Thursday, 31 May 2018

The Kilings in November by Rajesh Talwar : a review

There are books and then there a few books that keeps you wondering what it is all about. Rajesh Talwar’s The killings in November is a play based on well, killings in November. But trust me when I tell you this the book is not what you think it is. The small play (well yes, it's not a novel it's a play) has in itself a lot of things that is being said and being unsaid at the same time. Here is what the blurb says about the book.

About the book- A killer is on the loose in New Delhi. He is no ordinary killer, and for the past few years, for some unaccountable reason, goes on a relentless killing spree, with murders mounting each day, particularly in the month of November. Always elegantly dressed in a grey suit and a red tie, he is a stylish, soft-spoken man, who appears to be fond of Western music. He carries a guitar with him and performs to an often unwilling audience. On occasions he has been spotted by witnesses inside a steel grey Mercedes near the site of a killing. The killer is merciless. No one is spared it seems, be it a pregnant mother, a young boy, an elderly man or even a baby. The Delhi Police are at their wits end and seek outside help. India’s leading detective, Col Ranjeet teams up with the famous Herlock Holms to try and crack this case. It is the biggest case that has come to either the Colonel or Holms in each detective’s illustrious career. Will they catch this elusive killer, or will he catch them? This is a heart-rending tale of life – and death – as it exists in one of Asia’s most important capital cities. No spoilers here, the story will keep readers guessing till much the play is over, when slowly all is revealed. The play ends with a shattering climax.

And God, the play delivers what it promises. In the wake of whatever is happening and the situation in Delhi currently, placed is set up in the modern day setting where the killer is left on a loose. The play, as they usually do, have a lot of characters where you can get confused as on what is happening in which scene. Personally speaking, since I have been dealing with theatre for quite some time now I got used to the characters very soon.

Every character has been wonderfully placed and so has the whole format of the play being written. The dialogues and the actions that the characters are making and delivering has been well thought of. What can strike you, though, is the pace of the play. For the people who are not used to reading plays and love reading novels, this can be a bit lengthy read even if it cut shorts in hundred and something pages.

After few scenes you actually get to know about what is happening but the playwright keeps you guessing till the end and that is something that I liked about the play. I loved the way the killer has been described. From his whole attire, to the way he makes the killings, even the superficial element added to the murders adds up to the play as a whole.

If I have to speak about the cons of the play, then I would say on the path of the unnecessary lag in the play, which I feel would not matter much if it is staged at all, there have been too many characters to think of. Some characters according to me warrant given the proper ending while some could've been ignored if that is the right word. The ending to bring forth a very important issue and the way that the subject has been handled is commendable according to me. For me, though, wanting to read more such plays from the playwright, I would like to the give this a 3 on 5. 

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