A Summer Spree

A semi-fictional novel by Rajiv Khandelwal

Rajiv Khandelwal’s ‘A Summer Spree’ is a semi-fictional novel published by Ukiyoto Publishing House, India. He has dedicated this novel to his younger brother, Dr Pankaj Khandelwal. He is a well-known postmodern poet who received national and international accolades. He holds a degree in Electrical Engineering from BITS, Mesra, Ranchi, and resides in Agra.  He has authored eight anthologies on which six books of criticism were written by different scholars. It is pertinent to mention that some of his poems are part of a curriculum at St. Aloysius’ College, Jabalpur, M.P. 

In this novel, there are 26 captivating chapters that depict an exciting tale about the foursome. All the chapters are interconnected and coherent. Every page of the novel unfolds exciting and thrilling memories of adolescence. There is friendship, jealousy, high spirited challenges in creating a War Game. The basic structure of this novel does not crumble anywhere. It is in the same mold as ‘Gone with the Wind’. The first few pages introduce Ramesh and a bit conflict with his brother, Padam, over teaching.  The way Padam pokes his nose in Ramesh’s affairs causes irreparable injury to Ramesh’s prestige. Padam’s cynical behaviour is the most abject thing that always made Ramesh’s blood boil. C1 portrays almost the sibling jealousy to the hilt. Kite Flying is a traditional game of India played for fun and entertainment. In the second chapter, there is a Kati Patang rivalry on rooftops where Padam joins hands with the outsiders and tries his best to demean Ramesh. Ramesh often calls him Brutus!  ‘Kati Patang’ – the severed kite and reign the skies is a real fun. 

‘Ta wa ri’ is the devil’s music played by Padam that always exasperates Ramesh’s sensation. “Padam says to himself that if he had ever grabbed a physical hold on the devil’s music he would have stamped on the word ‘ta’ shattered it as a dried leaf and then powdered the crumbs and fed them to Padam. He would have taken hold of the word ‘wa’ by its throat and throttled it to death. In addition, ‘Ri’ demanded a degree of brief flashes of lunacy. He desperately wanted to torture it, bleed it and then give it the ‘Chinese Water Torture’ treatment.” This statement speaks volumes. The music may rhyme but it stings like a wasp and rattles his cage.

The central conflict for the foursome appears in the third chapter where they appear in the creed “to do, to create and to achieve.” Padam suggests them to create a board game. Everyone nodded in agreement. Mahesh, Padam, Neal and Ramesh are ardent board gamers. After mutual consensus, they share some departments with each other. Mahesh – the mathematician is assigned to look after its perfect layout. Padam is entrusted with thinking of the name for the business firm. Neal and Ramesh are assigned to conceptualize the game. A few brainstorming sessions are conducted to strengthen strategic planning about the project. Unanimously, it is agreed that the game would be a ‘War Game’. The concept receives further support due to their Grandfather’s business discourses. Moreover, Ramesh yearns to push the plan forward instead of trailing at a snail’s pace. Being a logical analyst and math wizard, Mahesh always thinks out of the ordinary. Neal’s thought-provoking insight into the prolonging life of board games instantly impacts their emotions regarding its future aspects. The novel moves with an adventurous spirit to gather all the necessary details from the dynamic characters in shaping the project. Uncle Jaiswal’s experience about the frameworks is indeed icing on the cake. In C10, there is a storm of feelings and a dream to give their project a conspicuous title. The name of the project/firm appears as Paramane Enterprises. ‘Paramane’ is derived from the first two letters of the names Padam, Ramesh, Mahesh, and Neal.             

Moreover, In C13, a romantic flash fiction appears where Seema (a tertiary character) rides on the back of Ramesh’s racing bike to a nearby lake. The author as Ramesh falls in love with Seema and tries to put his emotions in black and white but in different taste. He starts writing verses; one of the verses goes like this, 

‘I know not what love is but if this is love   I think I have fallen in love.’

Moreover, C18 is a joyful chapter for the foursome when one fine afternoon a postman stops by the premises and calls out. The postman mentions the name of the firm written on the letter. Ramesh’s heart flutters faster than usual. The letter comes from the manufacturers of the Monopoly game, UK. It comes like a bolt from the blue. A business code in the letter takes an unforeseen shift in their demeanour. C19 or the plot proceeds with the queries whether they should ignore the letter or contact their local traders or consult grandfather for guidance. Moreover, Uncle Sharma appears here to teach them business tactics. C20-25 diligently continues the main plot where the foursome gets familiar with business strategies. There are a few rip-roaring and pacifying moments that surely delight the readers.

Moreover, this novel follows the linear narrative style where the author narrates from the exposition to the conclusion. The writing style is mostly informal and poetic. An exciting feature of this novel besides the main plot to me is the use of diction. He has a knack for presenting a literary work and this novel is the best paradigm. This is the novel where the author integrates fragments into an unabridged tale. Every chapter has the power to captivate bookworms. It serves as a treasure trove of knowledge and structural approaches to project management and settings in business. I wish Sir Rajeev Khandelwal all the best!

The author can be reached at [email protected]

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