Do you know the emotional plight of a rape victim’s survivor? Or, for that matter, even for the ones who are alongside them post the trauma- be it friends, family, or others—the journey is not so simple even for them.
Ever given a thought to the upheaval they go through to be able to get back to “normal”? So, does life end for them once their privacy and integrity have been violated? And what if I say they don’t deserve pity but love instead? A modern love story with faith, friendship, and, most importantly, family and trust as its base essence, The Unlove Letter by Abhik Roy is a story you ought to read now.
The terror takes you. The cage is locked, and the curtain is drawn. Fingers dance along as blades, carving memories into your flesh that will leave scars long past being healed.Amanda Steele from The Cliff
I am sure you must have surmised what I am trying to indicate through the usage of the above words—the demon that I am discussing out here today. Yes, rape, the harsh, ghastly, horrendous, and yet stark reality of our society, is something nobody wants to really discuss or drive away from our faulty societal system. A brutal crime, it still continues to infest and dominate the mindsets of a portion of society. Gosh, what I don’t even understand is how coercion and physical force can ever be an answer to getting a spot of pleasure, and that too at the cost of violating another’s privacy. Anyway, that is a debate for another time. Phew!
Coming back to the book, “The Unlove Letter” by Abhik Roy, is a story that revolves around Vishakha, a rape victim, and Agam, a corporate employee who discovers her lying unconscious in a park and takes her to the hospital. Then begins the main plot, outlining the real friendship and the highs and lows of Vishakha and Agam’s relationship. How Agam gets embroiled in the police investigation being helped along this path Vishakha is a tragic survivor, and Agam is eventually a catalyst to the entire scenario. The story also revolves around how the entire family and friends of the two come together to form a sort of protective sheath to save them from harm.
Within this tale, you’ll also encounter Aafsha and Suchita, Vishakha’s friends, who play significant roles in her life. Interestingly, there is an undeniable attraction that arises between Agam and Aafsha, leaving you wondering who Agam will ultimately choose to be by his side.
But there’s more to uncover. The fateful night that changed her life forever holds secrets that will grip your curiosity. What exactly happened to Vishakha? How did it shape her existence? These questions linger, begging to be answered.
As you embark on this modern-day journey, be prepared for a love story woven with complexity and nuances. I won’t divulge any further details here; you’ll have to immerse yourself in the pages of the book to experience the unfolding of events and discover the ultimate fate of our intertwined lives.
Coming first to the plot, I have to commend Abhik for successfully bringing forth the emotional plight of a rape victim without getting into the gory, gruesome details too much. Yes, it is difficult at times to read and muse upon the pain the victim goes through. Abhik has ensured that he touches upon the emotional aspects of the entire circumstance and has not delved too much into other things, which is what I liked about the story. Albeit, I still feel he could have made the narrative a bit longer, giving some more thought and space to every character’s development and buildup. No, I am not saying it was not done well, but it could have been a bit more, as a little longer narrative herein wouldn’t hurt. Nevertheless, there are several aspects to the story: the complete investigation around the episode, the relationship of faith that develops between Agam and Vishakha, and the entire equation between Agam and Aafsha. There are multiple angles to this modern tale of love, friendship, faith, and trust.
There are a plethora of emotions as far as the entire equation of a rape survivor is concerned. It is never the same story anymore for someone who has undergone such a brutal atrocity. Abhik has gone ahead to try and capture those very emotions—the dilemmas and qualms of such a victim—highlighting what exactly it feels like to be experiencing those things. Violence against women is a sad yet stark reality of today’s times This story sheds light on that aspect too, giving us a true mirror of how our society still remains within the confines of such barbaric shackles and demonic practices as rape.
We also often forget to consider the entire ordeal the immediate family and friends of such a victim go through. Through this story, Abhik has shed light on this as well as many other aspects, such as the entire investigation aspect, the mental challenges they go through, and several other aspects that are involved. There is also the major challenge of mental blocks and trauma that a victim goes through post the episode.
You know, understanding the mentality of such a victim is not easy. On the one hand, there are police investigations, but the recountenance as well as the emotional upheaval she goes through are far worse. Physically, although the victim survives, mentally, she is broken for life. Abhik has brought forth the entire aspect, showing how Agam, who has been one of her supporters throughout this process of pain, helps her overcome these demons. Analyzing the whole tale from a philosophical point of view too, Abhik has created a story that will make you sit back and mull over the multiple aspects of such a scenario. There was a cliffhanger here, though, and it left me unsettled and shocked.
The tale had a shocker, a twist that was unexpected and beyond thought. I am awaiting the next in the series with a lot of anticipation.
It is obvious that the next chapter will be about unearthing some final twists and giving us complete redemption for the entire tale. I am sure Abhik has planned to make all characters, as well as their philosophies and outcomes, fall in tandem, in the right space with his next.
Related: Whose fault is that women get raped?
So, I hope you guys liked my book review of A Tale of Love, Friendship and Faith-The Unlove Letter by Abhik Roy.