Khel – the writings
By Vishal Goswami
Review By Ila Garg
Khel – the writings, a novel by Vishal Goswami, is published by Frog Books in association with Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd. I found the cover very dull and too gaudy. It clearly didn’t click with me as I was left totally unimpressed.
Vishal Goswami is a MBA-Finance graduate from Boston, U.S.A and is passionate about reading and writing in all its forms, whether fiction or non-fiction and also all other genres. He is active on Twitter as @WritetoFite tweeting about more contemporary topics.
The blurb reads as, “The abandoned Haveli in Brahmdev, a hill station near Mumbai, is known amongst the local population to be haunted. People keep away from it. A group of youngsters decide to explore it and what follows is a horrifying reality they do not live to relate. Sanya Sharma is an investigative journalist, with a shattered life and a grieving past. Having lost her husband and little daughter within a span of six months, her once perfect life is a distant dream. Depressed, unable to concentrate on work and barely paying attention to her ten-year-old son, she takes help in alcohol and regular visits to her psychiatrist. Her last chance at redemption in a case of mysterious deaths on small hill station. What follows is a series of mysterious, eerie and horrifying events that Sanya cannot understand and finally with the help of a local police inspector turned friend, it draws upon her that the Haunted Haveli is not just small town hocus-pocus but a reality that had turned on her. The evil that she encounters slowly affects everything around her and she knows that it will finally consume her. But why? What were the deep, dark secrets of the Haveli’s past? What was the Nawab family’s past? Who is the old woman haunting her? What are the cards and what is the card game? How is such a horrifying situation merely a game and how is she to play it? Why do the writings on the cards come true and people die? She has to find a way to save herself and her son from the evil and the game of cards that makes everything come true. People around her are dying one by one making her wonder why she is spared. Will she play the final KHEL – The Writings – or will it be the evil that will end the game?”
After reading the blurb, I was instantly intrigued. Opening scene introduces the reader to a group of four youngsters who want to make a documentary. They reach an abandoned Haveli seeking an adventurous story for the same. This Haveli was situated in Brahmdev which is a hill station near Mumbai. As the youngsters begin to explore the Haveli, some unexpected events occur which eventually lead to their deaths one by one.
News of their deaths spread like wild fire the next day. Yeah, almost like a film script! I will give this to the author that he has built up an amazing plot. Writing a horror story isn’t as easy as often thought of!
So soon this news catches the attention of an investigative journalist, Sanya Sharma, whose job is at stake. She sees these mysterious deaths as her only hope to save her job, and jumps into the case. She was already shattered and on the verge of depression as she had lost her husband and young daughter in a very short span of time. This case thus is the best she could have think about to free herself from the thoughts of her lost family.
The story afterwards moves at a slow pace, but manages to send to scare the readers every now and then. The language is simple and easy to comprehend; thus newbie readers would find it readable. Nowhere will a reader feel any disconnect as the author has maintained a smooth flow.
However, I did find some grammatical errors in the book which marred the effect of the plot and made reading this story a bumpy ride for me, especially the misspelt names of the characters. The plot wasn’t too extraordinary as well.
How the youngsters reach the Haveli and decide to explore it, how they die one by one, the unraveled mystery behind the haunted Haveli, the card game and its significance, how Sanya dealt with the case, was she successful in saving her job, was the Haveli actually haunted are some of the many reasons why you will keep turning the pages to find out what happens in Khel – the writings.
Further, this 140-page book is good enough to keep you hooked till the end. The author could have got it edited in a better way. Rest was good. Best wishes to the author for his future writings!