My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I give 6/10 stars to “The Coffee and the Cola” a novella by Kapil Muzumdar published by Notion press.
This is a simple love triangle. The author claims that it is “AN ORDINARY NARRATIVE BUILT AROUND AN EXTRAORDINARY PREMISE”. We will come to the premise later.
The story starts with Kapil’s musings about a coffee and a café. He is mentor of his friends’ (Umakant and Rama) son Rahul. Umakant and Rama have separated. Kapil has special love for Rahul and he treats him as his own. Rahul meets Radha at the same café and insists on Kapil to be present. Rahul and Radha becomes friendly and soon fall in love. Radha is a traditional girl who wants to save his virginity till her wedding night. This drives them apart and Rahul meets Nora. Nora is exact opposite of Radha. She is bindaas and believe in free sex. She consorts Rahul and help him tide over his depression of breakup. What will happen next? Who will he end up with? Who all will feel heart ache?
Kapil Muzumdar classify girls into two categories: coffee and cola. Coffee girl are traditional, organized, upright, somewhat prudish and old-fashioned. Radha is a coffee girl. Cola girls are free, promiscuous, bindaas, disorganized, live in the moment, don’t want to be tied down. Nora is a cola girl. Kapil has no other classification for girls. Even Linda Goodman have 12 sun signs. In the margins you can see some random thoughts about coffee or cola personality. By the end it becomes very convoluted and confused. Coffee becomes cola and vice versa. Kapil has no such categories for boys. It could have been whiskey and vodka. Anyway I guess this is the extraordinary premise Kapil was referring to in the title.
There is nothing new in the story and it is any other love triangle. There is some spark between Kapil and Rama which is not developed. And the narrative is contradictory most of the times. At one place author says this story is not about Rahul. Then there is Meera, Radha’s twin sister. What is her role in the story? Kapil makes a case but does not follow through.
This is an ok read. But the story is jerky and not smooth. A one time read.
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