Pravin Agarwal’s novel, The Girl in the Dream, is subtitled a love story planned 500 years ago and this, the subtitle, gives away a lot about what the readers will find inside – a love story which might link to the past of the characters who are actively involved in the plot that is present. The main characters are only four – Vivaan, Riya, Rachit and Swara. Vivaan is a scientist who is very famous because he has been the leader of a certain ‘Mission Mars’ that was a mission to land on Mars. He works with NASA and he has been living in the USA since his childhood. His fiancee, Riya, is a beautiful lady working in an advertisement agency. Their life is going well as they are about to be married (and they engage in the course of the novel). However, there is a dream that perplexes Vivaan regularly. He discusses this dream with his would-be, Riya and Riya is also perplexed and angry as well, initially, that her husband-to-be is dreaming about some different girl and proposing marriage to her. But Vivaan, as he is logical, philosophical and a good talker, manages to make Riya comfortable by his arguments that it is just a dream and it has nothing to do with their present life.
The link further deepens when Riya and Vivaan meet Rachit, first in the USA and then in India, a man who needs help in setting up a solar plant in India, in Jaipur. And then, the story moves from the USA to India and then it fixes at an ancient Shiva Temple in a village that Vivaan has never heard of but dreams often about the same. So, what does life has in store for Vivaan? Why does he dream of a temple and a beautiful girl? And how would this end? What is the connection of a scientist with the past life of him? How will the story end?
He has executed his plot very skilfully. Planned in a way that it smoothly let the story transition from a different country to India, The Girl in the Dream is a novel that has pace, interesting threads that connect the past and the present and a storyline that is impressive, compelling and also exciting for the readers all the time. It is not a romantic novel that you can find almost by the alternate writers in India; this is something more than a casual romance – this is novel with serious elements of contemporary conjugal life and linked with a sorrowing story of the past that will impress the readers with its pathos. Serious readers can also observe that the author has focused on displaying the Indian ethos even in odd circumstances. The older generation of characters is very expressive with their Indianness even when they are living a highly accomplished life in the USA. This is a good trend and it should continue. To cut short this section and to conclude about the storytelling skills of Pravin, The Girl in the Dream is an unordinary tale full of mystery, thrill, entertainment, and unexpected turns… A nail-biting romantic thriller.
Technically, the novel is written in a simple language and the author has not tried to be extraordinary. Pravin has remained simple, straightforward and communicating throughout the novel and that’s what the readers of the day want from the writers they read. I am sure this novel by Pravin will impress the readers across the age group as it not a strictly age-oriented book. All the best to all the readers who are taking up this powerfully imaginative and contemporary novel!
review by Nishant Sinha for Indian Book Critics
The Girl in the Dream
- Themes & Subjects
- Plot & Storyline
- Narrative & Storytelling
- IBC Overall Impression
The book will be a twisting tale of past and the present, of love lost and love coming back… of promises fulfilled and promises kept empty… you will like it – a pandora’s box for contemporary Indian fiction reader.