Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Malhotra Bride by Sundari Venkatraman

36581045No.of pages :222
Kindle Edition published on: February 11, 2014
Published on : December 30, 2017
Published by : Finger Print
Book links : Goodreads Amazon
Author links : Goodreads Twitter Website

My review

Problem with many Indian parents is that they think arranged marriages are the best for their children. I would say they are right in one way but it is completely not true. Why I am saying is, today we can see many couples get married through arranged marriages head to courts for getting a divorce. Why did they go when their marriages were well planned so perfectly? We can’t say love marriage is also best. Both marriages have their own merits and drawbacks. Considering today’s scenario in India, most youngsters attitude towards marriage has changed due to technology and westernization.

The Malhotra Bride starts with our female protagonist, Sunita’s mother telling her daughter they have got her a proposal for marriage. Should she be happy or sad? In India, marriages make grooms more joyful than brides. It is true, isn’t it? Grooms don’t have to separate from their parents in most cases. They have freedom to roam anywhere they want and anytime they want. But girls have their restrictions. Once they get married, their freedom is lost. May be they didn’t have freedom from the start but they enjoyed certain privileges at their parents home.

Once they get married, they have to cook for their new family, bear children for months without complaining, feed them and raise them well apart from taking responsibility to do the household chores. If the woman is also an office goer, no need to say the depression she faces. Three in ten men may have changed for the better in India. Yet, when we consider the overall percentage, it is quite a shocker. Woman lose their freedom after marriage. It is as if they are bought after marriage. Men don’t lose their freedom, they just have to take some responsibility to protect their family. Most of the Indian women can’t go wherever they want whether to meet their school friends or college friends without getting approvals from their in-laws or respective spouses. 

In this novel, the author has spin a tale around marriages happening in rich North Indian families. It’s hard to digest that woman are always helpless yet her truth is brutally honest. Sunita is just 20 years old but she is forced to get into an arranged marriage by her parents. When Sunita meets Akshay after making her grandfather agree to their private meeting, she says to him that she doesn’t want to get married but he somehow tries to convince her . She has portrayed the female protagonist as an innocent, young woman who is under dire predicament by villains (her family members) to be rescued by a hero.

I will say, Sunita is a dumb girl with full of confusions and Akshay is a foolish man with full of confidence. Like her, he is also reluctant to marry at first but after being smitten by her beauty, he changes his mind and uses his charm to win her love. It is very clear, his love is based on lust only. How many days a love based on lust will survive is an answer that everybody knows. Their love is immature is what I feel. On the whole, the narration is too good. The author is a South Indian but she has managed to write a story on North Indian family setting which is admirable.

Rating 3/5

Excerpt one

"Listen to me, little one. I can promise you freedom from your parents. But for that you'll have to marry me. I can't just take you away from them-"
"Hey," Sunita's eyes lit up, "I can always run away."
"Where to?" asked Akshay reasonably, "and do what?"
Sunita's face well. "Sorry I interrupted. Please continue."
"Just for that one condition, " Akshay took off from where he left off, "the wedding ceremony, a change in your name, status and address. After that you are free to choose the kind of life you want to live, your time will be your own, no interference from either me or my parents." His voice was hypnotic, painting an attractive picture of her future.

Excerpt Two

Sunita woke up to find herself on a hospital bed. She jumped up when she remembered what had happened, and ran out of the room into the corridor. Confused about which direction to take, she looked around for a minute. A sob escaped her as she ran towards her right, correctly guessing the direction in which the receptions lay.

Disclaimer I thank Finger Print for giving me a free copy.

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