Rajiv Soni’s second novel “Aaliya” – a love story — which took 14 years to complete, was launched recently

Who says our politicians are dull and drab? Salman Khurshid, the External Affairs Minister, proved this wrong during the launch of the book “Aaliya” by Rajiv Soni last week. At the event he was quick to point out the difference between what had been mentioned on the book cover — “love transcends time” — and the description of the novel in the presentation which was “love transgresses time”. His words left the author speechless.

Incidentally, in his opening remarks, Rajiv Soni said that his first novel “Seher” too was released by Khurshid; his remark on that occasion to write about love and romance inspired him to write his second novel “Aaliya”. The book which took 14 years to write is about a forbidden romance between an established entrepreneur and a young collegiate in England and covers India too. Soni, a chartered accountant, returned to India from the U.S. to take up writing as a profession. He also teaches independently and at the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India.

Khurshid, displaying a sharp sense of humour, launched the book by remarking that the best way to do so was by saying, “I launch it,” and was candid enough to admit that he had not read it so far. About being an inspiration for the author’s second book, he commented that since “Seher” had vivid descriptions of the killing and hacking of people, he told Soni to write something above love. This book is about the love of a girl for her country with 26/11 as the backdrop.

Soni posed questions about love and other aspects connected with the book to the other guests, namely P. C. Jain, former Principal of Shri Ram College of Commerce, Poonam Arora, Associate Dean of the College for Diversity & Inclusion, Grinnell College, US, and Harish Mahajan, Director of Mahajan Imaging. A dance enactment by students of Shri Ram College of Commerce and a musical piece by Gautam Ghosh on keyboards and Abhay Sharma on saxophone were also a part of the event.

Thanking his parents, relatives and friends for the time and support they had given, Rajiv Soni, quipped that this show of strength will definitely encourage him to write more novels.

The book has already been launched in Mumbai and Gurgaon.