Diary of a Whimsical Lover by Canadian author of Indian origin, Gaurav Sharma is a contemporary romance fiction that revolves around its two protagonists: Gaurav and Maya. It’s neither a chick lit nor a heavy like classics. The novel is a head-turning title, owing to that kid’s book (Diary of a Wimpy Kid). Anyways, Gaurav’s novel is for romance readers, especially India.
Some love stories aren’t meant to be lengthy or covertly deep, even if they are simple, light and slightly predictable – they work like magic as long as thay are an engrossing read. Diary of a Whimsical Lover is one such read. Trundling with simplicity as its essence, this novel takes a dig in Gaurav’s life in Canada. The novel has short sweeps that take readers back to his college days, finding a roommate, job at a gas station, and meeting with Mrs. Caul. In fact, the novel has three parts. Firstly college days, secondly homecoming in India, and thirdly acquaintance with Maya.
The book has been narrated from a single point of view, avoiding confusion of characters and voices. The narrator keeps a low self-image of himself. He often incites himself about being awkward, silent, introvert, and afraid of crowd. These traits built the scaffold of unrequited love in the novel.
At the story front, Gaurav strikes Delhi connection with an avuncular Mrs. Caul. She is the mother of Maya. Gaurav falls in love with Maya at first sight in some birthday party. He was so much enamored by her charm that he fears being turning into a stalker. Contritely, over thinking grips Gaurav, but he is a nice and calm guy from within.
“I tried to look away but to no avail. I knew I was a captive of her charm, a forlorn lover who has submitted to fate.”
Like an innocent soul, after seeing Maya, the guy roams around like a forlorn lover in hope of getting to see her. Gaurav builds love in the air with an exquisite pinch of humour and sarcasm. Maya’s characterization is not as open as it should be. She is bold, always out of home, busy in classes, and looking for a life-changing assignment in some far-away places. She is like ‘I don’t care much’. But the proposition seeks is such a person feasible for love? Gaurav has a long way to catch up.
No steamy romance turns this novel real with relatable characters. However, what’s that diary connection? Once Maya gifted a blank journal to him on Christmas. He is shy and hesitant to express his love for her. Thus, as a resort, he writes a novella that is about his feelings for her. There is love in the pages, if she reads chances are that she might accept his love proposal. But will he be able to summon that courage – to gift that novella to her.
It will be funny to note that the guy was always contemplative about love, he would indulge in imagination, he accepted that love for Maya saved him from the harsh realities of the world, and he got a meaning in life to live. If love can strengthen someone, well then it is Gaurav in ‘Diary of a Whimsical Lover’.
Presence of auxiliary characters helps the story move with a measured pace. Narrated in a lucid and comprehensible way, there is nothing superficial or unreal about the story.