Book Review: The Nidhi Kapoor Story

About the Book:

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Nidhi Kapoor is a very successful, second-generation film star. She is the daughter of the great Nishant Kapoor, who came out of nowhere to become the first real superstar in the 80s.

The day before she is to start shooting for her much anticipated film, she comes home to discover her beloved pets killed mercilessly. Apart from the mangled dead bodies, the unknown assailant has left behind a letter threatening Nidhi, Nishant and their family.

ACP Prakash Mohile of the Mumbai Police is summoned to investigate the case. He asks Rujuta Singh, a photojournalist working on a photo-essay on Mumbai Police, to come along.

In the absence of any clues, Prakash and Rujuta are forced to dig into the past of Bollywood’s first family. Unknowingly, they stumble upon a violent tale of lies, betrayal, treachery, infidelity and even murder at Kapoors.

Little did they know that the murder of pets was going to be the first in a long sequence of attacks on Nidhi. The unknown assailant is adamant on taking away from Nidhi everything she holds dear – her family, her parental home, her career, her reputation and her life.

My Thoughts:

This book falls into the category of a psychological thriller. It highlights the various events in the life of an actor who was the star of Bollywood. Nishant Kapoor starts off as a poor boy looking to make it big and ends up as the star of Bollywood. The author goes into detail about the trials he faces and how his life changes. The story is set at a time when Nidhi, Nishant’s second daughter is at the peak of her acting career. The police are called in when her pets are found dead in the house and then follow what looks like sabotage.

As the investigation is on, we are introduced to two major characters apart from the people in the Kapoor’s family; ACP Prakash Mohile, an uptight person who takes his work seriously and has a wonderful track record, and a journalist, Rujuta, who tags along while working on her assignment on the police department. These two characters have been sketched really well by the author and are quite strong. The journalist is inspiring in many ways and shows that being a woman is no hindrance to what you want to do in life. Her aunt, who makes a small appearance in the story plays a pivotal role towards the end.

The Kapoor household consists of Nidhi, her older sister and their mother’s brother as well as Nishant who is brought back into the picture later on. The authors spins a sinister web of murder, betrayal, love and slowly reveals a plot that will keep the reader enthralled. As the investigation continues, the deeper they dig into the past, the more the truth about Nishant’s personality and his family comes to light. The climax of the story is brilliantly written with a good ending.

However, though the author manages to tie up most of the loose ends and neatly close the plot, there are a few things that remain unanswered. These however do not deviate from the fact that this is a well written story and will be enjoyed by those who love a good mystery or psych thriller.

I would like to thank the author for giving me this opportunity to read and review his book!

In conversation with Saurabh Garg

Saurabh Garg is the author of The Nidhi Kapoor Story. This is his first novel.
We have had the pleasure of interacting with him and here is what he has to say:
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1)     What/who inspired you to start writing?

I stumbled onto the entire concept of writing by chance. A friend told me about it. Then I started writing a blog. And I loved the feeling of words appearing magically on my notepad or on my screen. I got addicted to that feeling and before I knew, I was hooked on!

Plus, the fact that what I write, my thoughts, my ideas, could go to a larger audience made me take writing a little more seriously. One thing led to another and suddenly it was time to sort of take the plunge and write!

2)     Tell us a little about yourself.

Let me use a few sentences here. Actually 5.

I am from Delhi but live in Mumbai.

I am old but I still think like a 18-year old.

I want to just sit and write but have to go for a day job that pays my bills.

I want to stay rooted at a place but I want to never stop travelling.

I claim to a grammar nazi but I dont really have that strong a hold over my own grammar!

3)     What is your favourite genre?

Crime! And mystery. Lot of action. I am big fan of fast-paced stories.

And when not crime, I like to read biographies.

To be honest, I don’t get as much time to read as I hope to have. Whatever little I get, it goes in catching up on research for my next characters. So, I now get to read at most a book a week. Prior to taking up a job, I was reading upto 3 books a week.

4)     Which are the books and who are the authors you favour the most?

It’s a long list. The ones I can think of immediately are English, August by Upamanyu Chatterjee amongst Indian authors. Gone Girl is brilliant. I love To Kill A MockingBird. I am a big fan of Alexandre Dumas and especially The Count of Monte Cristo. I also like the Jack Reacher series.

I know its an eclectic mix. Blame it on friends who recommend books and force me to read them.

Sometime back I made a list of top ten books. Its at http://septemberthe22nd.blogspot.in/2014/09/10-books-that-have-stayed-with-me-over.html

5)     What are your hobbies?

I like to drive. I like to read. I love playing poker. I wish I could get better at it though.

Oh, I love to travel and I love talking to people. Having said this, will any of your readers, in some exotic country, want to host me in their homes for sometime? I promise I will not be a nuisance 🙂

More than hobbies, I have recently started with these 6-month projects. I pick up something and try to spend 6 months on it. If something good comes out of it, great. If nothing happens, I move on to the next one. The next projects that I am keen on taking up are swimming, guitar, yoga, get fitter and running. It’s a long long list!

6)     Perfect holiday destination?

Damn this is a wrong question. Here I am trapped in office and you are asking me to think of places to travel. But since I’ve agreed to answer your questions, I think the perfect destination for me is the road. I love the feeling of being on the road, headed towards I don’t know where!

But if I were to choose a location, I’d say any place that is cold. Like Himachal. Like Panchgani; I love it. I can totally retire there if I can. I want to go to North-east but haven’t been there yet.

Or the Nordics.

I’ve been lucky enough to travel quite a bit. Of the places I’ve been to, I’ve loved San Francisco, Prague, Copenhagen and London.

7)     Describe a perfect writing day.

A perfect writing day would start at about 5. I’d go for an hour long walk. While walking, I would listen to my favorite music. I would then head to the nearest Starbucks and order a Java Chip Frappuccino. Plug in my headphones to my music and write.

I would write till noon. I would then have my lunch, go home, sleep for a bit. Without any alarms of course.

Whenever I wake up, I would want to go for a dip in the pool but I don’t know how to swim. Its on my to-do list for 2015. Come back from the pool, head to Starbucks again and write till it closes.

Of course a lot of this is wishful thinking. I neither have the luxury of time, nor I have unlimited bank balance to fund those 200 bucks a pop coffees. But then, as they say, you never know. I may just have it some day!

8)     Which is the best part of writing a story?

The ability to play God has to be the best part. I also love that my characters can do things that I can never do. If I can’t get the pleasure out of doing things, I can definitely get borrowed pleasure of seeing my children (aka characters) live through those experiences and emotions.

9)   How much inspiration do you draw on from real life experiences, with respect to plot, characters etc?

A lot! most of my characters are inspired by real people. I may or may not know them though. I tend to remember interesting people that I come across and when I write, I try to think of those interesting people and then mould my characters.

When I say a character is interesting, I mean there is something quirky, something memorable about it.

10)   Who among the characters you created do you like the most and why?

I don’t think I can answer this one. Every character, large or small, is dear to me. It’s like asking someone to nominate one of the children as your favorite.

Having said that, I probably will become a very bad parent. Because I definitely like Rujuta more than the others! Why so? You’d have to read the book to figure out.

11)   What kind of impact do your stories have on you?

My stories? Impact on me? Fair bit. Like I said, I want my characters to do things that I can’t, I tend to get lost in those stories. So while working on the stories, I get emotional if my character does not get what s/he wants. I get happy when they find the love of their lives. I fall in love when they see the person that they know, they will spend the rest of their lives with. Hope you get the drift.

For me, my characters are everything! Stories, places, plots dont really matter. What matters is characters. Thats where I start writing and that’s where I end!

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