Click to view Profile
Annapurna Sharma A
“Revenge Theory” by Onkar Sharma
Annapurna Sharma

Revenge Theory | Novel | Onkar Sharma |
Publishers (2023) | ISBN : 978 819 63974 25
pp 231 | Rs. 400


A Contemporary three - dimensional POV

Whenever I read a book, my mind automatically dissects it into tangible portions in terms of content and context. My intention is not to be in the writer's shoes, but it peregrinates at almost the same wavelength as that of the author. It would be rude and impertinent on my part to call myself the know-all but this entire subconscious process allows me to peruse the book with a broader perspective. Perhaps every reader/reviewer uses a similar method to comprehend a given piece of writing. As I began to read this novel, the title, and the blurb of it were suggestive of a probable revenge, especially of a woman. A layman's understanding would be most undeniably of overcoming subjugation, either at the home front or at the workplace. But as I read through, I realized the three-dimensional POV:

Conserving Nature : For many years Nature has taken a backseat owing to man's single-minded focus on human development in terms of food, transport and growth in all sectors. But in recent years there has been a realization that can be better summed up in the phrase – ‘coexistence is the key to existence’. Onkar Sharma, the author of the novel Revenge Theory has largely drawn from this principle. One of the character’s (Kuldeep Sharma) affinity towards protecting Nature and the challenges he faces is lucid and clear. Kuldeep Sharma is an educationist and renowned historian who is widely regarded for his books on the importance of preserving the cultural ethos of Himachal. He is the torch bearer of local values, customs, traditions and languages… Kuldeep is a man wearing several hats. Throughout the book, he is continually engaged in one or the other manner to uphold the traditions and customs of the hilly terrains as well as to impart quality education to the local children. He is a man with definitive principles who believed in talent and hard work. Amid his somewhat busy schedule, he meets the protagonist, Pratigya, an edupreneur. She is an ambitious woman who owns a chain of career counselling and coaching centres. Her interest lies in making Hamirpur an educational hub. Kuldeep was reluctant at first. He had his doubts, “This coaching centre wasn’t even a nickel and dime in her well-established coaching business sprawling over Punjab and Chandigarh…burns her money here…does she have hideous plans…” The friction in the initial stages and a few hitches are indicative of a good plot but the story runs smoothly when the duo gets together to further their objective of providing quality education to students. At every juncture, nature preceded their thoughts and actions. Shades of picturesque mountains, verdant slopes, foliage, flora, and fauna are seen throughout the book.

Onkar Sharma is the editor of an online literary journal, and is currently a consultant at a leading IT company. Onkar’s book of poems, Songs of Suicide paints the lives and emotions of psychic and suicidal people. It is interesting to note that he belongs to Hamirpur, Himachal Pradesh. No wonder his maiden novel Revenge Theory dwells in the cozy cocoons of Himachal. It would be apt to quote Shakespeare “One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.”

Honing talent and skill: Education has become a mechanical process the world over, with both parents and teachers tormenting children for better performance, again in the quantum sense rather than eclectic and wholesome learning. Education is a mere business now. Here again, the author draws inspiration from schools in small towns where raw talent is abundant and the students need that extra push to be honed and secured. It is quite evident from the book that education must be sought with a lot of assiduousness. Kuldeep and Pratigya work tirelessly to upgrade the students and in fact, succeed in their experimental project of securing the best grades in competitive exams. During this determined pursuit, love sprouts between the two. They are single parents and their children are also happy with their togetherness.

Revenge: As the title of the book indicates, the author stirs in the revenge factor without much ado. In the backdrop of the beauty of the hills and the budding of new talent, a silent and subtle revenge takes shelter without the reader being aware of it. Pratigya alias Shyama Devi is the woman who plots to corner a local politician, Chauhan, for his misdeeds in the past. She was a victim of his malicious acts. He seizes her factory and leaves her to perish in the cold, dark night. After nearly a decade, the woman emerges in another form, Pratigya, to counter Chauhan, who has by then risen to the position of education minister. In her new avatar, will she be successful in destroying Chauhan? What is her trump card? Will she emerge victorious? Is Kuldeep with her in her endeavour? It gets exciting as the plot unfolds.

James Aitchinson, author of the Mr. Midnight book series, in the foreword says, “The book is an absolute page-turner, spiced with plot twists and characters that live on in the reader’s mind”. He also hints at the possibility of a Bollywood movie.

Overall, the book is undoubtedly a potboiler, engaging the reader with a mix of mystery, desire, and vengeance. Read on…


Issue 112 (Nov-Dec 2023)

Book Reviews
    • Sukanya Saha: Editorial
    • Annapurna Sharma: “Revenge Theory” by Onkar Sharma
    • Apala Dasgupta Barat: “Failure to Make Round Rotis- Poems on Rebellion, Resilience and Relationships” by Mehak Goyal
    • Kashmi Mondal: "Those Who Wait-When Revenge Clashes with Power" by Juggi Bhasin
    • Ketaki Datta: “Journey after Midnight- A Punjabi Life from India to Canada” by Ujjal Dosanjh
    • Sapna Dogra: “My World Without Jehan - Surviving a Brother’s Suicide” by Liana Mistry
    • Sunaina Jain: “Begum Hazrat Mahal” by Malathi Ramachandran