Kota, Love, And The Divine - The Perfect Blend! Booknerds Newsletter - Special Edition featuring In The Corridors Of The Coaching Capital by Nikhlesh Mathur
December 8, 2022 at 6:30:00 AM
"Corridors of the Coaching Capital" by Nikhlesh Mathur is an insightful glimpse into the competitive world of education in India's coaching hub.
Not wanting to become an engineer and being forced by their family to do so is one of the most relatable tropes we have seen. Any young adult can relate to this satirical situation and any adult can reminisce about their college days with it.
But what can one do to make this story less cliche? How about adding a supernatural element to it and a student who is a maths prodigy? Sounds interesting, right?
This is what makes Nikhilesh Mathur’s latest release, In The Corridors Of The Coaching Capital such an engaging read.
Education at Kota
The book follows a non-linear storyline cascading between the past and the present. The story begins with the protagonist, Raasbihari at a Hanuman Temple in Kota and flashes back to the past.
Here, we observe his unique and relatable dynamics with his family in a small village. The family notices the boy’s flair for mathematics from a formative age and he rises to the top in all his classes! This pushes him to get a seat at Kota to pursue his IIT exams to become an engineer.
The author has depicted the scenes dexterously to show how children are obsessed with studying well. Some kids practice rote learning as they are not passionate about their courses and embark on illicit directions. Raasbihari coaches some of them and faces some scuffles with his roommates at his hostel, too.
The quest for love
The beauty of love and its ultimate power to drive individuals is beautifully woven into the book. The village belle, Manjri falls in love with Raasbihari but her father hopes to marry her only to an IIT engineer.
This motivates Raasbihari to try again when he had chosen to quit his education and return to his village. The love story and romantic episodes between the couple are cute and heartwarming.
It propels the story forward and shows the readers how crucial it is that Raasbihari pass his exams. “He silently sat there holding Manjri's hand close to his chest. He had developed an instant liking for her. Manjri too had become equally fond of him. Both of them quietly walked out of the cinema hall.”
The power of love reappears when Manjri follows Raasbihari to Kota. This is due to her family forcing her to marry someone else and she wishes to help her lover in any way possible. The book takes a feminist approach by giving her equal action in various significant scenes.
The key element of the book is Lord Hanuman’s divine intervention. Raasbihari can see snippets of the future every time he places his hands on the Hanuman idol. While the police and his peers don’t trust him at first, it is the turning point of the novel.
“In desperation, he looked around. There was no one in the temple, not even the priest. He looked upwards. It seemed to him that Lord Hanuman had his eyes focused on him and it was the idol that was communicating with him.”
This shows us the fine blend of the supernatural to keep the story going. The epic climax also relies on Raasbihari’s unique power. He is arrested multiple times owing to his power to predict the future.
But in the end, this is the same reason why he saves the day! The conclusion also recalls his maths skills and brings him out of grave danger. This makes the book complete its full circle and gives the readers a satisfactory feeling.
Who should pick up this book?
This novel is ideal for people who struggle in the clutches of not being able to follow their passion. It gives them hope and the courage to pursue their dreams and speak their minds.
This book is also the light at the end of the tunnel for people with strong spiritual beliefs. It shows them how powerful trust and the fear of the Lord can be to help us achieve our goals.
Ultimately, this is a story of love and how it conquers all. Be it the protagonist's motivation to study hard or even how a key element of the conclusion is unearthed - love is at the crux of it all!
Do pick up this book which is now available on Amazon!