Monday, 22 September 2014


The Blurb
Samir is suicidal. Rachael works for a suicide helpline. Fate connects them through a phone call. And so begins Samir’s story of love, longing, errors, regret and a girl who changed his life. As his story reaches its conclusion, Rachael will know the true reason behind his suicidal tendencies. But this suicide helpline is not any ordinary service. There is more to the mysterious and yet so convincing voice of Rachael. As this new mystery begins to unfold, Samir is going to discover three things: 

What is The Helpline? 
Who is Rachael? 
What is Samir’s own identity? 

Every year, several teenagers in India attempt suicide because of failing relationships, dwindling careers, parental pressure or the competitive world. This story is about one such teenager, his early problems and the hurdles to cope with them. This story is about finding hope in the struggle. This story is about fighting for what you believe in and discovering your true identity. This is not a story about falling in love. This is a story of rising from a failed love story.

My review:

Life overwhelms us. It does not make any distinctions. So, it is quiet natural to see the young (why just the young, even the adults) make the wrong choices and suffer the consequences. It is easy to let go, to go with the flow and let life take its own course and be comfortably numb. But the strength lies in fighting the current and swimming against it. To snatch the reins of your life and steer it the way you want it to be, to come back from the brink and make your dreams come true. That is what Samir's story is all about.

We have that one person in our life who makes a huge impact on us. When young, it can be our grandparents, parents, any other family member or even our school teachers. Nana is that pillar of strength to Samir. With his demise, Samir loses a confidant and a guide. In the absence of Nana and the presence of an overbearing father, Samir's life spirals down when he is not able to cope with the expectations of his dad.

But he does have friends in form of Rajesh and Neha who believe in him and encourage him to pursue his dream. Then there is Riya, the love of his life. Everything is going on smoothly for him until Riya tells him of her decision to go abroad. Then the cruel twist of fate which Samir holds himself responsible for....the reason for him to turn to weed and alcohol and eventually become suicidal.

It is easy to relate to the struggles of this young man. While he feels suffocated studying engineering, he cannot douse the spark of his passion for writing. Like all the kids who want to please their parents, Samir too wants to impress his dad but fails miserably. His finds encouragement and inspiration in the form of his friends who stand by him.

"You can be anything you want to be" - this is so true. Samir realizes the weight of this sentence said by his Nana, when in the hospital and decides to get back his life on track.

What I liked:

The author has included so many topics in the story...a bit of politics, art, literature, the life of the mentally challenged people, and also that we should not judge a person by his looks.

I liked the three short stories within this story and they did have a moral. Then there is the interpretation of art which is also a mirror to the emotions of the painter.  The romance between Samir and Riya is innocent and I liked the way he proposes to Riya...through spine poetry...quiet innovative I must say.

I also liked the monologue of Rajesh about the "Indian Parents", though it was stretched a bit more than necessary, they are so true. It is the crux of Samir's relationship with his dad.

I liked the little pieces of gyaan about love, change, relationships, compatibility and passion which made this story more real.

The editing is flawed with a lot of grammatical errors which is an eyesore in an otherwise seamlessly woven story.

Meet the Author

Uday Mane was born in Pune and raised in Mumbai. He works as a marketing professional during the day and a storyteller during the night. He is an avid reader, and loves to collect classic books. 

The Helpline is his debut novel that was launched in March 2014 at the hands of Padma Shri Paresh Rawal.

You can stalk him @

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  1. Wonderful review, Janaki! I liked the spine poetry in this book too and the 2 small stories are really good. And Rajesh is spot on about Indian parents :D

  2. Thanks Shilpa. We are on the same plane :)

  3. I love reading books where there are more themes than the ones expected coming out in it! I definitely felt that way after reading Enders Game! Great review ;)

    Check out my post about conformity:


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