If I give my heart to you,
Will you promise to be true
And help me, understand
Coz I’ve been in love before
And found that love was more than just holing hands
Young, restless & ambitious when finds himself in a world which is free of restrictions, rich in ever evolving music & architecture, he does not forget his roots. He is responsible & sensible. He knows, he has a family back at home waiting for him. This describes the main protagonist of Harp -Ashok.
The story is set in the late 60’s. Even though there are 3 main characters, Ashok holds them together. He is an ambitious, outgoing, outspoken, confident, handsome & young boy from India. His father wants him to take over his Dairy business. But Ashok is not ready to settle yet. Even though he has started to take interest in his father’s business, he wants to travel, explore his opportunities & encounter the unknown. He lands many internship opportunities from European companies operating in agriculture & dairy.
How beautifully the author has described Europe. I literally can imagine the the places Ashok goes to, specially his train journey. I really enjoyed the depth, the author has added to describe the music, architecture, youth & world of the late 60’s. This time was a time of revolution in terms of sex, thoughts & technology. Not just the west but India too was becoming more habitual of pop culture, late night parties for youngsters & liberation of social norms.
Ashok is a charmer. He meets several girls during his internships in the west. But he halts when he meets Lauren, a passionate musician from Poland, who plays Harp. They know they are soul mates, but they cannot give up their dreams. Lauren cannot move to India & Ashok cannot stay back. Ashok Comes back to India. He meets Aparna. Aparna is just visiting India from California. She is a successful & independent woman. They get emotionally involved. Marek tries to impress Lauren who is still lost in love of Ashok.
I just could not put the novel down until I found out what really happened to the trio. I really got carried away with the emotional plot the novel offers. The novel has a lot of local language words & phrases that really fits in the flow. There is a glossary provided at the end of the book to understand the meaning of the local words.
What I liked about Harp?
Harp gave me an understanding of a revolutionary era. I realized how wonderful that time span was. Things were changing at a fast pace, throughout the world. This was a time when the greatest musician marked their footprints in the history. I loved having a virtual tour of Europe & America along with their respective culture in that era. I also liked the way, the characters were developed. They are all strong & clear about their goals. Open to take chances & enjoy life as may it come to them.
Would like to mention, the songs of 60’s from various artists, that plays in background, really infuses some magic now and then.
What put me off?
I am an avid reader of romantic & fiction novels. I have read numerous best selling novels that take you to the depth of the emotions a human can ever have. Harp, is a nice read. I enjoyed reading it. I was bit lost sometimes, whenever there was a sudden shift of characters. The shifting is not spontaneous. It is too dramatic & forward. The too much technical details regarding dairy business are not that fascinating, actually it made the novel lengthy.
About The Author – Nidhi Dalmia
Nidhi Dalmia debuted with Harp. He is an alumni of St. Stephan’s College in Delhi. He pursued post graduate education at Oxford University and the Sorbonne and Management education at Harvard Business School. His professional life exposed him to diverse responsibilities especially in the manufacturing sector. Nidhi was in his college table tennis team at Oxford and also enjoys swimming. His interests include Cinema, Theatre and Indian philosophy.
295 INR. Available at all leading book stores and online.
Contain about 401 pages out of including the glossary at the end of the book.
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