Ravindra Shukla’s A Maverick Heart is about three mavericks — one girl and two boys. Rings bells of yet another love triangle? Wait! Don’t jump to any conclusions too quickly.
Rahul, Richita and Neerav are the three central characters whose lives converge at IIT Mumbai where they are pursuing graduation. The three of them forge a relationship for lifetime. Rahul and Neerav are close friends whereas love kindles between Rahul and Richita. The book goes through the ups and downs in their lives, their college life, their personal lives, their professional lives and depicts how they end up in a social movement.
Rahul, is a ‘brilliant student’ (so brilliant that a million-dollar award in the field of mathematics, equivalent to the Nobel, is offered to him). He falls in love with Richita and dreams of a great life with her in the future but when it comes to choosing between love and country he goes in for the latter. Idealistic in life, he sacrifices his education, money and love for the betterment of society. He is a romantic, a dreamer, and a rebel. Richita comes from an affluent background and supports Rahuls’ endeavors. She is also forced to choose between her love & family and the decision that she takes changes her life forever. She is someone who follows her heart and does what she feels is right.
Neerav comes from a wealthy background and knows what he wants from life. Although nobody really expects a lot from him as his father has a family business. But the author twists the tale to paint Neerav as a self-made man who is not attached to the hereditary wealth. He wants to do a lot for the society and specially for eradication of ills in India. For him friendship always came first before anything else. He could do anything for his best friend Rahul. He is someone with a big heart.
The journey of these three characters — how they discover themselves, commit mistakes, learn from them and then take a different path has been charted in the book. They have their plans ready, but unfortunately, things do not go as planned and the three move their separate ways to try and make a life of their own.
A Maverick Heart is a free-flowing, easy-to-read story with no literary pretensions. The author has used his characters and their lives to convey his ideas about societal change to his readers.
He has cleverly intertwined real world incidents from around the world, like the recession in US and the current anti-corruption protests in India.
Shukla has presented Indian youth as glorious and insightful people who overcome social struggles, fight for social causes and bring in political revolutions through social movements. The story is interesting, and while it resembles other stories by IITian authors (the author is an alumnus of IIT and has a professional experience of working with consulting firms like PWC and IBM in USA for over 15 years), but has a direction of its own and keeps you hooked.