Based in Chennai and penned by Vibha Batra, The Activist And The Capitalist is the story of two passionate people pitted against each other because of their contrary passions and how they fall in love with each other, thus inviting troubles from all corners.
Jai, the heir of VPK constructions company wanted to prove himself to the world and stand on his own feet. He was given the charge for Vasant Vihar project by his grand-father although there were other seniors capable of handling it. Thus, Jai was all the more involved and leaving no stone unturned in making the project a big success.
Anusha was passionate about conserving the heritage sites and worked with an NGO associated with it. She was the crusader of campaigns, the activist who staged protests and dharnas against the capitalists who wanted to ‘demolish’ the heritage sites. Thus, she loathed VPK constructions company and had already filed a petition for a stay order on the takeover and reconstruction.
During one of the many such protests, she bumps into Jai who instantly recognizes her. They had met before, a long time ago, albeit only for a few minutes while they were bored and intoxicated at a social do. Both had felt something for each-other then and it seemed that the sparks still flew.
While they were professional rivals, the more time they spent off the public eye, the more attracted both seemed to get to each other. Although they never discussed the Vasant Vihar project, it always was a bone of contention between them. They tried to avoid the topic as much as possible, but somehow it always managed to crop up and create differences between them.
The real trouble started when Anusha doubted Jai of lying, corrupting officials and simply using her for information. And when the question wasn’t just about their professional liaisons anymore but also of trust, their relationship was at stake.
Do they manage to get back to each other? Or was Jai really willing to go to any lengths to save the project? Did Anusha’s doubts have any base to them or were they deliberately implanted? Read on to find the answers to above questions!
Vibha Batra is an ace writer with a quirky sense of humor. She has weaved magic with words which not only leaves you engrossed in the story but the characters feel so real that they stay with you long after you are done reading it.
The protagonists get a full cinematic entry (read the book to know what I mean.) complete with description of the entourage and surroundings and slowly revealing them into the limelight. The lead pair are well cast too, he – rich, sauve, witty, funny, well-traveled, well-read and strong yet soft, down to earth with a heart that isn’t cold. She – passionate, loving, caring, intelligent and strong-headed yet vulnerable with a heart that isn’t cold but has been made into one. No wonder they say that opposites attract. And just like lead pair of many movies these days, they are always at loggerheads with each other and are always quarreling or debating. Kudos to the writer for bringing in a lot of wordplay too leaving the reader chuckling every now and then.
There are many other characters other than the protagonists who get a decent ‘screen time’ too. Like, Dolly Aunty who runs the NGO where Anusha works, her colleagues, his scheming friends Saurabh and Devyani and last but not the least, his grand-father, the Senior Khanna in a ‘guest appearance.’
Another of the many pluses of the book is that along with humor and romance, Vibha enlightens and compels the readers to ponder over: Is it right to demolish old buildings in the name of renovation and luxury?
And are all builders just looking to cash in on the realty boom? Or some of them are still out there with noble intentions for whom money isn’t the only compelling factor for constructions?
Overall, The Activist and The Capitalist is a lovely, breezy and fun-filled read.
Connect with the author here : Vibha Batra
The novella is published by Toronto-based publishing house Indireads, which exclusively publishes e-books and was started with the aim to revolutionizing the popular fiction genre in South Asia.