Thursday, February 11, 2010
Thus Spake the Lady
See Paris for Me
Penguin Books India
Rs 299; Pages 289
This is romance, no doubt, right from the word go. Yet, the term love takes a backseat. Priti Aisola, the rising start of literary ‘fictionista’, has a knack for telling stories; and she does cater to the innards of the female mind: the traditional female in India that is. Oh, ahem, a book that suits ‘Indianness’ when it comes to the institution of marriage, so to say.
Sadhavi, the protagonist, could be any normal Indian women displaced in Paris for a short time span. She dilly-dallies with normal life and, voila, soon the “few years itch” sets in. The story isn’t much to rave about: lady loves man; man loves lady; lady backs out; man does, too; and, ahem, life goes on. And that’s all to it.
Nevertheless, the lines in between are highly poetic and the author seems to have a way with describing buildings and flowers in tango with her various emotional states. The subtle touch the author lends to the entire story envelopes the reader in a safe haven of pure clarity of living. The simplicity of the family of Raghav, and so also Sadhavi’s and her friends, gives the reader the impression that this particular story is a bit far-flung from the realities of real life drama.
There’s not a soul in the book that crosses a limit. Everyone has a steady mind and it seems that if life was so, then not a soul would stumble in life. None would deviate or even try to peep into the world of intense passions that drive women to have flings or husbands to even look at other women. It’s a new way of living, the Aisola-way of life-the-age-old-way of life; no, it’s a brand-new way of life, say.
Raghav is the epitome of patience, the ideal husband. Kanav, the lover boy, is the eternal pinup lover boy. Advika is the friend you can only dream of having. Sadhavi, hence, is the heroine of the olden times.
What is outstanding about this story is how the author has been able to stretch a short theme into something so voluble without making a total bore of it. The little bits of additional information, be it the roads of Paris, various landmarks or the hordes of flowers she seems to be ensnared by… are all neatly woven in to form a neat patchwork of the ruminations of a single woman’s search for some lost portion of her soul.
There isn’t more to it all than a romance nipped in the bud. Read it if you are a married woman, who are about to have a fling. Yes, a must-read for all married women who need answers to questions that you may ask some Agony Aunt. Ms Priti Aisola has some answers.
A voice to hear for.
-- Sahara Time