Monday, November 28, 2016

Book Review : "7 Days" by Stanish Gill

Horror is the least explored genre in Indian fiction. As far as I recall, I haven’t come across a horror book by any Indian author in last few years. In spite of having versatility in themes such as gore, slasher, pure ghost horror, demon, Indian folklore version of vampires and werewolves [Narkitaas and Bhakol respectively], Indian authors seem less interested in creating spine chilling tales of this genre. Indian Film Industry have already come up with a number of blockbuster horror movies. Now, Indian popular fiction sets to explore the dark fantasy world.

“7 Days” by Mr. Stanish Gill marks the beginning of this trend. This psychological horror has much more to offer than just the chilling effect of its cover blurb.

About the Author

Mr. Stanish Gill is a young writer associated with Film Writer Association as an Associate Writer. Apart from writing fictional novels, he also writes Hindi songs. Some of his works have been published in newspapers and on the Film Writer Association portal. He is an Educationist by profession and lives along with his wife and two sons in Mumbai.

Storyline and Plot-Structure

The storyline of “7 Days” is not that intricate. The story opens with a romantic essence and gradually moves towards the haunting elements. After few lovey – dovey meetings, Apurva and Suman decide to marry. They choose the jungles of Nainital for their honeymoon and there strikes the horror. How they cope up with it and how they overcome, is the story the readers would love to explore. The beauty of the story lies in its alliance with psychology.  The author makes his intention quite clear when the impact is laid more on the psychological element than the horror one. With this twist, “7 Days” becomes more of a psychological exploration than a plain horror. That is the beauty if you may call it.

Plot structure is very fine. It is simple with evenly divided chapters. The scene breaks make the book more enjoyable.  One particular mentionable thing is the scene-shifts have been highlighted. It is not indispensable but it certainly makes the story more graspable leaving no room for plot confusion. The technical aspect of plot structure is quite evident in the book.

Narration and Dialogues

“Dracula” by Abraham Stoker is my all time favourite horror. Deep within, the story is not intricate. There is a blood-thirsty vampire against whom few humans stand challenging him and his allies. Quite simple! But it is the intriguing narration and nail-biting thrill in every page which keeps the readers hooked till end. Narration is a very important element in every thriller-horror book. Thankfully, “7 Days” stands up to this requirement. The narration of Mr. Gill is lucid and vivid. The striking feature of his narration is keeping up the readers’ interest without any unnecessary description. Not even a single scene seems dragged. Everything is just. Mr. Gill has kept the script tight perhaps keeping in mind the racy contemporary readers. Today, people don’t like reading a book of 300+ pages. It becomes difficult for dedicated writers to wind everything up in rather lesser pages especially when the story demands wide spectrum. But Mr. Gill manages everything quite well. Narration has not been bombarded with the technical horror elements. That is actually a ‘cool’ feature of the book.

Dialogues are abundant in this book. I firmly believe that abundance of dialogues gives any book a cinematic feel of reading as if everything is happening just in front. “7 Days” stood true to this belief of mine. To be true, the nature of dialogues actually gave me a screenplay type of feeling. Given the author’s profile, the screenplay effect of the dialogues and narration seems so apt. It gives more of a movie feeling than a book.


Mr. Gill hasn’t dwelt too deep in characterization in this book which itself has very few characters. Both the protagonists are simple human beings who have different approach towards life. Both approaches are very common in our society. Apurva, who is quite serious about life, represents a majority of men. And Suman, who is very lively, can mingle easily with middle class Indian women. Parents of both individuals represent the typical affluent class. Apurva’s friend Arijit is a gem of a person who stands with his friend in most terrible times. Though, Apurva and Suman have got the credits of being the protagonist in this book, I believe that Dr. Vincent becomes the actual heart-stealer. Again, his character is not that much intricate. But he manages to leave a mark behind, with his philosophies and beliefs. Dr. Vincent represents those people who learn the lessons of life very hard way. And then, there is this mysterious woman Sapna whose seemingly innocuous womanly dreams never cease to torment her soul.

As I said earlier, Mr. Gill has kept the characterization quite simple. But simplicity is the best beauty and “7 Days” stands true to it.

Treatment of Love and Romance

“What do women want?”
It is the common question which almost every man whines about. The irony is they never accept the answer that easily. Leave aside few ambitious ones, then what could women want more than care, love, respect, and a bit of romance in their life? But instead of trying to accept it, men chose to blame the women stating ‘they are never happy’. It is because men have a broader universe which includes their family, career, friends, hobbies and ambitions. Once everything is concluded, a little room is left for their life-partners. Sometimes, they go so low in their priority list that their quality ‘times’ never match. On the contrary, women’s lives revolve around their men. They plan their career, friends, outings and even interaction with their own parents as according to their ‘men’. It is about time, men need to understand that the woman; who left the people who brought her in this world, educated her, taught the meanings of life, the people she grew up and played with; and happily made an unknown person and his dreams and wishes the topmost priority of her life actually deserves abundance of love and care. Since the day, she tied knot with this unknown man, her previous relations got twisted and she may never look upon them as before. She cannot confide in them as earlier. And if in return, she wants his attention and his pampering, is it too much she asking for?

“7 Days” explores this desire of women. I find this treatment of love very unique in this book. Perhaps, the vast experience of Mr. Gill shaped his emotions and views and he poured them in the love sequences. It is one of the strongest reasons I would recommend this book to book-lovers.

If anybody asks for my opinion on what kind of book this is, I would simply say that “7 Days” is an exploration of Love through a woman’s soul…

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