When She Smiled by Ritoban Chakrabarti is a engaging coming-of-age story about the joys and heartbreak of first love. Mrityunjoy Roy (‘Roy’) has spent the last 10 years in Shimla, India. After his DAV he returns to his old school after a 2 years hiatus, discovering his class mates, the bus routes, and….the beautiful Akanksha. Roy’s poems about being a confused man make her smile. The initial steps of walking together, giggling, holding hands really make Roy think he’s found the one true love.
The novel however has many twists in the storyline to throw in jealousy, competition from other boys, the tragic death of Roy’s only sister and a dance competition. The story’s set in the scenic Shivalik hills, Indian upper class culture and the ups and downs of normal life. Will this Bengali teenager come to terms with his own destiny, get past the loss of Akanksha, or win her back and live happily after? Is there a God, and will He answer Roy’s questions? The novel’s elegantly written, has convincing conversation on teenage level in a pre-internet or cell phones era. It unearths the timeless passion of a young boy desperately in love.
About the author
Ritoban Chakrabarti is an entrepreneur who started his first internet marketing company right after college. Since then he has self-taught himself programming, designing, marketing, and management. When She Smiled, a young adult romance, was his first novel. He is an avid traveller, and believes in a life without boundaries.