I barely registered the rain or the fact that my dog had come and settled on the bed besides me as I read the book. I was lost in Kasauli. Ruchi Singh has a wonderful way of describing places that is more poetic than prose. I could see the mountains and the sun shining through the trees. I could smell the fresh air. As I said I was lost in the book from the first page itself.
The characters are portrayed brilliantly. I half expected them to come right out of the pages and talk to me. Not just Zayd and Ashima but all the supporting characters as well. Each one of them exhibits a plethora of emotions that you can relate to and empathise with.
Ashima is a single mom… no, she is a single daughter in law, a single bhabhi as well, and the sole bread earner. Her weariness, her loneliness, the conventions that bind and hold her back, Her helpless acceptance of her responsibilities , her anguish of not knowing the fate of her husband who is missing in action in the Kargil war, the endless waiting, the flickering of hope against hope, are what make Jugnu a book that is a class apart.
Zayd, having faced death in all its gruesomeness at an early age, is mature beyond his years. He fights with his demons and forges his own identity. Out on parole all he wants is peace but finds someone who steals his heart instead.
Ruchi has brought out the discrimination faced by Muslims in India in the book, but she deals with it in a very matter of fact manner. She doesn’t make a hue and cry about it. I liked the fact that she doesn’t get preachy yet brings home her point.
I think this one definitely deserves 5 stars.
For a lovely read in the rains, pick it up from amazon here.
“Her Secret Husband” is the third book in the “Marriages made in India” series. Having read five of the ten books authored by Sundari Venkatraman, I must say her writing has gotten so much better. This is really difficult for someone who already was a really good writer. But now her story moves seamlessly, through time and events.
The story very nicely brings out the fact that people see what they want to see. Ruma’s mother looks at the boy she has chosen for Ruma and thinks that they make a lovely pair. Dadima looks at them together and feels disgusted . The poor father just buries his head in the sand and notices nothing.
Her characters are well fleshed out. Whether it was Ruma, or Lakshman or Ruma’s grandmother, Sundari made them come alive. Though the series is about the Maheshwari family, it is Ruma’s character that had me hooked.
She comes from a conservative family that believes in arranged marriages and women not working after marriage, yet, she is a feisty young woman. She is not someone who sits quietly and lets life take its course. She is assertive and confident enough to make the first move, first by taking the first step towards ending the distance between them, by visiting Lakshman in his home town unexpectedly and then proposing marriage to him.
But there was one paragraph that made me fall in love with Lakshman.
“They walked to Om Book Shop where Lakshman insisted on buying every book she browsed.
“Laki, are you mad? I don’t need so many books.”
“I need to buy them for you,” was the quiet reply.”
Now that is what I call hero material!
(Marriages Made in Heaven Book #3)
The Maheshwaris are back, a little secretly this time!
What do you do if you find a man who looks like chocolate, speaks like warm syrup, looks at you like you were the most precious cake ever created, and he can bake too? You marry him, even if in secret.
Ruma Malhotra falls head over heels and a little more in love with Lakshman Maheshwari, but her parents insist that she marry a rich businessman of their choice. When Ruma’s only option is to marry Lakshman in secret, she is left torn between her love for her parents and her passion for Lakshman. Is a secret marriage the solution or will it lead the way to a public disappointment?
Lakshman Maheshwari falls in love with Ruma Malhotra the first time he sets his eyes on her in Ranveer’s office. Will he agree to marry Ruma in secret even if it means betraying his parents?
Psst… Those who have read THE MALHOTRA BRIDE might be happy to reconnect with Sunita & Akshay Malhotra in this one.
*MARRIAGES MADE IN INDIA is a five-novella series that revolves around the characters you have met in The Runaway Bridegroom.
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Her Secret Husband is the tenth book authored by Sundari Venkatraman. This is a hot romance and is Book #3 of the 5-novella series titled Marriages Made in India. Book #1 of the series is The Smitten Husband & Book #2 is His Drunken Wife. Other published novels by the author are The Malhotra Bride, Meghna, The Runaway Bridegroom, The Madras Affair and An Autograph for Anjali—all romances. She also has a collection of romantic shorts called Matches Made in Heaven; and a collection of human interest stories called Tales of Sunshine. All of Sundari Venkatraman’s books are on Amazon Top 100 Bestsellers in India, USA, UK, Canada & Australia under both #romance & #drama categories.
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