Friday, 2 March 2018

Review of The Temple Bar Woman







My take

Amazing and absolutely glorious……..

I am in a dilemma after reading the blurb. Before going to the dissection of it, I want to  say that I have got mesmerized by the storyline . There is not   a flip flop from past to present, but an even flow which makes the reading seamless. I finished it in two days thanks to the fast-paced, engaging plot , beautiful language and interesting characters.

Sujata Parashar a polular Indian novelist  creates  immaculate prose in quality . She has written 7  books including poetry series and a  short- story collections . Her writing is dainty including all the  vibes .

Her new novel THE TEMPLE BAR WOMAN , A Tale of danger, deceit , and daring  is as powerful as anything she has penned With a contained fury, fiction in the service of polemic.

The plot

           The book starts with  CAST  in a tabular form carrying the characters and their role. It is mainly the MCs we come across in the book. Following the Prologue there are three sections containing totally  35 chapters.

         The social drama opens at Village Anhoni, Agria Pradesh February 1999 . Radha the only daughter of Krishna Kant Chaudhary founder and principal ofEklavya Mahyamik Vidyalaya (EMV)  is a teacher in the same school .
      She plans to enjoy the weekend at a Satrangi Mela going on in the village along with Seema her childhood friend.

There she has a  quarrel with a man as he has hit her going without apology. She raises her hand and slaps him hard across his face. The man happens to be Vikram Pratap Singh, son of Bharat Singh head of Jan sakthi party (JSP).

Provoked by the humiliation  in the public view he has taken it very  personal and tried to teach her a lesson along with his buddies Shekar and Manu. They kidnap her and the sexual attack by them leaves her grievously injured.She slips in to unconsciousness.

What has happened afterwards makes Radha’s trajectory of destiny takes a U turn. The rest of the story talks about her ordeals and efforts to make the revenge.

The pro

Both title and subtitle are nice. There are so many knots beautifully spun by the authoress to make the reading dulcet. The plot flows perfectly characters are incredibly realistic.

 The Authoress  has painted a horrifying picture of rape recovery and revenge.

 She has got  a crisp writing style with multilayered stories and firm grasp on plot.

The ending has surprised me.

The concept revolves around the rape and revenge formula and it turns to the political field. It speaks a lot about the pathetic   condition of sex workers and their problems .

There is also talk  about politics and the same is projected in a positive note through   Rakshit Singh . It is a great solace to meet such people amidst of corrupt and selfish politicians.

Characterisation  is superb. I like Krishna Kant Radha's father, Mala Habiba Khan,s maidservant and Neer Rakshit Singh's eight year old daughter.

 There are sentiments  sprinkled to break the tension which builds slowly throughout the book.

My favorite

I admire the main protagonist Radha for all her boldness and intelligence coupled with wisdom. Also I astonish  the administrative prowess of Habiba Khan who is running the Temple Bar . The love story of Jumki and Arif Khan comes as a relief to  melodrama .

The following revelations as far as the sex workers are concerned would melt anybody’s   heart.

She may live but her life is over . (As uttered by Habiba about Radha.)

She is a kothe-waali and women  like her don’t have a past or future , only the present.

These hapless and vulnerable women who landed in such  places had to struggle for even their most basic rights.

Also I like the all Fridays  as Ride-A-Bike  concept to ease out traffic.
Cover by The Book Bakers is excellent. 

What I feel

Radah wants to take revenge against the main culprit only .
 Two of his accomplices Shekar and Manu are also equally  punishable.

After recovering from her traumatic experience  and becoming a politician she seems to forget her village, the school  and her childhood friend Seema. The villagers  are very fond of her  and her father.

My verdict

This is a helluva book for those who believe in feminism. It has enthralled me with all the entertainment elements and enlightenment about  both the realms of sex workers as well as the politicians  .

Right from the start, the narrative is skillfully interlaced with its ugly aftermath, as if to show how a crime contains consequences within it - seeds of the fury .

The authoress has done all the justification to present a fantastic book and it may lead to so much dialogue and discussions.

I recommend this book to all .

My score    5/5

Disclaimer: I thank Writersmelon for having sent me the book  free in exchange of  my honest and unbiased review

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