First Love, Always Last Love

Review of Truly, Madly, Deeply! – Memoirs of a Broken Heart’s First Love; Faraaz Kazi; Cedar Books; Rs 175; pp 303

– Shana Susan Ninan

Little would Aerosmith have thought when they wrote and sang Falling in love (is hard on the Knees) that the fall actually hurts way more than the kneecap. It burns holes in hearts, carries away minds to places far and unknown and certainly leaves one utterly forlorn and distraught, or enthusiastically cheery and glad-eyed, as the case may be.

Faraaz Kazi’s debut novel, Truly, Madly, Deeply! – Memoirs of a Broken Heart’s First Love is a romantic novel set in a high school in Mumbai. Rahul Kapoor, a flamboyantly popular tenth-grader and the high school heartthrob, is bitten by the love bug the moment he sets his eyes on Seema. She, too, is famous in school. Just like him! They both shine in all the departments: studies, looks, attitude, and of course, love.

Falling in love takes but one second. The hours and days following that throw many obstacles at us that we need to face, and face with courage and impartiality. Rahul was desperate to make his love for Seema known not only to her but also to practically all his and her friends. And Seema’s the kinda shy princess who loves her privacy. This can also be attributed to the Hitler of a mother she has, as well as Seema’s bid to keep her new love life out of her extended family’s eyes.  In the process, Rahul turns impatient and egotistic, often misinterpreting Seema’s push-aways as a sign of her not accepting his love.

People in between – read guys who’re after Seema – bring about situations in their sweet life, which changes the way they think about each other. The change of character seen in both Rahul and Seema and the rift between them are brought out well by Kazi: not too fast to be missed, and not to slow to be dragging. At this point we remember that two lovers fallen apart are worse than enemies. Rahul does his part by going to the meanest extent possible to humiliate Seema, and she goes on to avoid him totally, no matter how he prods her.

The poet in Kazi comes out pretty well, not to mention other prominent autobiographical elements, in the book. The book starts in the present, and takes us back to Rahul’s life in school; each chapter is divided into two by a short poem by Kazi or a part of a poem by a famous poet. The poem serves as a curtain for the flashback, just like a song or a dream in a movie does. These poetic bits don’t stick out, but in fact, it functions much like a conjunction, connecting the two sides. It also serves as a poignant pause for the reader, as though saying, ‘Stop and think.’

Kazi writes most of the story in third person, with ample space for the dialogues and thoughts of his protagonists to be portrayed. The author’s penchant for adjectives earns him many points: it is easier to imagine the situation explained; flow of the story is smooth; and, the lives of the individuals are fleshed out by and by, without looking like a character sketch.

Writing about something close to one’s heart is always difficult. At times, we forget to pause when explaining an event or even an idea. Kazi has managed it well, though. He emphasises parts of the book that show Rahul’s emotions and his occasional breakdowns but dwells imperceptibly on other matters, making it a fairly easy task for the reader. The book is densely emotional when it needs to be, and ever-so-lightly at other times. Certain events are bursting with energy while others definitely melancholic. This alternation of feelings and actions, sometimes within a page itself, has a forceful impact on the reader, a positive one.

Peppered with sweet musings of school life, activities, throbbing encounters and many joyful and sad moments, this book takes us back to our teens. Dialogues are written in a way that the reader often finds herself (I refuse to say ‘himself’.) mouthing them! It also leads us to relive those days of our school in our minds as we move from page to another.

This is a youthful story penned by a mature mind. No doubt, it will be enjoyed by readers across all age groups, for we all fall in love, don’t we?

You can buy this book here: http://www.flipkart.com/truly-madly-deeply-author-signed-book-8122311644

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Rating: 9.9/10 (11 votes cast)
First Love, Always Last Love, 9.9 out of 10 based on 11 ratings

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This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 5th, 2011 at 10:06 pm and is filed under Reviews, Romance. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.


  1. January 6th, 2011 | Kashish Khan says:

    Great review. The book is indeed an emotional saga.

  2. January 6th, 2011 | Priyanka V says:

    Deserving review. Makes me wonder reviewers can be good writers too.

  3. January 11th, 2011 | dareen says:

    Maam really captivated by the work you do

  4. January 16th, 2011 | Sharon says:

    gr8 review…. You did it. Loved reading it…
    best of luck…

  5. January 29th, 2011 | Rahat Adenwala says:

    Awesome story and great review. This book is surreal. So out of this world! The protagonist is a guy any girl would drool over but his mysterious mannerisms make him a matter of curiosity for most people. Somewhere in his body beats a broken heart and that heart forms this beautiful tale of love. First Love.
    One of the many things that this book made me do was patch up with my guy after ages, though he is not my first love but this tale taught me to treasure relations, you never know whom you would lose when.
    A really touching tale. It not just has some extraordinary romance but healthy humor in the right kind of places. All I can say is ‘WOW’

  6. February 28th, 2011 | Sumit Kaldi says:

    Amazing review. I have heard about this book a lot but will surely pick it up now.

  7. March 19th, 2011 | Preeti Bose says:

    I’m totally in a daze after reading this book. The feelings pouring all over the pages have some sort of power over the reader’s senses, they surely did it for me. The ending is worth the time you have to spend on a lazy middle. Overall, I’m really glad I read it.

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