15 February, 2014

#SpecialFeature :: #BookReview - It's Never Too Late... by Priyanka Baranwal

*** SPECIAL FEATURE - February'14 ***

In a nation where most women are taught to be submissive at every stage in life, Maya stands out. In a society that finds fault in women for heinous crimes like rape, Maya stands up.
Maya and Rajat fall in love while they study at IIT Kanpur; their daughter Sejal only makes the bond stronger even after years of marriage. Life is almost perfect when two petty criminals decide to make her fairytale life a tale of horror and fear with their intention of molesting her. 
Will she be able to fight her fate while Rajat is away and save herself and her five-year-old? Will she be able to undo all stereotypes and face the male-dominated society after that fateful night? Will Rajat stand up with her as she decides to battle her fears and take the culprits to their just punishment? 
It’s Never Too Late is a story of every woman who decides to fight her fears and even destiny; of every human who chooses the right over the easy; of every wife who shoulders all responsibilities of the house; and of every mother who is unwavering in her resolve to ensure that her daughter grows up in a safer world.

Welcome to Maya and Rajat’s life as they meet, fall in love, celebrate new life and tackle hurdles together.

Maya and Rajat meet is, while studying in IIT-Kanpur. From being fellow IIT-ian to being friends to falling in love…  Maya and Rajat take their time as they become more and more sure about what they want, they get married with promises of love, friendship and companionship. When Sejal, their daughter is born, their relationship takes on a new level altogether. But it is undeniable that they had found their own little ‘happily ever after’. That is until a fateful night, when Rajat is out of town to attend his sister’s marriage and two low-lives enter their home to turn their world upside down…

I have been waiting to get my hands on this book ever since I heard about it couple of months back. With Nirbhaya’s case still so fresh in our minds, the fact that a lady author has taken up this topic to write a fiction about had caught my eye immediately. So, as I begun to read this book, initially I felt a bit disappointed. It seemed like a love story… But then things took a turn and there was more action than I had expected. But it was only in the end that I realized that to tell this story effectively, the story just had to start where it did. Taking the journey right from the beginning of Maya and Rajat’s meeting was important because how else would we get to know them and if we didn’t really know their story before, their struggles would still seem like a story in the newspaper or TV instead of really feeling it. Thank You Priyanka, for letting us get to know Maya and Rajat the way I know them now – Strong, honest, intelligent and more importantly – a reflection of what we should be like. Thank You for setting an example through Maya, Rajat and even Sejal. 

Some may say, that this is just a piece of fiction and that there is no need to get so emotional about it. And I agree, this is a piece of fiction that is so beautifully drawn that captures the essence of our reality today and as woman myself, I cannot but help feel proud of Maya for her quick thinking and her strong stance. Granted that Maya’s situation is maybe just one out of thousands that girls around the globe faces, but it is also true that most of us also need examples to be set in front of us to follow.  Not everyone may get a chance to take their way through their captors or assailants, but it is important to fight back in any way you can.

This is the author’s debut Novel and Priyanka Baranwal and she has kept her style of story-telling simple. It is through her characters and her plot that she manages to ensnare her readers and captivate them. Simple language and common everyday language helps bring the story closer to home.

This is a brave attempt and I hope that it will inspire many women to be strong, take a stand and even fight back!

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