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Thursday, May 05, 2011

Broken Melodies

Gajra Kottary, the same writer who wrote the story of one of my favourite serials Astitva has come up with this bitter sweet novel about growing up.
While the sweetness was very much controlled there was a lot of sadness and bitterness.
I ended up feeling extremely sad and down to dumps after reading the entire book. But not for one moment did I wish to stop reading half way or not continue.
The author has managed to sustain the curiosity of the reader and maintain the interest in reading the story as it develops.

Young Niyati is a latchkey kid. Her mother works in an office, her father is a classical singer and her sister, 10 years older than her goes to college.
The worst time of the day for Niyati is the time when she comes back from school- when she has to go to next door aunty's home to have her lunch that her mother packed and face the teasings of cheeky Chandan, aunty's son.
The best time were when she was doing her puzzles, or when she was with her Nidha didi or her mother Sumiran or when her father would feed her little morsels from her plate.
Sounds like a happy family. But it wasn't so in reality.
Their's was a totally disfunctional family her parents' marriage was dead when Niyati was still in her mother's womb but like typical Indian family, they were living under the same roof for the sake of their daugters and society.
Her father, creative to the boot, lived for his music whereas her mother had given up all her creative aspirations to feed and educate the kids.
Being a witness to her father's philandering, her mothers despair and the constant raised voies and threats of suicide, Niyati is emotionally scarred.
With time as Sumiran becomes more and more desperate Nisha takes over a job and the responsibility of running the home and keeps Niyati under her wing. There is also a sudden change in Nisha- she who was her mother's support all the while, begins to undertsand what drives her father and becomes a caregiver to her father.
Niyati is emotionally torn between her love and loyalty to her mother, yearning for her father's love and attachment to her sister.
Where does this take her?
what happens to the family
How does the jigsaw puzzle pieces fit?
Questions that keep the readers motivated and interested. Yet there is a deep sadness that engulfs one too.

1 comment:

Swapna Raghu Sanand said...

The story seems to reflect a growing malaise in our society today. The institution of marriage and family is disintegrating because there is very little effort to keep it intact, unlike during the days of our grandmothers and their mothers. Sad and real, that is what the tragedy is.