Connecting India’s plains to lower hills further up North in Uttarakhand, the Ranikhet Express has a popular train route many visitors have fond memories of. Revolving his debut novel around the melodic rhythm of this night train to Pantnagar, author Dr. Piyush Baindara weaves a love story, in the time of PCOs and no internet.
Dr Baindara is an emerging research scientist at the Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology, School of Medicine, University of Missouri, Columbia. Before moving to Columbia, he served as research associate at University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little Rock. ‘Ranikhet Express: The Love Track’ is his first book.
Through relatable everyday characters of Palash and Jigna, the story of rosy first love unfurls in 2004, amid the backdrop of universities, families and even the railways. Through the little joys of young love to the anxieties of love across social boundaries, the author has penned an interesting story where love shines through the mist of uncertainty.
‘Ranikhet Express’ moves on to friends, relatives and a few strangers and then makes Palash — a determined lad from Rajasthan — and Jigna — a simple, young girl from Bihar — play their life-changing game after their love blooms in different Indian cities. Like a tree that has to let go of comfort to grow, Jigna and Palash embrace the unknown. They stand not only for each other but also for their love. The novel is a love song, which also carries the pain and equal bounty of uncertainty.
Amid the story, readers get descriptions of hostel life amid the calm hills of Pantnagar.