28 July, 2012

Mahashweta - [Book review]

Book Details
Title : Mahashwetha
Author : Sudha Murthy
Publishers: Penguin books
Price: Rs.175

This is my third book of Sudha Murthy. Other reviews can be found here - Dollar Bahu and Wise and otherwise

Purchase Link: Amazon India

 Anupama is a middle class beautiful looking girl with excellence in both academics and extra curricular activities like acting in plays. A young, handsome and rich doctor Anand loves her on first sight and persuades his mother 'Radhakka' to arrange for marriage, even though her mother gives preference to a rich family bride with status. Anand and Anupama live happily for sometime before he goes to England to pursue higher studies and Anupama is supposed to join him after a few months as Radhakka convinces him that their daughter in law should be in their home for auspicious puja on Deewali. One unfortunate day, Anupama finds a white patch on her foot and finds that she has leukoderma. Her life completely changes after this. Even though that skin disease is not contagious or dangerous, it slowly spreads to other areas even while taking medication. Society around her doesn't understand this and everyone avoids her. Her in laws, her step mother, people in her village humiliate her and at last her husband also stops sending letters to her and cut the relationship. Anupama couldn't bear this as there is no fault of hers, but still she lost her family and everything. She comes out of depression and suicidal tendency and decides to own her life. She leaves to Mumbai, earns a job with the help of her friend Sunitha. The remaining story is about how she gets her dream job of lecturer in a college and starts directing Sanskrit plays and getting awards for them. Will Anand realize his mistake? Did he ever love Anupama or only her beauty? Will Anupama re-marry anyone? You need to read the book to know answers to all these questions.
Leukoderma starts with a white patch and spreads to other areas making Anupama a white woman, a real Mahaswetha. That's how title is very apt and story makes you think about the society we live in and people's attitudes.

What i liked
Story shows how Anupama becomes matured with circumstances and realizes her dreams without losing patience or confidence. I liked the way she thinks and analyzes the outcomes to avoid suicidal tendency even though society ostracizes her.

One excerpt from book
"Of the thousands of flowers that blossom on a tree only a few will bear fruit. And out of those few fruits, insects and squirrels will eat some. The tree does not keep anything for itself. Does that mean that the life of the tree is wasted?"
What i didn't like
There is nothing as such which i didn't like. Just that the story is plain, without any twists. It is much realistic and practical. So, it is not a book which you cannot leave until you finish. 

My Rating

Until next time,

Image courtesy: Indiaclub.com

23 July, 2012

Dollar Bahu by Sudha Murthy - [Book review]

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Book Details:

Name: Dollar Bahu
Author: Sudha Murthy
Price: Rs. 150
Publishers: Penguin India
My rating: 4/5

This is my second book of Sudha Murthy, first one being 'Wise and otherwise', which is a collection of realistic short stories. Read the review here.

Purchase Link:

Writing style of Sudha Murthy's:

Sudha Murthy's writing style is simple and very easy to follow. Her stories may not have big twists or interesting turning points, but still they keep you glued to the book till the end. While we read, we will be transferred to the place mentioned in the book and feel like we are present in that scene as a witness and able to understand the feelings of characters in the story.


Story is about an ideal working woman 'Vinuta' who marries a clerk Girish and starts living in a middle class family in Bangalore. She works as a school teacher and is very satisfied with her life. She becomes an ideal daughter in law  and takes up family responsibilities easily. 

But her mother in law Gouramma and siter in law Surabhi are very greedy and always give importance to the elder son of the family Chandru and his wife Jamuna who is from a rich family. They always sing praises of Jamuna and Chandru who stay in US with green card and send money to the family whenever required. They never understand the importance of Vinuta and always humuliate her by comparing with Jamuna. 

Gauramma dreams of visiting US and stays for an year with Jamuna to take care of her grand child. Her perspective on life and money changes after observing many people's lives in US. She realizes the importance of love over dollars, hates herself for loving the dollar bahu Jamuna and ignoring her good daughter in law Vinuta.

Some excerpts from book:

About US: Though these lines are applicable only many years ago. Now, standards of living improved here too.
this is a funny country. Like a colorful web spun by a spider, an insect walks in and gets trapped. At first we are drawn by the best technology and handsome renumeration. But once we stay here for sometime, it is difficult to go back. We get used to the easy living conditions and the professional work atmosphere. The conditions in our country are far below what we expect. Sometimes I feel there are many good reasons to leave India, and it is much more difficult to go back and settle there after so many years.
When Gouramma returns from US:
She realized that the grass was always greener on the other side. America was no longer a fantasy land for her. There was pain, misery and happiness there, as in any other country. It was no longer the land of mighty dollar, which made magic.
 So, do read the book if possible and share your opinion.

Until next time,

Image courtesy: libraryindia.in

19 July, 2012

Dreams becoming true - choti ashayein

How do you feel, if all your dreams are becoming true slowly, one after the other? Iam not talking about big dreams like great career, money or something else.

      Iam talking about smallest wishes that we make to God from childhood and dream to make them realize - like drenching in the rain without worrying of getting cold, listening to your favorite song in Walkman without anyone’s disturbance, eating all junk food or eating ice cream in chill weather without worrying about health, dancing as if no one is watching, pursuing your hobby like painting or singing or blogging without worrying about studying or going to work. I hope you got the picture on what iam leading to.

         I have many small wishes from childhood. I wanted to travel in AC first class in train. I couldn’t do that in childhood and it got postponed for a long time. There were many opportunities, but I didn’t get a chance to travel in AC coach until I reached my age of 25. And, when I could travel, I didn’t feel the same happiness or excitement I thought I would feel when I was in childhood. It’s obvious right!

          I wanted to dance in heavy rains, jump on the mud, enjoy the smell of soil before it rains. But, always when I get chance, there will be someone else who would stop me doing so or I, myself stop in the fear of getting cold.
I used to like eating 5 star chocolates in childhood. I used to think I will buy a big bag of chocos when I start earning and I will eat daily one. Isn’t it funny now? I don’t want to do that even when I have enough money for it. It doesn’t seem that interesting now.

          I wanted to get a very good job, support my parents and make them happy. Realized this wish after 6 months out of college, but I didn’t feel anything exciting as I dreamt in childhood. Everyone does that. Getting a good job is not such a great thing, I feel now.

          I wanted to travel to different places, take photos and enjoy nature. I could travel a lot after my marriage and the thirst for travelling doesn’t end. It increased day by day. If you have visited your state, you want to visit other states. If that is also over, you want to visit other countries. It’s never ending.

          I wanted to spend time for myself. Wanted to drench myself in a huge pile of books and read all my favorite books without any disturbance in my room. Wanted to enjoy loneliness, be selfish, cook for myself, eat, do whatever I like and sleep. I got the chance now, but I don’t enjoy it now or feel the same way as I dreamt earlier because iam missing my family and friends now. Enjoying loneliness doesn’t seem interesting now.
I wanted to visit US. But, when iam already here, I don’t feel the excitement. It feels to be a very common wish that anyone can achieve.

As we grow up, gradually we will achieve everything what we want, but circumstances and priorities may change. Dreaming for things and achieving them is first step. Second step is dreaming for some more things and it should go on. Dreams, ambitions, priorities and everything will change day by day. Change is the only constant in this world. 

Until next time,

Image courtesy: Google

06 July, 2012

One and a half wife - [Book Review]

Title: One and a Half Wife
Author: Meghna Pant
Publisher: Westland Publishers

My take:
         I got a chance to read this book by blog adda book review program. As the title sounds interesting, started reading the immigrant life story of Amara Malhotra whose American big dreams turn to ashes due to several reasons. Even though story line is not very unique, narration is good but it goes with very low pace. 
          First we are introduced to Shimla town , its beauty, the people and their behavior. Amara's parents, especially her mother Biji had big American dreams, their family gets a green card and they want to make her daughter marry a rich Indian immigrant, so that she will spend a happy life. Biji prepares Amara from childhood to adjust with her husband always after marriage and give importance to only his desires, ignoring her own passions/interests completely. So, Amara always thinks that adjustment is the only thing to make a marriage work. But, since her husband Prashanth roy is interested in some modern American and not an Indian wife, their marriage breaks due to compatibility issues and lack of love. Amara feels guilty for her failure in marriage and everyone else from Indian society blame her for breaking the marriage. No one actually try to understand that problem is with her husband and that she has done everything to save her marriage. Her parents see the word 'Divorce' as a big sin and they will return back to Shimla with Amara to avoid embarrassment from Indian immigrants in America.
               Remaining story is about how Amara gains her confidence, thinks about her interests, passions etc., starts a new business on her own and at last finds her true love.

ProsThere are some excerpts from book which i liked a lot:

About woman adjusting in an arranged marriage
A woman began her marriage by behaving like a new born baby who was utterly helpless and whose life depended on care taker, that is, her husband. Slowly, like a growing child, she had to pretend to gain ability as per his rules.Once she won over his loyalitiy and love, she could turn hostile, like a surly teenager, and live under the show of deep offense, mythical and hurtful to those who loved her most. And then, only then, could she come to a level playing field, come into her own, become her own person and lay her own rules.
About how India is a mix of modern and traditional norms 
Modern thought in India was gurgling along a river with two polarised banks. By one bank was an aberrant section of people, who had diverted from conventional norms, and by the other bank were the extremists who wanted to protect society by controlling the aberrant people. The two banks could never meet.
Cons:  Character of Amara doesn't look convincing as she is very much dependent on her family in the complete story until she is guided by Shikha didi to realize her dreams. Narration is good but at the end, it seems to be very much dragging that we lose our interest and everything is predictable at the end. I didn't like the climax especially. 

My Rating: 2/5

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.com. Participate now to get free books!

Until next time,

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