In Chakra, Ritu Lalit weaves a tale so intriguing that it keeps you awake till the wee hours of morning. And ever so reluctantly that you put it down … it is the first thing that you pick up in the morning again. One look at the cover of the book and you are drawn in by the mysterious and captivating eyes. And the book surely lives up to its expectations. A touch of magic realism – mixing of the mundane with the supernatural has made it an exciting read right till the end.
The story revolves around the power play between the clan leaders of the Japas – a secret community- whether a myth or reality is still debated. They are people with their Kundalini awakened and strong right from the moment they are born.
The plot is a tale of betrayal, disharmony and a fight for power amongst the 5 clan leaders controlling the 5 elements – Agney or Fire, Varuni or Wind, Jalaj or Water, Pallav or Vegetation and Bhoomar or Earth.
The book starts with the Japa Guru Tapan preparing for a homa on a full moon night which will bring peace among the clans. But instead it turns into a night of bloodshed and betrayal. A prophecy that will bring in the ‘Age of the Japni’ sends the clan leaders on the path of destruction. A powerful Japni, Parineeta Mohan, prefers to be called Nita, has to reluctantly take up the ‘Witch Way’ as she calls it, and use her powers in order to stop the bloodshed between the clans. The book has wholesome and lovable characters Sami, Roma, Mickey, Deep, Jorawar and even the eccentric Lata Irani.
The novel is well written and the characters so well developed that it is easy to imagine them in flesh and blood. The plot smoothly moves into the climax with the right kind of drama and action and all in the right places.
Ritu Lalit has outshone herself as a master story–teller with this book. She builds a powerful podium with a woman as the protagonist, extremely powerful yet humble, powerful yet endearing, extraordinary yet willing to lead an ordinary life. It is a welcome change from the male dominated power plays that we often read about.
It leaves you with a feeling that a sequel may follow in the lines, ‘Anger rose like fire inside Sami. She understood Nita’s warning, now. Their freedom was being traded for a sham of sorts. This was not peace’.
(This review was not commissioned by Kitaab)