A protagonist born to an affluent family, Dev Khanna's early life is a bed of roses. Having completed his education he finds a job and moves abroad. His fairytale life finds more fodder as he falls in love with a girl, Radhika, while outside, gets married to her and settles down on alien shores.
However, his seemingly good life rolls to a screeching halt when a letter from back home changes everything.
Replete with drama, Dr Madhu Vajpayee's second novel I Owed You One is an interesting look into human characters as they grapple with everyday reality. Through Dev, the author has portrayed the varied relationships shared between parents and their offspring and how familial relationships affect and influence a child.
There is an element of gloom running throughout the novel in the way the protagonist is shown having a cold relationship with his father.
A bildungsroman of sorts, Dev's emotional journey back home as he is thrown into a complex political scenario where religious disharmony and curfew engulf him in a heartbeat and the way he tries coming to terms with everything, all the while trying to find the denouement to his own life, make for an interesting study into human characterisation.
Dev's journey, from the towering skylines of Melbourne to the dingy lanes of Moradabad as he battles love, politics, and beliefs make for a riveting read that is sure to leave readers spell bound.
Written in a lucid manner, though trying at times, I Owed You One is a tale of words given and discarded, of promises made and commitments honoured, of love and triumphs and of holding on and letting go, in the life of a man.