Thursday, March 17, 2016

Shinie Antony - When Mira went forth and multiplied.

Mira has dreamed forever of being free of her family.  She achieves this when she moves to Bangalore.  Living alone in Bangalore, working in an office and fending off the attentions of an amorous landlord, she now dreams of snagging a man.

Enter Sam, the handsome, dashing man on deputation from Bombay office.  He has been posted in Mysore office for a short duration and is in Bangalore for a couple of days.  Sam zeros in on Mira and floors her completely.  She is jelly in his hands and gives in to him.  The next day morning Sam promises to call before he leaves.

Sam, we learn eventually, is not a free man.  He was in no position to make any promise or proposition to Mira.  He is married to Delta, for better or for worse, till death or divorce do them part. Unaware of this, Mira is feeling her rejection very acutely.  She feels she HAS to go and find out why Sam has forgotten all about her.

The novel, in Shinie Antony's hands, is a postmortem of relationships between men and women, between mothers and sons, between rich fathers-in-law and rather poor sons-in-law,  She strips her characters of their skin, bones and muscle till we see their souls with our naked eyes.

The parts that describe the pain that Mira goes through when Sam bails on her are extremely evocative.  She tries to remain normal but is all torn inside.

The story is full of pathos one minute and absurdly funny the other.  It takes us through crazy situations till we come to the end of the story and wonder how things can be normal for all the characters after all this drama.

This is an unusual novel rich in emotion.


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