Top positive review
Must read horror novella with a unique take on mental illness
Reviewed in India on 19 July 2020
We all have heard the story of the ghost of a lady in a white saree asking for a lift on a deserted road and then killing the driver. Ajinkya Bhasme takes this urban legend and reimagines it with a brilliant twist and a unique take on mental illness.
This story is about Sandesh, his pregnant wife, and their 11-year-old son who enter Bhata road in the middle of the night. What they aren't aware of is that Bhata road is closed from 10:30 PM to 05:30 AM. What happens when a woman in a purple saree asks them for a lift forms the rest of the story.
When I started reading the story, it felt like a typical horror story where a woman haunts a road at night and kills those who pass by. But knowing Ajinkya Bhasme's writing style, I knew the plot wouldn't be so straight forward, and I wasn't wrong!
He slowly builds the atmosphere and introduces us to the characters. He engages us in their conversations that have a subtle charm, and before you know it, you start caring for them. Since you already know what is going to happen, you root for them. I especially liked the alternate narration of the past and the present and how they merged in the end.
Once you reach the last quarter of the book you won't be able to keep it down till you finish it as the twists won't let you. In fact, you can easily finish the complete book in one sitting. Although it is a 120-page book, Ajinkya Bhasme has managed to pack a massive punch by making the story not only an engaging read but also an informative one.
I love how all his books have an element of mental health. In this book also, he makes the reader aware of epilepsy in a unique way.
I'm not sure why but I always love Ajinkya's books more when I read them the second time. It happened with "As Death Stared Back" and it happened with this one too. Even though I know the complete story, somehow it feels different the second time. No need to say that this book is a must-read!