11 January, 2014

#BookReview :: An Incurable Insanity by Simi K. Rao

Her heart fluttered when she heard the sound of the key turn in the lock. She quickly adjusted her maroon silk sari with the yellow border, the one that had caught his eye, and waited eagerly for his footsteps.
One, two, three, four, five, six, seven... Yes, exactly seven steps before he stopped, hesitated for a few moments, then removed his shoes one by one and arranged them neatly side by side on the shoe rack.
She smiled. He had been mindful of taking his shoes off every day now. "I am not used to it, but I will if you want me to. It's probably a good thing to do anyway."
As he settled down, he would pick up the TV remote and, without looking at her, would say in his smooth baritone, "So how did you spend your day, anything interesting?"
Shaan Ahuja found himself bowing to tradition and agreeing to an arranged marriage to the beautiful Ruhi Sharma. He went through the motions but had no intention of carrying through on his vows. His last foray into matters of the heart with an American girl had left him scarred and unwilling to try again. Thoroughly disillusioned and disgruntled he wasted no time in making his intentions clear to Ruhi on their wedding night. But, he was completely unprepared for what his new wife had in mind.

The first thing about this book that you’ll notice if you look it up on the net is that the in place of a blurb/summary there’s an excerpt. An enticing excerpt infact and that threw me off balance for a minute before I decided that I just had to read this story.

‘An Incurable Insanity’ is the story of Ruhi and Shaan. Ruhi, is a smart, independent, educated modern day girl whose marriage is arranged by her parents to an NRI guy. She falls for the man she is destined to spend her life with. On the other hand Shaan is a dutiful son who gives into his family’s demands of an arranged marriage even though he has a love interest back in states. As Ruhi steps into her new life and discovers the truth about her husband, she feels cheated yet, she just cannot not love the man she has married. As she takes control of her life, Shaan might just be beginning to realize his epic mistake.

As a work of fiction, this novel tells us the story of Shaan and Ruhi. But in reality there are just too many Shaan and Ruhi in this world, who are facing the same or similar situations very regularly. This work of fiction is too close to reality and that is the best aspect of this novel. Okay, so I am not saying that it is always the boys who have a side interest – or that all the girls react in the Ruhi does in this novel, but yeah the overall situation is way too common.

I loved Ruhi’s character. She is a perfect blend of modern and traditional Indian women. She is independent and educated. She knows her rights and fights for it. At the same time she is also this sweet girl who agrees to marry a boy selected by her parents and learns to love her husband even though he is far from perfect. Again don’t get me wrong, she has her faults like any human being, but the good qualities way overweigh her faults and so it is easy to fall in love with her. Shaan, on the other hand comes across this gutless brat who I would have gladly smacked across the face on the wedding night (if I were in Ruhi’s shoes) but he does end up redeeming himself.

Arranged marriage are way more common in India than we would like to admit and this novel gives us a glimpse into the lives of two strangers who are brought together by their families and are expected to live together and love each other. The author has narrated the story pretty well outlining the common dilemmas faced by people in these situations. The emotional charge between the two characters literally burst out of the pages and make it such an interesting read. 

A well balanced novel that I thoroughly enjoyed reading!

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1 comment:

  1. A wonderful review. It was an enjoyable and interesting read. I like how you say the characters burst out of the pages.