Monday, July 2, 2007

A Breath of Fresh Air


Reading an Amulya Malladi novel is like a visit to Saravana Bhavan/ Udipi restuarant.. it is what you turn to when you miss india all that you want is to taste and smell it.. the previous book of hers, The Mango Season did remind me of homemade raw mango pickles and ripe fleshy mango pulp!! and with it came memories of hot indian summers.. and home..
it wasnt just the mango that made me miss home.. it was the story line and the authentic characters.. and that was what made me pick up "A Breath of Fresh Air"..
The book starts with the Bhopal Gas Tragedy, 1984 through the eyes of a victim in the prologue.. and the actual book is set 15 years later.. a complicated web of marriage/betrayal/compromise/sacrifice is woven throughout the novel..
the dreams of young girl getting ready to be married.. hopes of a romance like the ones she's read in Mills and Boons.. meeting a guy through common friends.. and for sometime, she actually believes that her dreams might come true when she realizes that the guy picked for her was from the army.. a very smart and stylish young army officer..a grand wedding takes places and then she is forced to face reality.. behind the facade of a the smart smiling army officer is someone she does not recognize nor like..
the marriage does not survive much beyond the gas tragedy..
Just when she's settled in a different life, 15 years later, she meets her first husband again.. all of them involved are thrown into the confusion together..
And anything more that i say about the book would just reveal everything there is to the book!
The thing that i liked best about the book was the genuineness of the characters..Though we get frustrated at anjali confusion, i guess every woman would go through the same feelings..
the style of writing is very simple and that makes you concentrate wholly on the plot of the novel.. the best part of the book is the accurate portrayal of emotions..
it doesnt take you too long to finish this novel.. but once you are done with it, it stays with you for a while..
another bonus for me in the story was that the second part is completely set in ooty, and it brought back wonderful memories of my childhood.. and made me closer to the book than i expected:)

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