Hi, Pooja. This tidy little story certainly deserves more than one review. It is both vivid, because of its interesting background, and meaty, because of its theme.
What struck me in particular was the progression of Anurag’s character from the early scenes of the story to the later scenes, We can see that he is still the same person, but there has been progress in his maturity, which is logical for a person who has become older and who takes himself seriously. As he matures, he handles his personality quirks better, but he will always be himself. It is insightful of you to show that, even when he no longer worries intensely about failure with his patients, fear of failure in general will always be his point of vulnerability.
In your writing there is a good balance between action and introspection, happy emotions and sad ones. You do a good job in that basic principle “to show rather than to tell”, by using Anurag’s words and actions to indicate how he is feeling, rather than just saying that he is sad or happy.
Although this story is classified as an other-pairing romance, I don’t see it as primarily thus. The romance is a framework or backdrop for the theme of achieving self-understanding, and your choice of title points to this. Reaching “the end of the tunnel” does not equal acquiring perfection or your heart’s desire, but rather it is the arrival at a greater self-understanding. Striving to avoid failure and disappointment can be a strong character asset, so long as Anurag realizes that he will never be perfect and so long as he can forgive himself for his human imperfections.
I very much enjoyed the background of a different culture since I have some ties with both the Indian culture and dengue fever! I will have to read your other stories about these characters also.
I have two suggestions. In the sentence ”It was all uncovered to be a very well-planned scheme for the stealth of organs,” consider replacing ”stealth” with ”theft”, because ”stealth” does not mean ”stealing”, it means ”sneaking around unseen.” The other suggestion, in the matter of style, is to consider combining a few adjacent short sentences into one longer and more complex sentence, and see how that sounds; it may increase the fluidity.
But these suggestions are minor. I very much liked your story just as it is, because it was original and thought-provoking. I can see why you enjoy writing about this character.
Author's Response: Hey Vicki!
Wow, you can imagine how pleasantly surprised I was, when I saw a review for this one, and then Face Value. Thank you so very much! I love this character very much, and I get really happy when people pay attention to him. Hehe. :p
This is one of the stories that I wrote for my own satisfaction because I've really troubled Anurag a lot in my story, and then the main story he's in -- 'Where Are You?' there's so much going on, I wasn't able to adequately address all his emotions and thoughts, and I thought I owed him that much.
Well, Anurag was intended to be an immature brat but he's been through so much, he's actually had to change. He's this guy who's had a relatively normal life, and then is put through a meat grinder all of a sudden. Like you have seen in Face Value, he's got a doting mum, and a girlfriend and he's this idiot who can't take a girl doing better than him (ugh, jerk) and then this same girl becomes the centre of his existence and when he loses her, he is forced to grow up. And as a med student myself, I really look up to confident doctors, and I know that we all face this fear of failure in our fields because failure here means death -- literally, so I wanted to show that in the beginning, he's not so sure, and then after he's lost Muskaan, he immerses himself so deep in his career, the failure he fears is about something else. Up to a certain age, everyone's concerned about their professional life, and then we all get oriented to a personal life... if that makes sense lol.
Anurag was one of the OCs I could close my eyes and actually picture, so writing his experssions and behaviour is easier. In fact, now that I write fanfiction for a TV show, I've come to realise the basic difference between writing fanfic for books, as compared to writing your own characters, or writing for a TV show. I was one of the people who read HP before the movies were out so Harry, Ron and Hermione look very different from Dan, Rupert and Emma in my head. In fact, I have an awful sense of imagination that way and I never pictured much of anyone's face in my head at all. So showing rather than telling for them is different. On the other hand, TV characters don't tell you if they're happy or sad. You look at their faces and decipher this. Same for OCs -- I can see them clearly in my head, and that's how I decided that Anurag would pound his fist on the terrace wall and yell at Muskaan.
I'm not sure why I put it in the romance section, as you say. I should, perhaps, change that, because this isn't very romantic -- just minor bits of romance, but not romantic, yes. I don't think Anurag will ever forgive himself for his imperfections, though. He's always critical, always thinking of what he can do better... gosh, I'm talking as though he really exists lol. See how I can be obsessed with my OCs? :p Sorry!
I mostly write Indian culture because that's really the culture I'm most familiar with. ;) And the dengue was a spur-of-the-moment thing. Everyone's always afraid of it.
Ahh... yess, I'll correct that. I know about my sentences. They're awkward sometimes. :) I'll see what I can do about that!
*whispers* I'm actually obsessed with my OCs. But glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for that insightful review! :) ~Pooja
An interesting little extra bit of another tale.
Author's Response: Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed this! :)