The Helpline

Title: The HelplineThe Helpline
Author: Uday Mane
Publisher: Frog Books
ISBN: 978-93-83562-88-6
Number of Pages: 252
Price [INR] : 145
Genre: Fiction

Samir is suicidal. Rachael works for a suicide helpline. Fate connects them through a phone call. And so begins Samir’s story of love, longing, errors, regret and a girl who changed his life.

As his story reaches its conclusion, Rachael will know the true reason behind his suicidal tendencies. But this suicide helpline is not any ordinary service. There is more to the mysterious and yet so convincing voice of Rachael. As this new mystery begins to unfold, Samir is going to discover three things:

What is The Helpline?
Who is Rachael?
What is Samir’s own identity?

Every year, several teenagers in India attempt suicide because of failing relationships, dwindling careers, parental pressure or the competitive world.

This story is about one such teenager, his early problems and the hurdles to cope with them. This story is about finding hope in the struggle. This story is about fighting for what you believe in and discovering your true identity. This is not a story about falling in love. This is a story of rising from a failed love story.

The Helpline is a story of a 20 year old Samir who suffers from depression and harbours suicidal thoughts. His good friend, Neha tries to help him to come out of this state of hopelessness but the pain and death seemed more appealing to him, till he decides to call a suicide Helpline. Rachel takes his call at the Helpline and listens patiently and shows him the path that leads towards self discovery and realization. As Samir talks to Rachel, we get to know Samir’s story, his childhood, his love for Riya, his talent for writing stories and his guilt.

The story in The Helpline is a simple one which has a narrative that flows effortlessly and keeps you glued to the book. In fact the narrative is a bit descriptive but that makes the sub-plots very vivid,  the case in point, the early morning swimming at the lake scene or the activities of children in the Heartsprings, the good-will foundation for Handicapped children. And it helps you to understand the characters better and even empathize with them. The book has some spectacular moments. I loved the two short stories which showcases Samir’s flair and love for writing in the book. There are two climaxes , one leaves you totally stunned. I mean I didn’t see that coming at all and other one is simply heart-warming! I liked Rajesh’s character and the truths of life that he shared with Samir, especially about Indian parents. The message Samir gives to Riya through spines of the book (Spine Poetry) is fabulous too.

At a few places, I spotted some errors and perhaps the editing could have been a bit tighter. Despite that The Helpline is a book that you’d like to read it at one go, because once you pick it up you wouldn’t feel like keeping it down.

A very steady book and a sure page turner The Helpline is a very engrossing read.

Rating : [usr 3.75 text=”false” size=20]

“Proceedings of Rs. 5 per book will be used for child welfare through The Rotary Foundation” Here’s the link for buying the book at Flipkart.

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