Life is all about choices, they say. This novel is about them too. I found this novel at a literature festival, and had I not attended that day, I may have missed it. The title, simple as it is, was quite appealing. And the cover art wasn’t that bad either.
Manisha’s life seems to be going according to routine. But that changes, when on the way back home from work, she goes to a coffee shop. The café is empty but for a man. That night in her dreams, the café and the man return. And thereafter, they return almost every night. And there’s a story there. Just as an elixir induces love, that moment induces something too. The story follows the two worlds that Manisha now finds herself living in.
When the world around us doesn’t seem to accept us for who we are, and seem constantly disappointed with us, we tend to create an alternate reality where we are loved and accepted for who we are. That happens with Manisha here. And I couldn’t blame her. Though her life has a lot going for her, she doesn’t feel that. Her in-laws don’t accept her and keep chastising her. Her husband too seems more involved in his work than into her. Even at her office, her colleagues seem overly competitive. When she finds the world of elixir to be more alluring, she chooses to live in that too, and there begins a struggle to for balance between dreams and reality. The novel might be fiction, but I could imagine that it is reality for so many. Luxury can only go so far in bringing happiness.
The narration is engaging and descriptive, perhaps even poetic at times. I loved, in particular, the descriptions of the rain. But this boon can turn a bane, and the descriptions perhaps make the narration a bit slow at times. The ending isn’t totally unpredictable either, and you can see it heading that way. It doesn’t dampen the poignancy of the situation though. There are quotes worth mentioning, but there were two that I loved.
- “Why are you scared to be vulnerable?”
- “You are complete just as you are. You are enough.”
I liked the character sketch of Manisha quite a lot, and the secondary character of Amit too has been well fleshed. I wanted to know more about Manisha’s father, but I think the character diminishes to keep the novel in tune with a bit of reality, sad as it sounds.
Would I read this book again? I would. It has the shades of grey that life is, and perhaps that’s one reason for the cover’s color (though I wish it was more colorful like elixir-induced dreams, to appeal to more readers). If this is a debut, I think more can be expected from the novels yet to come from the author.
|Author(s): Sinjini Sengupta||Genre: Fiction|
|ISBN/ASIN: 9789385854545||Publisher: Readomania|
(© Vinay Leo R. @ A Bookworm’s Musing
21st January 2018)