MEGHNA by Sundari Venkatraman
The young and dashing Rahul Sinha lives in England with his parents, Shyam and Rajni. He is an only son of the rich banker. Rahul is totally attached to his father but does not care for his mother. Read the book to find out why….
Rahul is exulted with his efforts at work paying off and plans a holiday with his best friend Sanjay Srivastav who lives in Mumbai with his wife Reema, kids Sanya and Rehaan and most importantly, his sister, Meghna. Rahul recalls meeting Meghna just before they parted six years ago.
Meghna works for a website and also teaches modern dance as she loves it. She’s thrown for a toss when Rahul comes visiting. She had thought he had forgotten them.
But how could Rahul do that? Sanjay’s his best friend and Rahul had always treated their home as his own. Sanjay’s mother had been more of a mother to Rahul than his own. Rahul had stayed away after moving to England or so Meghna believes.
Thus begins the story between Rahul and Meghna, the teasing, the flirting, the anger, the tears… …will they find love?
A FRIENDLY WARNING: This book has been written only for the purpose of Entertainment, Entertainment, Entertainment! If you are looking to learn something or improve your lives after reading this work, then this book is not for you. I am not trying to get into competition with the Author Biggies of this world. I wrote this simply for the fun and joy of it. One thing I can promise the reader though: Well proof-read, perfect language that I feel is very important for every book that's written in any tongue.
This kind of Romance only Sundari Venkatraman can pull off. And what a dare! Her first promotion of the book took place with the words - Babes read this at your own risk. Now, who can resist that? If you are expecting to learn a lesson in life, or your intellectuality needs to be confirmed or even if you are a bra burning feminist, then please don't pick up this book. It is NOT meant for you.
But if you have a cuppa, a a few drizzles. Romance is in the air - then this airy, romantic story is for you. The story is simple and cute. Meghna is a girl next door. Maybe she will conquer the world when she grows up, but right now she is a moter-bike rider who is in love with her brother's friend. He is not aware of it of course. Thank god, for that. (pssst .. law? or did the Sisters of my convent just say that to scare me :O)
I am not summarizing the story. The blurb is concise and precise enough. But what I do want to get into- is the aesthetics of the story. Even if I read this story,after keeping my brain aside, it unfolds in front of me, many layers of relationship. Rahul and his parents, his dad with his mom and above all Meghna with own family. One thing about Sundari's characters I have noticed are - gray shades are more inclined towards white rather than being totally black. I asked Sundari about it. Here is a snippet of that : (without her permission, of course :P)
Rubina: "Sundari, your characters are always happy ? Why ?"
Sundari: "I see people like that."
Rubina: "But people are not like that. We cannot be good always...?
Sundari: "Why? Why can't we? And does a villain always mean someone who steals, rapes and murders?"
Rubina: "Err.. ummmm :O"
Sundari: If someone hurts your feelings, is he not a villain too?
Rubina: "Errr.. ummmmm ..uff.. ummm."
Sundari: "My book is about simple people in all walks of life."
Rubina: "So it's fine if a sixteen year old being kissed by an adult?" (I was again gaining footage)
Sundari: "Oh? That is a problem?"
Rubina : "Yes of course. In India 16 year old don't go about kissing." *biting my nails wondering - do they?
Sundari: "Have you ever suddenly gone to your building's terrace where the kids meet in the evening?" *Grumble Grumble.. how can I? I am too busy reading books at that time.
Sundari: "Ask around. And it is not 'old fashioned India' only. 16 means high school is over. Of course they know kissing!":O
Rubina quickly picks up the phone and shouts at her daughter to return home ASAP!
Rubina: "But what about that prologue.. I found it a bit forceful. Very filmy? Full hijack-shyjack!"
Sundari: "Ya sure! Hijack happens only in Chuck Norris movies? That's why you recite the Gayatri Mantra every time you plan a trip!"
Rubina: "But Sundari? That was a bit Dramatic na?"
Sundari: "Why? Can't a hijack happen and when it happens can't a couple realize.. *beep beep
Rubina : What about the mother and father? Why haven't you explored their characters?
Sundari: (typed sweetly) "because I am not writing Ramayana or Mahabharata. It is a short love story following the path of two lovers."
Rubina: "But the brother and sister of Meghna? Why did you not go deeper into their relationships?"
Sundari: "Yes yes... Next time promise, I will go to their neighbor's house also and tell their story. You will review na?"
Sundari: "Ok Rubina, cut the crap! Did you like the story or not?"
Rubina: (whispers) "I hate you .."
Sundari: shocked !
Rubina: "Then what, you write such simple stories.Putting lives into the characters, taken from people you know in real life. Simplicity is your poison, Sundari. Some will love it and some won't. But those who do will come back for more and more and more and...."
Sundari: "So this book will sell or not?
Rubina: "It has been on the bestseller list.."
Sundari: I rest my case :D
A disclaimer: This is an imagined conversation. Meant only for entertaining purpose. Writing a review for such a simple story which has touched the hearts of many is tough. The editing is flawless and one cannot imagine Sundari not writing this book.
When I say tough,I don't mean the story line or the way of writing. I don't mean the story is layered and just when you feel that you have read it all - Sundari in her own filmi way throws a punch! (Remember in The Malhotra Bride, the gunshot scene?)
Here too there is hijack scene. This is Sundari's style. Who am I to ask her to change it? Some might not like it and some might but to tell an author to change her style simply because I don't agree with it,does not mean she is not a good writer. She is a dynamic writer. But her poison is her believe. If she believes in the scene, come hail or storm, she will keep it. Now with so much passion, how can a story go wrong ?
I wont't be rating this book. When I gave Double Jeopardy a 5 star, I did not know Sundari Venkatraman then when I gave her The Malhotra Bride 5 stars,I knew well by then.
Now I am being accused of being biased. Yes, I am. I love her writing style. I love the simple, pure romantic books. Sue me!
Meet the Author
The Author's Thoughts
Even as a kid, she absolutely loved the 'lived happily ever after' syndrome as Sundari grew up reading all the fairy tales she could lay her hands on, Phantom comics, Mandrake comics and the like. It was always about good triumphing over evil and a happy end. Soon, into her teens, she switched her attention from fairy tales to Mills & Boon. While she loved reading both of these, she kept visualising what would have happened if there were similar situations happening in India; to a local hero and heroine.
Her imagination took flight and she always lived in a rosy cocoon of romance over the years. Then came the writing - a true bolt out of the blue! She could never string two sentences together. While her spoken English had always been excellent - thanks to her Grandpa - she could not write to save her life. She was bad at writing essays in both school and college. Later, when it was time to teach her kids, she could manage everything from Science to Mathematics and History & Geography.
When it came to writing compositions, her kids found her of no help at all. All this changed suddenly one fine day in the year 2000. She had just quit her job at a school's office and did not know what to do with her life. She was saturated with simply reading books. That's when she got home one evening after her walk and took some sheets of paper and began writing. It was like watching a movie that was running in her head - all those years of visualising Indian heroes and heroines needed an outlet and had to be put into words. That's how her first novel, The Malhotra Bride, took shape.
While she felt discouraged when publishing did not happen, it was her husband who kept encouraging her not to give up. There was no looking back after that. While publishing took a long time happening, Sundari continued to write novels and then short stories. Her luck turned when Indireads approached her to write for them and Double Jeopardy was born.
Now it’s all about self-publishing her books on Amazon. She have published The Malhotra Bride (2nd Edition) and Meghna so far while planning to publish her fourth book - The Runaway Bridegroom - in September 2014.
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