Rajkumari Sharma Tankha
When fictional characters seem so real that you start relating to them or getting emotionally attached with them, you know the writer has done a good job.
And this is the case with the new novel from author Veena Nagpal, Radius 200.
Radius 200 has all the trappings of becoming a hit. It is a passionate story of love and longing, a love triangle woven around two women, both in love with one man, but each living in a completely different reality. And through this love story, the author talks about the looming threat of water scarcity and the dangers of nuclear war. What will happen to mankind, should a nuclear war happen.
The author has woven a perfect narrative, with loads of varying emotions, love, hatred, jealousy and rivalry; and completed it with a raging international issue, India’s relations with China.
The story moves ahead after a nuclear attack and touches upon the country’s most revered river, Saraswati, that has got lost due to a nuclear attack.
Nagpal also brings to the fore the issue of water scarcity with utmost sensitivity even as she talks about ‘a powerful neighbouring nation’ stealing an entire river from the Indian soil.
A bold attempt, indeed.
Radius 200 brings to fore all the critical issues so that the readers become aware of the geo-political subjects likely to hit them, directly or indirectly in near future.
The love story is complex too, with no black and white characters, but the one in which each character has shades of grey, just like us all, normal human beings, who are good at times, and bad at others and who love and hate with equal intensity.