The Hitman - A book by Manoj Jain that tries to explain the essence of life and how the universe tries to save one from the thoughts of death with one chapter at a time, a mix of emotions, and beautiful referencing.
The Hitman is Manoj’s 8th book so far and he has done fictional stories based on life. The book explores the different phases of the life of a despondent man. The plot begins with a dull setting in a bar where a man named Vivek meets a stranger. They exchange drinks and some thoughts which leads to a life-and-death agreement between the stranger and Vivek. Vivek has 100 days until the stranger who he refers to as The Hitman comes and takes his life. The story delves into various instances before the ultimate day arrives.
As mentioned, the plot starts in a darker tone where the protagonist is depressed and stressed about his life but gradually a soft tone is used to refer to some light moments. The mixed tones take the readers on a roller coaster of emotions. Some chapters mention the days when Vivek received recognition at his workplace while some chapters mention him making friends with his neighbours which is strange because he doesn’t like to talk to people. And he even adopts a street dog with his neighbour friends which is completely opposite to his nature and love for animals.
As we reach further in the story his family is introduced and there is even a mention of his relationship in the past. As we move forward the writer also talks about the past incidences of his life and mentions how he hates his family and people around him. In between all these moments, the flashbacks of the event at the bar and the constant ticking of the clock keep recurring in his mind as the days of his death come near.
After all these series of events, there comes a time when Vivek starts realising the worth of living and maintaining relations. The writer has created such instances where he meets people who give him a reason to live and be good to others. His father's illness makes him visit his family in Patna which he rarely did due to his nature and work in Mumbai. But now as he goes there and receives all the love he feels emphatic for them as well. His encounter with his childhood friends in his home town takes him back to the nostalgic days and makes his opinion of living even stronger. He plans to contact the Hitman and tries to cancel his agreement. But does Vivek succeed in his plan or have to meet the destiny that he had written on his own and face death?
The book is a smart mix of weather to identify the emotions of the story and mentions the different phases of life that seem very real even in the fictional world. If you are someone who wants to look at life through a different lens then this is a good read for you.