels are two different things. The author has subtly pointed out how some media channels work just to stir up drama.
Thoughts on the characters:
#1: Arush is a chocolate boy that I came to love in this book. He was clear-headed. But he lost it just once, making a mistake. He thought so rationally that I was in awe. This guy’s character was so sweet and charming.
#2: Puja is an impulsive girl. This word fits perfectly for her. Even though this is a fiction story, I couldn’t come to terms with the fact that she stepped out of her house at 4 in the morning. How can a person in India, in this society that we currently live in, step out at such a deadly hour, that too alone?
If that wasn’t enough, she goes on to make even more bad decisions and I was constantly on the edge, scared if she would get caught.
Her impulse decisions were a bit too unrealistic. No one would do that, I felt.
#3: There is a small character in this story that I would like to point out. It is Mukundan. A politician and an art professor. This character seemed like a nice one at the beginning but there is a line where Puja explains something about him to Arush at the hospital and I was completely speechless.
#4: Puja’s family is a reality in many Indian households. I am not talking about the rich situation or the profession. I’m talking about the pressurizing and the controlling aspect. This exists in many families like second nature.
#5: Even though Puja’s mother wants Puja to be disciplined and to excel in studies, she doesn’t come off as a good example to her daughter. The fact that puja’s mother had the power to still get Puja’s volunteer certificate without completing the entire course or the fact that she pulled strings to get a seat for Puja in a different college in the middle of all the chaos comes off as what a rich privileged person would do.
#6: Puja’s father is no better. He openly admits to mishaps in his business world and he has a friend in the police department who is on his side.
These parts are written so casually and hence prove the fact that these things are an open secret in our country. We all know what a rich person is capable of doing when they possess money as well as power.
So, reading about these things made the book seem more real for me on these perspectives.
#7: There is a character named Sujit who is a critical character in this book. I wanted to know what happened with Sujit. I felt that his short side-storyline was unfinished.
This was actually a good story that had all the potential to be an even greater one. There were indeed some harsh realities of India shown in this book and I felt that side would have made a stronger connection with the audience.
I would rate this book 3 on 5.
Buy your copy here: When Love Came Calling by Preeti Shenoy