Book Review: The Wrong Turn - Sanjay Chopra



The Wrong Turn: Love and Betrayal in the Time of Netaji by Sanjay Chopra and Namita Roy Ghose portrays the Indian freedom struggle in the middle of the twentieth century, evoking an entire era through the description of the Battle of Kohima of 1914, when Subhash Chandra Bose and his Indian National Army (INA) by the side of the Japanese, are on the edge of bringing the Empire to its knees and forcing the British out of India.

But, bizarrely, the tables go round and the INA’s move forward is let down and the triumphant stride to Delhi is halted as the protagonists Debraj and Nishonko fight not only their regular adversary, but also for the love of Aditi, who will end up being shocked by the events, and her small cosmos will be overwhelmed by the war.

The book is a sweeping tale of passion set against a mixture of love and tragedy in a land ravaged by an insane war in a story of different narrative voices and long monologues to tell it from different points of view. The authors tells the story and you're there to read, but you feel like you're sitting in an elegant café or in a hotel in Kohima, and from the window you can see the rising sun, and feel the epilogue of the story.

You sit there spellbound and get chained page after page, to listen to the story of love that makes us understand how love can turn into cruelty, greed, desire for revenge against all, or perhaps only against ourselves. The book is perhaps less passionate, but not the less beautiful.

The authors speak of feelings of love, friendship, that leave only an empty shell in the soul. And on the pretext of the long evolution of history it also tells us political and social events, the horrors of war, the beauty of the towns, with lightness and realism.

In the book, life shows itself for what it is, staged protracted and an absolute imperfection, whose breath tries to capture and define, failing miserably, the darker sense, the multiple faces, edges and mysteries of a complex and poignant love relationships.

This defies any objective show, it and may be limited to internal social classes, places or temporal spaces, linked by a thin wire. The story is the mother and the judge of the events and how we have changed, and what makes us think of having lost our egos, desires, others, or, on the contrary, we have never possessed.

In all this, what role does love play? It remains the common thread, weaves the plot and guides the feelings of the protagonists, including jealousy, vanity and desire for revenge. Life, indeed, remains unfathomable, complicated, unattainable, changing, and the attempt to snatch and define secrets and lies is doomed to fail, because things just happen and perception is subjective, different, and ephemeral and the reality is otherwise dressed.

The human soul is full of secrets and must not be violated as the love is fulfilled in their acceptance and knows how to wait, as the reason can only regulate the feelings but not change them. It is a composite puzzle, and it is difficult to enter and define the boundless themes of his research as each page hides a world mostly of feelings, but also of history and political as well as sociological and psychological research.

This novel undoubtedly stands out for the richness of themes and content that intertwined political and personal events leading to light a story of love, life, joy and pain of a woman in a bittersweet tale of war, falling in love and separation, screaming a great truth that love even in times of war is there and thanks to it we survive.

The book reads quickly and with pleasure, that is well written and nothing journalistic, but very human. I am convinced that history is like a well done summary that highlights what is most important, selects what count from what has been negligible for most people. Life however is the entire book as it contains all the gestures, thoughts, occasions, events, without the ability to put them in order of importance.

In conclusion, I liked it and I cannot help but recommend this almost cinematic novel, and definitely a book to read especially as it feeds curiosity and interest in a dark historical period such as that of the Indian freedom struggle and World War II.


Format: Paperback ♥ Publisher: Om Books International ♥ Pages: 488 ♥ Published: 1 January 2017 ♥ Language: English ♥ ISBN-13: 978-9386316967