September 14, 2013

Sunlit Hearts - Book Review

Book Title– Sunlit Hearts
Author -  Meenu Mehrotra
Publisher - Vitasta Publishing Pvt Ltd
ISBN - 978-93-80828-78-7
Price -  Rs 295/-
Pages –  238
Genre – Romance
My Rating  - 4 / 5
“ A wound is the place where light enters the heart” -  a quote from the book
Medha, an aspiring writer develops feelings for Nikhil in college but her feelings are not reciprocated. Forced to bury her feelings of true love, Medha agrees to an arranged marriage to Rishi. After sixteen years of sedate and lackluster marriage, she bumps into Nikhil again but this time she is a confident and successful writer and the glamour in her married life is amiss. She could not deny herself getting pulled towards Nikhil and moves with the flow into a passionate relationship with Nikhil. She stands on a threshold where she has to weigh and analyze her feelings as a lover, her loyalties and commitment as a wife, responsibilities and duties as a mother and a daughter. A difficult struggle she undergoes which shook her internally and externally, a tug of war, a tempest too strong to surmount. A woman’s emotions are so aesthetically and profoundly expressed without hinting an opinion of right and wrong, Meenu Mehrotra, the author takes the reader on a deep and intriguing journey of emotions, feelings which stirs the soul and provides an ending on creating peace and beauty with her self.
My Review
A tale of a contemporary woman, discovering herself through topsy turvy journey of love travelling as a one sided lover, a daughter, a wife in an arranged marriage, a mother and then completing the circle by communing with the passionate lover and the ultimate realization, story which covers a 360 degrees reflection of today’s woman.
Medha is portrayed as a daughter and her well being in her marriage is a concern for her father, as a mother of a teenager and the responsibilities to be performed, as a perfect wife for her loving husband, as a lover for her long lost incomplete love, as a friend seeking approval from her friend and above all as a woman who is all of these and carving an identity and wandering for feeling complete within.
I congratulate the author Meenu Mehrotra for portraying her woman character Medha, a contemporary woman with a successful career and a woman brave enough to take her decisions of life despite the stereotypical constraints of society and motherhood. In a typical viewpoint, there is infidelity in marriage that too by an Indian wife but even that is conveyed so beautifully and aesthetically as nothing wrong but a mandatory journey to complete herself and being at peace with herself. It’s a brave attempt and successful too, where like real life, everything is not black and white. The concept of open marriage is brought about and discussed in light and depth between the couples. A wonderful depiction of a woman’s inner thoughts and a brave expression by the writer Meenu Mehrotra who didn’t pollute the love outside marriage with moral rules and where protagonist does not feel guilty for infidelity. I loved travelling with Medha through her journey of discovering herself and connecting the dots towards a soulful marriage.
In the end Medha finds a friend in her husband whom she always craved for and when Medha says coming back to her husband Rishi that “It had taken me sixteen years and a Nikhil to discover him. Rishi and Nikhil, both were a part of my seamless and sacred sky” reflects that Medha does not lessen the importance of her love and feelings for Nikhil as a casual temporary affair but as a needed and important milestone to reach to her destination.
“You never leave someone behind; you take a part of them with you, and leave a part of yourself behind” - A quote from the book
Through her story, a question is provoked in mind about the soul being satiated and happy despite possessing that happy family quotient. Meenu Mehrotra has done a wonderful job by switching to specific viewpoints from the character itself by dwelling into both a man’s psyche as well as woman’s , which comes difficult.
Also I would like to add the story seems very relatable for a Delhite reader with Delhi’s locales and backdrop shown. The locales of NCR are beautified and found a new glamour for the readers since that was the forcing impetus of conflict for Medha being caged in Dubai. The intrigue is maintained so very well that reader gets glued to it, I could not put down the book and finished it all in a night.
The entire journey of hers through travelling and living like a gypsy and coming back home, just like a mirror showed her the beauty lying within and she discovered herself, lost and found woman. I must congratulate the writer for this wonderful novel and look forward to future writing from Meenu Mehrotra.