Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Heart Has Its Reasons by Krishna Sobti

Currently I am reading this book and I am amazed that I managed to finish almost 150 pages in like a matter of 2 days. This book caught me from the word go and I am loving it. It is the same-old trianglur love scene, but what makes it different is the setting. It is Dilli of the 1920's and the vivid imagery that Sobti creates makes you want to live in the capital city during that time. A Vakil, his wife and his mistress. Recreating the waves of love between Mehak Bano and Kripanarayan, and its impact on the home shores through his wife Kutumb, the writer summons up the troubled waters beneath a seething calm.

Amidst all this the other family members have their own stories to tell. All of them. Almost. She describes winters of delhi, the summers, the spring and of course the monsoon. With every season the heart manages to skip a little beat wanting to know further what will happen to the lives of the trio. The kids Badru and Masooma from the mistress play a defining part in the book. Their mothers' anguish is evident in their eyes and flustered emotions.

Above all Dilli plays an important role in the book. After all the city speaks about their lives like no other character can. A city of various religions. Of a bustling bazaar where distinctive sweets and namkeens, fine quilts and wedding garments, celebrate everyday creativity. Of a male chauvinistic preserve, encouraging open forays into forbidden turf. Of cloistered women who occasionally bypass shackles, often amidst intense turbulence.

Though the book is a translated version, it yet manages to rule one's sensibilities like no other. I must read the original in Hindi. I must.


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