Do you love reading ghost stories?
Of course, it has nothing to do with whether you believe in ghosts or not. You may like them for the “thrill” element only.
And for the same reason, we also like to explore horror stories, given that there is not much of adult content there.
Recently we came across one such book “The Lutyen’s Ghost” (tagline: A bloodcurdling horror story inspired by a real haunted house in Delhi) penned by Kulpreet Yadav.
By the way, we’ve already shared our unbiased book reviews for some of his previous books also. Here are quick links to the same:
- India Unlimited – Stories from a Nation Caught between Hype and Hope
- The Girl Who Loved A Spy By Kulpreet Yadav
|Book Title||:||The Lutyen's Ghost
A bloodcurdling horror story inspired by a real haunted house in Delhi
|# of Pages||:||110; 466KB (Kindle EBook)|
This Is Here In For You
Being responsible for making the first impression of the book (or for that matter, any media it is associated with), cover page plays a vital role in a remarkable number of purchase and/or read decisions.
As you can see the cover page of this book is moderately good. Having a dark background is expected from the cover page of such books, and the cover designer for “The Lutyen’s Ghost” has followed the same notions.
A screaming young girl’s face covers most part of the page adding to horror elements. The red blood spots near the tile adds to the impact. The fonts are in sync as well. The cover page also claims that the story is inspired by true events.
A moderately good cover page.
Now let us take a bird’s eye view of the plot.
Vikram Khanna, a police officer is just transferred to New Delhi. He is allotted a bungalow as his official residence, along with the domestic staff. While he has joined his duty his family started unpacking and setting up the stuff in this new home.
Vikram has a small lovely family. His wife Ritu Roy Khanna is a working woman and planning to join a new job in this new city. Their lovely daughter Mini is living with them, while their elder son Rudy is living in a hostel. Rudy is expected to come for holidays soon.
Policing is job with demanding time schedule and Vikrant is not back yet. Mini and Ritu went to their bedrooms to get a required good night’s sleep.
Mini woke up by the noise of a person walking near by and found her door knob moving as someone is trying to open it!
She called her mother who initiated a thorough search of the house considering a possible break-in. The servant didn’t find anything, and she asked Mini to not to worry and get asleep with her.
Mini has an eerie feeling that someone is watching her.
The same thing is repeated again the next night and a girl is seen. She started communicating with Mini through her thoughts and dreams. She said she is a ghost and her name is Nancy. Strangely, only Mini can see her.
She tried repeatedly to convince her parents about the same with no luck so far.
An elderly neighbor named Mr. Lamba has approached Mini and asked about her well-being. Mr. Lamba already suspected about the spirit and believed Mini.
So, there is actually a ghost/spirit in the house and it is indeed a haunted house? Who is Mr. Lamba? Will Mini’s parents believe her? Will the spirit try harm any of the family members? Does any of the domestic help has anything to do with these incidents and spirit?
Well, to find the answers to all your questions you need to read the book. Over the course of story you meet with Mini, Rudy (Mini’s brother), Ritu (Mini’s mother – Ritu Roy – before marriage), Vikram Khanna (Mini’s father), Shambhu Bist (Cook), Arti (housekeeper), Bhoop Singh Rathore (Arti’s husband), Rinku (Atri’s son) Ramashray Tiwari (Mali), Raghu Lamba (neighbour), Nancy, Ismail Khan, Mr. John Messey, Mrs. Sarah Messey, Harsh Mistry, and others.
Views and Reviews:
One of the most important attribute according me is the absence of adulteries, cuss-words and profanities.
Nancy had gone through unimaginable stuff which was brutal, but the author keeps full control over “how” and “how much” of the same is mentioned. It shows the maturity of the author.
The spirit introduces herself (after showing a scene from the past to Mini) as:
“That was me. My name is Nancy. I was killed in this house on the night of 15 Aug, 1947.”
After knowing the things about her, you tend to have a soft corner for Nancy. And, all the genuine and good souls think the same way. Whatever happened to her is simply unforgivable.
The author is good at explaining scenes. He doesn’t need too many words or descriptive stuff for the same. With the use of few words he can elaborate things effectively. For example:
Fourteen- year- old Mini opens her eyes in a flash.
Mini is as pale as a sheet and it takes her two full minutes to reply.
The lines exploring mental state of a person are equally convincing. For example:
Rudy is talking about football, about his friends, movies, teachers and how they make fun of them, and the lousy food they get in the hostel mess. Mini is physically there, but her mind is elsewhere.
The book has some sarcastic lines too. For example:
It’s three-thirty. This can’t be happening. Ghosts are not supposed to be late for appointments. That’s a human thing.
There is also an interesting character who introduces himself as:
Everyone calls me Harry. You can call me Harry too if you wish. I capture ghosts for a living.”
There are gadget used in the story and the author comes up with logical explanations for them as well!
He pauses to pick up the gadget, and continues, “when you hold it in your hands, it maintains your brain frequencies in the theta and beta bands i.e., 3.5 hz to 7 hz and 12 Hz to 30hz. These frequencies are active when we are listening and thinking, forming decisions and processing information about the world around us. Basically, this gadget will not allow your brain to go into a hyperdrive and reach the alpha and gamma range.
And a counter question too.
Without this gadget too, you can stop yourself from becoming agitated and remain in a zen-like calm. But you know how hard that can be when a ghost is standing in front of you. Right?”
So, the things are getting philosophical and spiritual at places. And, a simple casual conversation may give you wisdom lessons as well.
“My brother is coming home at five today. I’m worried about him.”
“Worrying will not help, Mini…”
And, so does this one-liner.
…one man’s good is often other man’s bad.
I found the following line amusing, especially when it is uttered by the most unexpected character. Who? Well, you need to read the book for that :).
She frowns at her own silly joke.
The author convincingly talks about the bungalows in the posh area of Delhi.
The front lawn of the bungalow is so large that one can organize a football match for children in it.
Through the conversations, the author clears various myths also.
“Mini, a priest need not be a Brahmin by caste, but can be of any caste as long he is well-versed with the Vedas, Puranas, Bhagwad Gita, and all rituals.
I found it interesting to have almost opposite feelings in the same line.
She feels a surge of excitement and nervousness as she nods.
Through a character the author conveys a very important message. Spirit may want to kill someone as it is like a food for it. And, to justify its cause it can play with your mind and can show you only part of the truth to manipulate you. The author says:
There’s always more to every story and one shouldn’t jump to conclusions like she did.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
… there is no clear black and while when it comes to good and evil. It’s mostly gray.
These are the life lessons, and we can and should apply them in real life as well.
Strong characters (with the layers) is the strong point of the book. And, they are revealed one by one.
This book teaches us that the trust is the base of any relationship. And, if you really love someone, you have to trust him/her and rather than taking decisions in haste, try to know the complete truth.
In that sense Mr. Vikram Khanna is a true feminist. When Ritu met her and they fell in love, when Ritu tried to talk to him about her past, he simply denied. He said whatever happened has nothing to do with their future lives together. And, that made the bond of love stronger amongst them.
And, during these heavy conversations and tensed situation, there is mention on school romance or feelings during those adolescents years.
The most challenging question the story throws towards you is:
People say, life is not fair, but how is being dead fair?
The book has some consistency errors like:
By now, Mini has picked up a badminton racket…
Followed up later as,
Her hand that’s holding the racquet is raised above her shoulder.
We also wish the book could have been better proofread. Here are some lines in the same regards.
The ghost extends her arms just last the last time.
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
“Where’s Raghu uncle, dad/”
— — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — — —
He seems to be enjoying this The mouth of the skull opens
So, as you can conclude the book has its share of highs and lows. Of course, there are lot more positives and the quotes referred above must have given you a fair idea about the book and whether it meets your reading preferences.
The book is worth reading if this genre interest you. Having no adulteries is a plus point.
Around 7.5 stars out of 10.
Quick Purchase Links:
- Buy - The Lutyen's Ghost by Kulpreet Yadav - Kindle EBook - Amazon IN
- Buy - The Lutyen's Ghost by Kulpreet Yadav - Kindle EBook - Amazon US
Over To You:
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