The storyline of the novel is based on the political aspirations of Hindu activist and his love interest who happens to be daughter of Kashmir separatist. The central characters of the story Vihaan Shastri and Zaira Bhat falls in love during their college days but tends to apart due to situational circumstances that erupts everytime their plans to move together. Their chequered relationship faces another jolt when Vihaan, then the defence minister is blamed for his romantic connection with daughter of separatist leader who is blamed for causing unrest in Kashmir. How he resolves his responsibilities and manages to keep his love interest alive is what the author has narrated in his novel.
The subtitle of the novel ‘Kashmiriyat. Jamhooriyat. Insniyat. Hindustaniyat’ very aptly summarizes the crux of the story though the title ‘When the Chief fell in Love’ is very common. Though the first three words of the title has been given by Atal Bihari Vajpayee, the last word ’Hindustaniyat’ has been given by the author.
Though this has been my first pick of this author book, the author’s narration comes up as a person with indepth political understanding and his convergence with romantic angle to the Kashmir issues makes it an interesting read. It is a good blend of political and romantic angle of interest and how personal interest gets ignored for the national interest. Tuhin Sinha has beautifully penned down the character sketch of the central characters with their ideologies and situations intact. The author has very accurately explained the ideological gap between the generations of earlier and young towards Kashmir issue.
The language of the book is very easy to understand as the author has deciphered the feeling of the central characters in very eloquent manner. Rather than showcasing his dictionary of vocabulary, he has laid emphasis towards decoding the emotional connect between Vihaan and Zahira. The simplicity of the characters along with situational turns and curves keep the readers engrossed in the book.
The book is certainly recommendable for light readers, who are beginners in the world of reading and looking for an ignition to boost their interest. It is also a treat for people who read to escape from their hectic schedules as it is light in reading and doesn’t create information heavy mindset. Though the takers can learn many things from the situational analysis and how the characters overcome it.