So, I chanced upon this book through a raddiwala, meaning a junkyard. (Yes, I frequent them. A lot! Because they’re a treasure trove of books!!)
I bought it simply because the cover looked very intriguing and because it had been a long time since I read an Indian author, that too a female.
The book takes you through the life journey of Anamika, a girl who was named so because her parents did not want to follow the horoscope method of looking at the time of birth, having her ‘rashee’ being drawn and then name her accordingly. This one would make her own future, they said.
This fact is drawn upon quite a number of times in the book,but aptly so to point out how Indians lead their lives believing it to be charted by the movements of the moon, stars and the planets,when what happens in one’s life can neither be controlled, nor predicted.
The most charming thing about the book (at least what I loved the most) is that it talks about Bombay through pre-independence, post-independence and the Bombay of today, in a manner which makes you want to visit all those places mentioned in the book. And if you’re one of those who frequent these places, you’ll fall in love with them even more.The change in the city with the changing times has been beautifully captured and narrated too.
The tale of a forbidden love between a married man and a teenage girl, based purely on their shared love of poetry, arts and ghazals is amazingly woven without any need (or even a mention) for a physical intimacy.
How and why they fall for each other is something which the author brings out through various chain of circumstances and events, which make us ponder upon our own thinking, actions and life choices too.
Relationships between a husband and a wife, a mother and a daughter, a mother and a son, a father and a daughter, a younger sister and an elder sister, how these relationships impact us and with time they either become better or remain the way they are, and ultimately how we come to accept them, are woven throughout the book in a way which is relatable to us all.
The story is nothing we haven’t come across in whispered gossips or something we are quick to judge. The beauty however lies in the way it has been written.
Some lines have left a deep chord in my heart and one of my favorites (which will remain a favorite for a long time) was “In bending her to his heart’s desire, she had become his heart’s desire.”
All in all, I would say, it left me with many things to think about, and despite its non-clichéd ending, it left behind a lingering smile.