Bookish Witch

From Gurukul To Gurukool by B. Manjula Rao

Book Blurb:

Welcome to Gurukul, an elite school in the coastal town of mansar. Kunal is most sought after rich Gujarati guy with killer grins and easy-going charm. Viren, his close friend, is a soft-spoken and academically bright guy. Both are on the brink of eighteen. Enter beautiful fourteen-year-old tennis Champ an any a, the new girl. For both Kunal and Viren, it is love at first sight. Kunal’s persistence puts Viren on the back foot. An any a writes Kunal off as snobbish and arrogant, yet he constantly crosses lanes to woo her. Circumstances force them to part ways. A decade later, the alumni reunite. An any a is beautiful as ever but reclusive and mysterious. Kunal and Viren are older and wiser. What happens when ananya’s terrifying past unravels before them? Does she have a future with one of them? Read on for blushes, gushes, crushes, and fulfilled school days and nostalgia.

Genre: Fiction/Contemporary Romance

Pages: 168 pages

Format: Kindle eBook/Paperback

Price:

  • Kindle eBook: 99 INR/$2.99
  • Paperback: 248 INR/$10.00

My Ratings: 4/5

With many grown-ups as well as teenagers who are a part of an elite school called Gurukul, this book makes for a relatable read for almost all ages.

School days and the memories we make during that time always remain close to our hearts.

What I liked about the book:
–> Aadya’s character and her decision to give up a corporate job to pursue a profession she believes to be a noble one i.e. teaching. (having been down this road personally, Aadya’s journey in the story was like a flashback for me)
–> The book very nicely portrays the different kinds of emotions teenagers go through during their school days.
–> Each student/staff member at Gurukul has a different backstory of their own, making the story seem very real and varied at the same time.
–> Righly makes us realize that one should never forget their alma mater.
–> The growth curve and character development of the trio of Viren, Kunal and Annanya, and even Abhishek.
–> I especially loved Priyanka’s story which is a reflection of how the elite class cares about nothing more than their prestige and standing in society.
–> One of my favorite scenes is where Kunal’s mother defends Annanya saying that a widow can’t be blamed for her husband’s death. This is one of the few instances in the book which makes us realize that just being rich never makes you a good person, or more importantly someone with a broad-minded perspective in life.
–> The story and narrative easily make a reader connect to it and makes one feel like reading none other than their own story, crush, nostalgia, and the struggles.

What I did not like about the book:
–> The story begins with Aadya but her character and story get lost somewhere in between leaving us wondering who the protagonist actually is. Not to mention it leaves many questions unanswered about her and her life after that one year as a teacher.
–>There are many characters who have their own stories to tell & own battles to fight which makes it a wholesome tale but might be overwhelming for some readers, especially in the beginning because remembering the names is no child’s play, especially when we are introduced with 2-3 new characters on every page.
–> The many obvious clichés which are straight out of a Bollywood movie right from the leading trio of Viren, Kunal and Annanya to the many incidents.

Quotable quotes:
—> “What did he say?” demanded Kunal.
“I said I am the only one who saw your heartbeat,”
—> Vikram was possessive by nature. Aadya felt this was his way of showing his love for her.
—> It is all nice to say ‘I want to do social service, I would die for my country’, and all of that. But the reality is we need money for survival,”
—> “What is done cannot be undone,”
—> Giving one’s opinion is something, but trying to impose is dangerous.
—> Having a name meant you had a place in this universe and that you mattered.
—> You become like the company you are surrounded by.
—> You have no right to reproduce if you cannot take responsibility. You have no right to take away a child’s childhood just because you cannot afford to take care of them. Education is every child’s right. You have no right to breed if you cannot support them.
—> Holding someone responsible and feeling miserable about it all the time for what has happened to you will only make you bitter and will stop you from being a wonderful human being that you are.
—> Love was strange. It made people do things that they would never do under normal circumstances.
—> First love always has a special place, which normally happens when a person is young, mostly in school.
—> A mistake should not be overlooked.
—> Children at a young age should know the consequences of theft, rape or any other anti-social activity.
—> It is so weird that someone could have so much power over you, and you slowly surrender.
—>If she loved you, she would have reciprocated by now. In these matters, you cannot force someone. I mean you love her, she doesn’t. Move on, man. Don’t allow this incident to make you so unhappy.
—> Do you know what it feels like to love someone and not to be loved back? It feels like I have been stabbed right through my heart… tearing it all up …you …know several times.
—> If it is meant to be, then someday you guys are going to be together.
—> Kunal’s heart melted when he saw her face. Her smile always touched her eyes which was rare, and that was something he had fallen in love with. He found it captivating. He wished the time would stand still. He wanted to hold her in his arms and tell her he would help her get over anything that prevented her from being the Ananya he loved. He wanted to promise her that no one would lay a finger on her and that everything would be fine. He wanted to tell her he would take her far away from all those miseries she has seen.
—> It is surprising how things get easy after an honest conversation.
—> Love is a strange emotion which gave a person unbelievable happiness.
—> Sometimes it was hard to voice out one’s feelings.
—> “Are the widows responsible for their husband’s death?”
“You don’t mind taking a woman who was with another man as your daughter-in-law?” asked Mrs Agarwal.
“My son also was with women. So Ananya being married cannot be held against her. I want my son to marry a woman who he truly loves,”
—> It is better to break-up rather than live in a loveless marriage.
—> It is easy for you to ask but then telling a girl how you feel for her is the most difficult thing.
—> With the right person love lasts.

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