Being a teenager myself(ok, in the last of teens :)), I could easily relate to what the protagonist is going through and could empathize with her. Also, this story helped me get a really deep and clear view of the Indian family system and the gossamer-like interconnections that exist between every relation in the system. Things that were so far unclear or comical to me, gained more importance in my eyes and I could appreciate the value of the Indian Family. I could only be awed by the structure of Indian society that has withstood so many assaults(or is modifications the right word??) from other cultures and still maintained its charm and unique flavor. Any system that leads its participants and products to success and finally victory is a good system(my definition :)). In that manner, the family system that exists in India is a really good one. Though there are some casualities in it, by and large, it’s a successful one.
This book does not have a separate humor line or character. Instead, humor is subtle and very much a part of the entire story. There is Loganathan, a comical character who acts funny and has an inexplicable behavior. But there is a sad story within him and he is grappling with demons from his past. Though Mythreyi does not understand it at first, she slowly comes to know of the truth and makes amends through his son thereby giving Loganathan peace. The main charm of the book is that it talks of ordinary people, people whom we can see in day to day life and whose life is assumed to be very normal, very regular, very boring. In this age of wanting to have fun “all the time” and trying to fill in every waking moment with pleasure of all kinds, this book was a refreshing change. It allows the readers to contemplate on all what’s happening in their lives in a slow manner. It basically shows that everyone needs a minute to rest, to ponder, to plan and to relax in this rat-race to success because success is not defined by the goals that you achieve. It also places importance on the ways of achieving it and the experiences that you gain along the way. Till I read this book, I wanted to keep doing something all the time. I could never sit still as I wanted to do more and more in less time. More of fun, more of work, more of studying, more of enjoying life, more of everything!! In the process, I lost some good times with friends(I didn’t have time to keep up with them), lost control of life(I was just jumping from one deadline to another, one meeting to another and one work to another and didn’t know where life was leading me) and came close to losing my health(thanks to my mom, I’m still very healthy :) She took care of all my needs when I was busy enjoying with the world. Thank you amma! ).But this book helped me slow down a bit and enjoy the quiet flowers of solitude. Even now, being some thousands of miles away from home, I still have this book with me to show that I have to slow down whenever I feel I’m going too fast. Because I have learned the hard way that it is as important to enjoy the journey as it is to reach the goal.
I feel this is one of the few books that have to be read to be fully understood. No matter how long I write about this book or explain it in different ways, it will not make a big impact unless it is read and experienced first-hand. I haven’t captured the essence of the novel fully. I have just stated the storyline and given a brief overview of what is explained in the book. Or is it that I’m not that good a writer to capture all my feelings about this book in these posts? Hmmm... Scary! But I guess I’ll have to find ways to improve myself in that case. Readers, what do you think?
(Phew!! I'm done. I've kept up the challenge and put in three posts, each more than 500 words about the same topic, something which someone else has not tried out. Finding some such topic(this particular book came as a God-send) was difficult. And writing about it was more so. V, it was an interesting experiment. Though you have to say if the results were as you expected them to be :) However, though I started on these set of posts as part of a challenge, it finally became interesting to explore my feelings for this particular book. Though I knew earlier that I liked this book a lot, I could never put a finger on exactly why I liked it. Even now, the exact reason remains vague. But I have a better understanding. Though I'm not sure how you readers took it all. Sorry if you got bored of it. But, if you can get your hands on it, I would suggest you to read it as it is a wonderful book, especially if you are looking for something different.)