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This fictional story is set in December 1971 during the hostilities between India and Pakistan and is woven around an imaginary MiG 21 FL squadron based somewhere along the western border. The young pilots of ‘B’ flight 36 Squadron were predominantly from affluent, aristocratic families and public school backgrounds. A commoner slipped in amongst them and was met with collective scorn and derision. This young Pilot Officer from a suburban town in Orissa tolerated this bullying from his flight mates till he couldn’t take it anymore. He withdrew and kept to himself but even this introverted behaviour was deemed intolerable by his detractors. His supposedly accidental death a few hours before the war breaks out serves as a turning point of events.
He leaves behind a bottle of Scotch and some cryptic clues for each of his tormentors to warn them of their impending fate in the days to come. 6 clues in 6 cards for 6 fates that are to follow.
Though this is a work of fiction, many incidents that occurred during the ’71 war and in the earlier conflict of ‘65 are also woven within the plot. Historical facts leading up to the Indo Pak conflicts are also detailed in this book. Illustrations, diagrams and maps are included in the book.
Enjoyed this war thriller with its twists and turns...language is edgy, technical and gripping...a good plot for a war movie with supernatural leanings.. Nemesis catches up in the end... For everybody!
This book is not only a very gripping piece of fiction but also a very well documented piece of history on air operations of 1965/1971 Indo-Pak wars. As I leafed through the pages of his book, I found myself going back many years to my days in a fighter squadron.
Despite being from a civilian background, Vikramaditya was able to capture the ambience inside a fighter squadron with uncanny accuracy.
Group Captain (Retd.) Deb Gohain
Re: SIX TO GEHENNA
Have known Vikramaditya since he was about 13 ... he was vocal, argumentative, forthright. But this book shows a side to him that I had not seen earlier - the author, the historian, the researcher. The story itself, with its supernatural plot underlay, the carefully constructed characters - some, no doubt, real ones in disguise - and the free interplay between fiction and fact, is gripping and intense. I went through the book in two straight sittings because of its unputdownability (to borrow a phrase).
At times the technical jargon gets the better of the storyteller and might irritate someone looking for a racy story; at times the story looks predictable, like the times one can see Edgar Allen Poe's Raven popping up on cue; and while the long introductions to the protagonist and antagonists made for interesting reading (and would have struck a chord in people who had been there, done that) it really added very little to the storyline.
Little vignettes of the past would strike chords in many of the readers who, for example, studied Biology with Ms K or something of that sort.
Altogether an excellent read. Buy it.