Author: Bhaavna Arora
Publisher: Srishti Publishers
Genre: Fiction/ Drama
Price: Rs 120
"Is there an acid test to gauge the success of a relationship? Is it right to carry on in an unhealthy relationship with no conjugal bliss, or look for an alternate path?" These are the questions this book raises.
I received an autographed copy of the book for my review which said "Hate the sin, not the sinner". I disagreed right there. Shouldn't the sinner be blamed for committing the sin? I then looked forward to read the book.
This story revolves around three main protagonists. Rihana, her husband Veer and her best friend Raj. Rihana is the spoilt and pampered only daughter of a rich business man. On a trip to Thailand alone, she meet Veer on the plane and befriends him. He on the other hand, has ideas of his own. Once back from the trip, he tries to woo her and finally succeeds by swimming hundred laps in one go. His parents meet hers and soon they are engaged. But Rihana is not sure if this is exactly what she wants. In a moment of confusion she ends up sleeping with her best friend Raj, who like all the other stories and all the bollywood movies is madly in love with her. After that encounter, Rihana realizes that she is in love with Raj and not Veer and decides to elope with him. But her friend dearest develops cold feet and leaves her in the lurch. So, she has no other choice but to marry Veer.
Soon after marriage, troubles in their paradise start. Veer is a sexually active person, who only cares about himself and his orgasms. Rihana on the other hand does not orgasm the normal way and needs foreplay to get there. Veer doesn't understand that but tries nevertheless, giving her just three orgasms in three months. Rihana proudly shares this news with her aunt. No kidding. So Rihana is deprived of conjugal bliss and Veer soon turns into an alcoholic who is extremely insecure about his wife. Rihana is struggling to live with him, but yet her parents and in-laws urge her to do so. Being the perfect daughter that she always was, she continues to live with him, until she finds out that he has been having an affair with a girl he met on Facebook. What happens next? Does she get back with Raj? Does she forgive Veer?
The Deliberate Sinner has a wonderful cover that screams for attention and gets it. The story raises some important questions, but slowly the steam dies down. It points a finger at the male dominated society, but not in a right way. The protagonist, Rihana, disappointed me to no end. She is supposed to be highly educated, a passionate swimmer and independent. Yet she succumbs easily when caught in the shackles of society. She does fight for herself, only in the last few chapters of the book. I did not understand why she went back to Veer after finding out about his affair. And why she decided to stay even after he rapes her one night. That issue is not spoken about at all in the book. If it was just because of her parents and society, then she should not have left him at all in the first place.
Raj was an important character in the first half, but soon disappears only to come back later to disappoint. Rihana continues to stay confused, Veer continues to dominate and her parents continue to force her to stay with her husband. At one point of time I felt that I was watching an Ekta Kapoor serial, instead of reading a book. The book tries to incorporate other emotions as well, like the death of a pet, an ill father-in-law and a humorous take on dark skin. But all of it falls flat on the weak story line. Then ending of the book is what disappoints the most. If she wanted Veer to catch her in bed with another man, just so that he understands what she felt, she could have slept with Raj again. Or should have told Veer about their one night stand that happened when she was engaged to him. But instead she decides on staging a act with a random friend of hers who conveniently agrees to be a part of this mindless drama. Why the book gets its title is explained in the last line of the story and it made no sense to me at all.
Now coming to the sex part of the book, the sex scenes are written pretty well when compared to 'Sita's Curse'. But descriptions like elephantine hardness was out rightly hilarious. A certain kind of class is required while talking about sex. I am not expecting a Harold Robbins kinda description, but atleast some kind of finesse. Sadly, this book does not have it. The book tries to cover a whole lot of emotions and questions at one go, but ends up feeling too rushed. Thankfully it did not take too much of my time, because it is a small book and I finished it in two hours.
Verdict: Tired of watching soaps on TV? Then pick this up.
Rating: 2 out of 5.
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