Kamini was a lethal combination of beauty and inner radiance. She was the enigmatic wife of the dreaded underworld don Harsh Jadhav, the firebrand leader of an emerging new party, an icon for the youth, an idol of the world of glitter and glamour, and a revered social reformer. She was the target of several dastardly attempts on her life in different cities of the world and was finally assassinated by unidentified gunmen in the most unlikely of places - the porch of her own house. With two mortal shots, death had snatched her life from her and what a life! She could have launched a million brands with her beauty and her exceptional brilliance. A born rebel, she defiantly left her cosy home and family to marry a man she loved. A man, she was to learn rather late in the day, who was the son of one of the most feared mobsters in the country. Here was a woman who went beyond societal mores in her passionate relationships. Kamini's life is a saga of revenge and hope, of aspirations and betrayals, of human tragedies and triumphs. A story of tall men and an even taller woman where heroes were not only heroes and villains were not only villains. The story of Kamini, as powerful in death as she was in life
Kamini - such a strong character. A woman who started her life like you and me - till she did not fall in love with Harsh, A Don’s son. But love as they say is blind and much against the wishes of her parents she marries Harsh. What should have ended as a fairytale romance takes a sinister turn when Harsh’s Dad is killed and he is forced to take up the reigns of the family.
Forced? Well, yes. By Kamini, none other. Her love for her father-in-law makes her, force her husband to pick up the gun. Harsh is initiated as a ruling Don and that brings out his alter ego in the form of a ruthless Don and a womanizer.
Of course, Kamini leaves him after finding him romping on the bed with a woman. (Yikes!!). She stood at the fork of her life with one path leading to be complacent wife and the other which made her want to make a niche corner for herself. She chose the latter. (She really should have picked up the gun!). Kamini wanted to divorce Harsh, but the intervention Bhau stopped her. Bhau tells her at this point the love story of her in-laws, which makes her want to stick to the ‘family fold’. Why? I’ve no clue. Being a woman, I wanted to protest, but then I thought she probably did the clever thing. Don se panga? :P
New love enters Kamini’s life in the form of her bodyguard, Jayanth. Of the three, I liked him the best. Perfect lover, thoughtful friend and a dedicated protector. What more could a woman ask for? J The story weaves intrinsically amongst the three protagonists with Kamini’s daughter being the force behind them. Emotions, passion and sex are the three main elements used to heighten the crescendo. Slow the book is not and with the volume of the book, you also would want to reach the end. This book is NOT for those who are squeamish about sexual content. Vinod Pande has not minced words while describing the murders, nor the lovemaking scenes.
What I liked…..
The characters. Very understandable. Why the characters acted in a certain way can be reasoned. Why Harsh had this dual personality? Why Kamini had an affair? All could be understood reading the story. The only thing I could not understand is why Harsh was a womanizer. (Men I tell you!). For his parents had been depicted as a loving couple. But then the quirks of men……
The visualizations. The author is a visualizer. Two scenes of his left a mark on me.
Kamini’s Death… “scream, cry, cry, cry, blood, blood, blood, shouts, shouts, people, people, feet, feet, feet. Running fast, scrambling feet, shouts, screams, shouts, screams……” (I felt I was in this chaos and slowly as the momentum comes down, I felt a silence engulfing me. A silence before a storm. And then the momentum picks up again. Goosebump moment!!!)
When Kamini is sad over her parents’ refusal for the marriage..... Kamini expresses her sorrow over her parents' behaviour. In her sadness, she removes all her clothes and stands against the wall like a mural. The scene is beautifully etched but sadly it elongates the story and seemed a bit unneccessary.But, it still stikes a chord with me. Did the author want to point out that the character of Kamini would suddenly undergo a change? The sweet Kamini, loved by her parents, loved by her father in law and Harsh would soon be the catalyst to change Harsh's life. For this scene did represent a twist in Kamini's character. A psychological twist.
I couldn't find any faults with the narration of the story. Let me be very clear here that some of you might not find this appealing, but for those who like visualization and understand cinematics, this novel is definitely for you. It is a very powerful story. But my poison was the editing.:( A tighter editing and a stronger research would have literally made this story a blockbuster in our literary world. I am sure the next book of Vinod Pande will not overlook the importance of editing. Even if an author made this mistake, it is on the editor's shoulder when the story talks about SEAL being in India.
Before I go off, let be bid adieu to you all with a fair warning. This book is not for the Prim and Propah but definitely a must read for the Bold and the Beautiful. Go figure... :)
Meet the Author
Vinod Pande is a producer, writer, editor and award winning director whose body of work includes films such as Ek Baar Phir (1979), Yeh Nazdikeeyan (1982) and Sins (2005) among many others. He has also made popular TV shows such as Airhostess (1985-86) and Reporter (1992-97). He worked as programming head for Sahara TV (1997-2000). "The Don's Wife" marks his debut as a published author.
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