24 May 2023 | By: Writing Buddha

Afternoon by Nidhi Dalmia (Book Review: 2*/5) !!!

2066th BLOG POST

17th Book of 2023

People often ask not to judge a book by its cover but there are times when I still pick books based on their cover, title or just synopsis. There is one such book I read recently named “Afternoon” written by Nidhi Dalmia. This 225-pages book is published by Rupa Publications. It is based in the timeline of 1950s and 1960s hence reading it makes you understand what the world thought about many things during that era. The story revolves around different places in the world such as Kashmir, Delhi, San Francisco and New York. You get a gist of how certain revolutions took place globally and the way mindset of people was getting transformed gradually. It tells you about how people were themselves evolving and accepting many forms of relationships which earlier were considered as taboo and unacceptable.


 Nidhi’s writing style is powerful and keeps you engaged. He knows how to narrate even small setups that you read it so carefully as if there’s a larger meaning to it. The way he has used locations and its aesthetics speaks a lot about the research he must have gone through to understand how to portray them through the story. Similarly, the historical events are mentioned so beautifully that you never find them forced in the story setup. You are able to accept all such inclusions and want to know what happened simultaneously with the main plot of the story. Dalmia has also mentioned many poems and lyrics of the songs which are such a beautiful piece of literature and art that you wish this was a separate book altogether. If you are poetic, you are definitely going to enjoy reading these segments.


The story basically speaks about how the relationships define a person and also brings major changes in one’s life without any plans. The protagonist, Rajiv, falls twice in love. The 1st one mentioned with Ayesha is something I could very much relate to. The way book starts with their rising chemistry and eventually discusses how their kisses started getting better day by day. Frankly speaking, those sections are very sensuous and I just couldn’t stop myself from imagining things. Haha! How their love story gets impacted is also narrated aptly as it makes you emotional and empathize with the character. The 2nd part of the book which is Rajiv’s relationship with Catherine speaks about how nothing could come in between their feelings for each other despite of their own growth as individuals.


Their inter-continental love speaks about the challenges that occurs when people from two different cultures and time-zones falls for each other. The long-distance relationship and its difficult path are evident from few sections when the couple goes through the same. The book is basically going to resonate with people who are aware of multiple cultures beyond India as they can relate with many real-life incidents and other art-related development that the author discusses; otherwise, for me, this has just been a soft-porn where you will end up reading about two people kissing and getting physical every now and then. There’s not many twists and turns in the book and no deep-diving in terms of characters in love.


The story is very plain with nothing that can actually touch your heart. I found it very absurd in terms of how can someone write a book with no major set-up but only with over-description of few places, culture and sensuous scenes. It’s good to gift to your partner if you are below 25 as it can help both of you get more closer in terms of your love-making process but other than that, I don’t think that the story goes anywhere. Anyway, I give this book 2 stars out of 5. I wish I could have stopped reading it midway but my anticipation that some twist will bring an impact to the book made me stay up till the end.






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