Either Or Else Nor by Varun Gupta |Book Review

What would you like to have written on your tombstone when you die? Dead and dusted (Done), or mind over matter (Mom). I would cogitate about mine acronym statement in the silence of the graveyard when I visit it next? What is the opposite of experience? Fresher or nothing? Did you ever find anyone who can love you for nothing? I mean…you have good looks, physicality, fame, and wealth…but all these things are temporary or prone to change. What never changes is nothing. Can we fall in love with someone for nothing?

Are you getting some memories rushing back to the cask of your subconscious mind? When I was young, I used to have this kind of conversation often with anyone, leave alone close friends or girlfriend. When I look back, I feel crazy for hooking up conversation like this. Young age is more about being crazy than sober and decent and ambitious.

Did I forget to mention all this stuff has been provoked within me when I came across this beautiful short novella by Varun Gupta – Either or Else Nor. The story in the book starts with a text message, ‘Can we talk till we have nothing to talk?’ and in between lies the amusing philosophy of this guy who goes on a trip of soliloquy. An era has been talked between two nameless characters in the car, at the dhaba, at park, and in the boat in the end. I fell in love with the end climax of the book. So much trance, just with one thought, one message.

“I belong to an era where a thought is a commitment.” Superb! This quote, for me, defined the soul of the book. I loved the book, the analysis of palaver, and the façade of philosophy in love. Yes, there was an era of serious lovers where thought was more than a conviction. They would do anything to get roped rightly in that thought. That time was different.

The story of the book holds a different stance and involves a firm opinion for the lovers. The lead protagonist was adamant to have a lover who can lover him for being nothing. “Did you find your nothing?”

The story is full of lovely and inspiring quotes and conversation that can keep you awake all night. The characters are nameless but it was worth the effort of the author. Overall, it is book that has the charm to keep you engaged. I liked the philosophy and appeal for love – true love. The elements like unreliability, insecurity, weakness, and uncertainty in the society make or break one’s story. These aspects work as rudimentary base for the success and compatibility of love and relationships.

Subjective, short and comprehensive book with good conversational backdrop. Writing is good, pace of the novel is brilliant. For me it worked, though I had to reread some sections quite a number of times.

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