“The Last Strand” is the first of the sequel of two fiction novels. Comprising of around 108,000 words, it weaves a mystical story about the life journey of a boy and his best friend Javed.
This is an intriguing tale of two friends Shankar and Javed where their intense friendship navigates through the tests of the time, often winning but sometimes badly failing.
The bond they share becomes much stronger when they together take revenge for the killing of Shankar’s mother. However, after the incident, the two orphan boys leave their home in search of the higher purpose. Dealing with a fast changing world and their several vulnerabilities in New Delhi, both end up in the deceiving world of politics. Both rise as strong leaders but their relationships suffer and their foes raise their heads. One day, Shankar’s girlfriend, Sanyukta, goes missing. This throws every relationship for Shankar out of the equation and puts Shankar on an altogether different life path. He struggles to make peace with himself as his conscience is burdened with this loss after he lost his mother and before that his father. He travels back to the mountains where he belonged to and tries to explore himself through the companionship of Aria.
Later when he visits his village in Chandan Nagar, he is informed of an unknown phone call asking for him. The phone call once again leads him to Sanyukta and a secret. Behind the secret though lies an astonishing discovery. Ripples begin when he comes back to Delhi and joins Javed to solve the mystery. While every clue fails, there is a last strand that not only leads them to the unknown in this world but to another world as well.
The little boy who picked himself up from the dust and turned his back on his tormentors held no disdain against his world which had so cruelly repelled him. Pushed to a corner by the malicious multitude, the composed boy fortified by an erudite mother held no misgivings as he bravely faced the barbs and jibes of the society. But perhaps the brave are destined to confront higher challenges and Shankar faced the second big tragedy of his life when the cruel jaws of fate took away his mother exactly fifteen years after his famous father succumbed to the travails of nature.
“The deeper the scars in the heart, the more ability it has to contain love.” These words of his mother helped him on his journey of self discovery, which he traversed with his best friend Javed, which carried him into the arms of his first love Sanyukta and which made him meet the American girl Aria in the most turbulent phase of his life to replenish his soul with the fruit of companionship.
A social outcaste as a child, a teen age bravado, struggling youth, a passionate lover, a mass leader, a convict and an entrepreneur, thirty-six years of fateful life had shown him strange colours. Stirring deep rooted religious sentiments and challenging the brazenly corrupt political system, Shankar, the iconoclast shook the very essence of India. In the cacophony of a world divided between proponents and opponents, he suddenly re-discovered the purpose of life through the sparkling eyes and the piquant voice of a little girl.
The story starts in the late eighties of 20th century, when Shankar has turned thirteen years of age and lives in a small village of northern state of India, Himachal Pradesh. Soon, the story shifts to the national capital of India, Delhi where Shankar comes to know of another world which is transforming very fast and which is the brighter shining face of the country wearing many masks. Shankar makes a valiant effort to bridge the gap which has positives at one end – increased work opportunities, women empowerment, technological advancements, world made flat by globalization and the negatives – massive oppressed communities, shrinking rivers, putrid political system, over-built and concrete surroundings, fast depleting natural resources and an ever-growing indifferent society.