Mahaveer Publishers, New Delhi, India, ISBN (10): 8183520960, ISBN (13): 9788183520966, Year of Release: 2011.
Reviewed by: Dr Shamenaz, Associate Professor, Deptt of Applied Science & Humanities, AIET, Allahabad.
I’m Heartless is the maiden novel of Vinit K. Bansal, who has dedicated the book to ‘love and all the lovers in this world.’ Working in State Bank of India, he has a passion for writing. Having a dream of writing, he has succeeded in giving shape to his thoughts in the form of this novel. About writing, Vinit says:
“Writing is the very essence of my soul; the very reason for
my existence. In brief, it completes me.
About the novel, Vinit claims that, ‘this is not only a story rather it is real confession of a lover’. As it is a confession, in the few lines he says:
“I have lost the treasure, God granted me,
I have blinded the eyes that blindly trusted me.
To keep the guilt within, my heart has no place,
I know I am a sinner, I am to show my face.”
The novel is the story of the discovery of love and the anguish of losing it. The story centres on Viren, who is a day-dreamer. He has many flaws, being an egoist person; he is hopelessly romantic, attention seeker and arrogant person. These are the qualities which if an individual possesses than he/she is never going to be happy and this is the case with Viren also. But still he possessed some good qualities also, as he was one to get easily enticed by things that were contrary to his character, like walking in rain, watching the stars and moon for hours together, getting carried away by emotions, yet there was something in him that made him exceptional. It was his sense of indifference.
Being a day-dreamer he always dreamed of his Pari and even in childhood his imagination took him far from the real world ___ to the world of his Pari. He loved to read and compose poetry and that was only way in which he was to keep his Pari alive in his thoughts, in his dreams, in his fantasies and above all, in his hopes.
The story has a painful opening, describing the scene of hospital where protagonist Viren is being admitted because of attempting suicide. The next day when he was asked by his rescuer, who is the narrator of the story, he replies in a very sad tone, ‘when you fall so low that you feel insignificant in your own eyes, it’s better to close that eyes that mock at you.’(13)
The novel is about Viren’s love, dedication, clashes, insanity, friendship and how he found his true love before losing it forever. He was a boy from Hissar who took admission in Kurukshetra University for doing P.G. At first, being from small town, he was very shy and reserved type of boy. He generally did not like talking to strangers and it took him a lot of time to open up or be friendly with someone. But in course of time he totally changed himself according to the atmosphere of the University and became frank, social and friendly with others.
Viren had a friend in Hissar, Manasi who loved him very much but he consider her as a best friend. And after meeting Manasi’s friend, Rashi, he was overwhelmed and thought her to be his Pari. After meeting her many times, he proposed her but she was not ready to accept him more than friend. He kept on proposing her many times but she insisted for some more time to think on it. Manasi was unaware of all these happenings as she continued to love Viren and thought him to be the same.
There is a situation when he was caught in a weird situation over which he himself had no control. He couldn’t sacrifice his love for his friendship and at the same time, he didn’t want to lose his friend. It is so because they both held equal importance in his life and have occupied individual places in his heart; the only difference was that his preference were different when it comes to love. So one day, he dared to tell her that he is in love with somebody else. On hearing this fact, she sobbed and sobbed whole night and then for many days. He has hurted her very badly but she was not blaming him and still concerned about him. Such was her love for him.
Although, Viren and Pari were together for more than one and half year, celebrating each other birthday together, eating, dancing, making parties, going for outing, talking on phones for long-long hours and many other activities like couple but Pari never accepted him to be her lover, rather she kept on saying that she needs more time and denying him to be her lover. And one day, he discovered that she is having an affair with someone else. This news for devastating for him and he felt that the world has come to its end for him. He was so shocked that he left the hostel and starting living in Delhi.
At this juncture of life, he was very well supported by his friend, Manasi, who although knowing that he was in love with somebody else, was still faithful towards him. She gave him comfort and support and he was able to forget his agony. She gave him immense love as she sacrificed her education, career, job and even her family but he never understood her love and was just playing with her emotions. But for her, he was her world and she was not able to see anything rather than him. And when his reality was exposed in front of him, she was completely broken into pieces.
He himself came to realize his mistake but it was too late as now Manasi has lost faith in him. He begged and begged but she was not able to move by his apology. After sometime, she was married to somebody else and he was left alone to mourn on his own fault. So this is a story of love, betrayal and feeling of guilt.
Love is a sacred feeling but it is very depressing to see that now-a-days mostly youngster have mis-interpreted the wrong meaning of it. They are considering lust and obsession to be love, which is totally wrong. He has tried to show the negative aspect today’s youth, who are indulge in drinking, smoking, wasting time in wrong activities and having illicit affairs.
The language used by Bansal in the novel is very simple and easy. In many places he has employed Urdu phrases to make the language beautiful:
“Nikal Pada Ankh Se Aansu Aur Karne Laga Bayan,
Ab Humse Tere Gum Ki Hifazat Nahi Hoti.”
“Hum tere sheher mein aaye hain musafir ki tarah
Humko ek baar mulakaat ka mauka de de…’ (49)
Moreover, use of native Haryanvi language also makes the language of the novel more interesting to read viz,
“Madamji, darne ki zarurat koyna. Hum aap se koi battamizi
ni karan wale. Bass 2 minute khatar baat karni hai. (75)
As a beginner his attempt should be encouraged as it is his maiden novel, but still he has a long way to go.