Not The World’s Best Love Story

Durjoy Datta created greater demand for Indian English romantic novels

Hate is a four letter word. So is love. And, sometimes, people can’t tell the difference….

Durjoy Datta’s new release “World’s Best Boyfriend” explores the same plot as his earlier books–romance fiction. The story starts with Dhruv, a little boy, getting to know about his mother’s affair with the principal of the school he goes to. (Coincidentally, his mother is a teacher in the same school).His parents get divorced. There are a few pages on how divorce affects children emotionally. But you don’t really feel the pain or loneliness Dhruv is going through.

In school, he meets Aranya, a scholarship student who also suffers from Vitiligo, a skin disease. You expect Durjoy to tell his readers a little bit more about the disease and its effect on a young mind, but that doesn’t happen. Worse, Aranya is discriminated against at home because of her gender, and her skin problem.  These two lonely children are naturally drawn to each other.  Later on, Dhruv gets suspended from the school for reasons that are not made clear—basically, you the reader, can make up your own mind on what happened.

Aranya grows up to be intelligent, smart, extremely talented, and overweight. The difficulties she faces in life are again, left to your imagination. The author has, however, taken the trouble to explain only the bit about “her not having a boyfriend”. Meanwhile, Dhruv grows up to become a handsome, gym loving person who hates women and lies, the kind of guy you expected him to become.

Both of them end up in same college and same class. What a coincidence! From day one, Dhruv and Aranya try to hurt each other deeply but end up feeling guilty and remorseful about their behaviour. They try to stay away but are drawn to each other. It’s pretty obvious that they love each other but events of the past keep them apart. In fact, a lot of the developing story is concerned with how the two protagonists try to destroy each other over old misunderstandings. A good heart-to-heart chat could have resolved things quickly, but that would have meant the end of the story. This is Durjoy Dutta’s thickest book (in terms of pages!) and the reason for the extra length is clear, even though everyone knows how the story is going to end.

Both the characters are pretty childish, they spend a lot of time fighting over nothing. Aranya’s character is better written than Dhruv’s for the author does bring out the struggles of a girl who is trying hard to fit in. Dhruv, however, is just another guy who loves going to the gym, thinks about sex all the time and has no real goal or aim in life. On the other hand, Durjoy has created a lovable character in Sanchit, Dhruv’s best friend—he is someone every reader will fall in love with. He is funny, witty and you feel like you are reading about your best friend. Then there is Raghuvir, who unfortunately, doesn’t even come across as a real person.

Aranya’s parents are despicable characters who hate her mostly because she is a girl and that too, overweight and (in their heads), ugly because of her skin condition. Sadly, the author does not attempt to change the parents’ thinking in the book.

Durjoy Dutta’s writing is extremely easy to read and understand. Words such as “fuck” are used very freely and unnecessarily most of the time. So, it is not a book to pick up if you mean to improve your English. In fact, there are grammatical mistakes throughout and the lack of a good Editor is obvious. Dhruv and Aranya’s love story is played out in a very childish manner.

Personally, I don’t recommend the book. The author had the opportunity to explore relationships in depth, and talk about how gender bias, lack of self esteem and body confidence, can impact young lives. Instead, he has chosen to craft a very immature love story.

Khushboo Aneja


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