Friday, 4 November 2016

Review of Adhira by Aditti

Adhira: Love Lost & FoundAdhira: Love Lost & Found by Aditti Gaur
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Friday, 4 November 2016 Review of Adhira by Aditti

Adhira: Love Lost & Found Adhira: Love Lost & Found by Aditti Gaur My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Adhira by Aditti Gaur (one t more maybe numerology), I give this book four stars. Thank you Tushti Bhatia and author for providing me a review copy.

Adhira gives us a glimpse of how an independent woman reacts when life throws complex situations at her. The pace of book is very slow. But it is an interesting read. Aditti has a very deep understanding of women’s emotions. Adhira is very emphatic and compassionate.

Long distance marriages are a difficult thing to maintain and responsibility of women like explained below: “In this patriarchal society, no matter how successful a woman became, her real worth is measured based on how successful she was in handling her marriage, children, husband and other relationships”.

The love hate kinda relationship between Adhira and her friends can be visualised by the lines author mentioned: “Sometimes, you faked anger toward your loved ones for some time but once they start talking, every strand of anger melts away”.

At the same time author describes another couples story which is going through the tough phase of life.

It is also about the apprehensions of a girl who is about to enter in a love marriage are beautifully explained through “(I am) scared of losing my freedom after marriage. Scared to think about the upcoming changes that will happen in my life. I have to leave everyone behind, my papa- who is everything to me, my house- which comforts me throughout my life, my friends- who are more than family to me, and most importantly my surname- which is my identity.”

This and many more pearls of wisdom are there in the book. I feel Aditti is spot on in bringing out the emotions of the female characters of the book. The book has mention of Meerut and it being my home town I have special place for that place in my heart. It made me nostalgic.

There are some issues too. Pace of book is very slow especially the first half. The book is very predictable and nothing surprising ever happens. Love track of Adhira with so many people is another sore point. Either she is willingly ignoring all her lovers or she is a fool not to see. If someone loves a woman and is with you for a long time it is impossible she will not see that. Moreover, she is shown as very emphatic and emotional. The main angle is not explored adequately.

I admired the depth with which Aditti knows the emotions of human beings. This is a very mature book and maybe some younger audience might not like it. It will definitely strike a chord amongst married couples. After a decade of marriage some monotony sets in and the romance goes out of window. Marriage is not a bed of roses and with it brings a lot of responsibilities. Before marriage you are a free bird without a worry and answerable to none. When you marry you just don’t marry a person but marry a whole family. Then comes the kids and daily chores. It takes a lot of maturity, time and effort to keep the flame of romance burning. It all boils down to your values and upbringing how you manage the situation. Aditti brought out these facets of marriage beautifully. I liked the book a lot. Kudos to author to write such a value based, mature, compassionate and romantic book.

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Tuesday, 1 November 2016

Review of Love Forever @ Rajpath

Love Forever @ RajpathLove Forever @ Rajpath by Kalpana Mishra
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Love forever @ Rajpath Approved …. As proposed by Kalpana Mishra, I give this book three and half stars. Thank you Tushti Bhatia and author for providing me a review copy.

As they say love is blind but in this case it is not so. Both protagonist Shalini and Kartik are very driven, intelligent, sensible and level headed. Their love is anything but blind. It is sweet simple love story, a classic office romance.

Shalini Pahilajani (surname is a tongue twister. Can’t figure out how to pronounce it) is a very intelligent and hard working girl. She is selected as a group B officer in Central Government and posted in a ministry located in one of the many Bhawans scattered around Rajpath. Kartik Vats is also posted in the same bhawan. Hence the name Love forever @ Rajpath. I will come to second part later. Shalini is a Sindhi whose family came from Pakistan during partition. Shalini does not want to marry as she thinks the marriage is against women and they are made to suffer and tortured on various pretexts. Kartik Vats is a Bihari and also very intelligent. He is besotted with her and finds excuses just to talk to her. As luck would have it Shalini is preparing for Civil services with Public Administration as optional. Kartik also pretend that he had Pub Ad as optional and thus they start interacting. As happens in all love stories he proposes and she accepts. Funny thing is that he proposes in a very official language on a note sheet (a green color note sheet is used for intra office communication) and she accepts. As the custom in central government offices she write “APPROVED AS PROPOSED”. Hence the second part of title. Then as usual chores of getting families ready, caste and regional differences, janam patris (natal chart) etc ensues. Finally when the families agree comes the tragedy. Kartik is kidnapped for jabariya shadi (forced marriage). How the two deal with it forms the rest of story. As expected all is well in the end.

Language if book is very simple. The romance is set in government office between two mid level government servants so it is subdued. Being a central government employee myself I can relate with the narrative. They are very traditional and please don’t expect any thing like corporate romance. There is no pre marital sex. There is only one kiss and that is all. It is all very north Indian if I can say. Though the girl is born and brought up in Delhi she has a very conservative outlook. Some stereotypes are mentioned like Biharis by Shalini brother Uday

“Suppose after marriage he shows his true Bihari colors?” Uday said.
“What are true Bihari colors?”
“If he beats you up, does not bother about you, might seek a lot of dowary or if his family does not accept you then..”

Similar apprehension is shown by Kartik family who thinks Sindhis are Pakistani and stingy.
But Kalpana did not stick to stereotypes and debunked those.

The book is debut effort of author and it is very commendable. Dowry is a burning issue and this led to this horrendous custom of Jabariya shadi in upper castes of Bihar. In this some goons kidnaps an eligible bachelor and they marry him to a girl at gun point. What happens afterwards is anybody’s guess. This is not a usual love story. The hero almost married another girl.

Shalini is very head strong and sticks to her ideals. She is ready to sacrifice her love also for her beliefs. Kartik on the other hand comes our as a honest but weak person. He has his reasons for that but still I felt he should have supported Shalini when she needed him most. She did not even care for her own safety to rescue him and he became so blind that he only saw her actions after he is rescued. So Shalini comes out on top.

A very good romantic novel with a message against dowry and girls’ education. Waiting for another novel from Kalpana.

P.S. The pairing of Bihari and Sindhi is inspired by a real life Bollywood super star. None other than Sharughan Sinha. Kamoshhhh

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