In his second book he has addressed some major isuues. He notsalgically starts the novel in Shillong, the north eastern state whose natural beauty is marred by the separatist forces. These states have accussed NEW DELHI of ignoring the issues concerning them. A feeling of second class citizenship meted out to them by mainland Indians has led the natives of the state to seek greater participation in self governance.
There have been no. of insurgent activites and regional movements in all parts of north east.
The story moves from Shillong to Delhi back to Shillong and then Mumbai
Rajiv also tells us about the local goons who roam around freely and think themselves demi gods with social responsibility to save any girl from disgrace. They feel Deepak is simply playing with the girl …they keep an eye on him throughout . They even know about the elephant falls incident (that’s one element in rajiv’s novels he makes sure the reader identifies with the characters and enjoys sweet erotic moments crafted very skillfully)showing how much they could intrude in a person’s personal life….
The next major issue the entire book is focused on is the incurable disease called AIDS. The story discovers the reaction of a person to otherwise normal situations once he he is bitten by the termite called phobia. DEEPAK, a highly qualified individual who fears that he has become infected. A simple test can prove him wrong yet he fears social stigma and thus continues the thick black clouds of doubt to extend beyond the raven night when he made love to a stranger. The story also reveals the fact that once you are suffering from AIDS people have their attitudes changed, no matter how close they are to you…
Apart from addressing the social taboo , rajiv has meticulously potrayed the recklessness of todays youth in exploring their sexual desires. Although Deepak is not one of those who are too desperate yet the ravishing beauty of the girl casts a spell on him and he is bewitched to give in.
Neha’s story is heart warming especially for those who have been victims of beautiful lies .Rakesh is the man who gives her everything---status, money and love .But is it love that asks us to blind ourselves and kill our conscience which imbibes moral values we have grown up with????Neha’s part is depicted with utmost sincerity and delicacy. Infact Rajiv poignantly gives us the reason why a particular person especially a woman behaves in a particular manner…..the exploring of woman psyche is evident by the clarity with which he tells a part of the story from Neha’s perspective. I personally applaud Rajiv for bringing to our notice characters like RAKESH who are affluent enough with happy respectable families to boast in front of the society but secretly harbor illicit relationships without any guilt.
IN a nutshell it is a book that should be there in the shelf of any AIDS activist but also with anyone who has genuine love for life and seeks salvation in exploring the psychology of the social animal called man.
we should live every moment to the fullest and as rajiv says ”Don’t die before Death!!”