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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

The Deliberate Sinner by Bhaavna Arora

Title: The Deliberate Sinner                          
Author: Bhaavna Arora
Category: Fiction
Publisher: Srishti Publishers & Distributors
Date: 2014
Price: Rs. 120
Pages: 148

Snapshot: 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?

Rihana is an adventurous and free-spirited girl, until she marries Veer, an eligible bachelor who comes from a wealthy family. While they appear 'happily married', their strong personalities are at odds. Veer, for the most part, is insensitive to Rihanna's physical and emotional needs, straining the relationship and leaving her feeling incomplete.

Caught between the devil and the deep sea, Rihana has to now decide whether to walk out of her marriage and be a victim of society's ridicule, or compromise on her physical needs, which for her are the foundation for a healthy marital bond.
Can they work out their differences? Will Veer give her what she desires, or push her to do something desperate and scandalous?

Review: The cover picture and title of the book- ‘The Deliberate Sinner’ is fascinating enough to turn your head and lure your attention to pick it up. And if you do, then the blurb will definitely cloud your mind with thoughts and questions mentioned in there like “Is there an acid test to gauge the success of a relationship?”
Rihana, the protagonist is a beautiful, vivacious and pampered daughter of a rich businessman. She lives life on her own terms and visits Thailand on a leisure trip where she meets Veer, who happens to be a friend of her good friend Raj. Once back, Veer tries to flatter and woo Rihana with a marriage proposal and she says a ‘yes.’ In jiffy and fanfare, both the families meet, agree and delightfully roll out the engagement party. Rihana could not get quality time to know more about Veer but abides by everyone’s wishes accepting it to be hers. In due time, she finds Veer’s attitude, behaviour and habits pretty strange and this sprouts a difference in their relationship leaving her to sulk. It was then, Raj comes comforting Rihana and in the spurt of a weak moment, she ends up sleeping with him. Confused and undecided about Veer, she decides to run away with Raj. Sadly, Raj turns down her idea.

Finally, Rihana and Veer marry. Soon, the couple face marital discord creating endless troubles and discomfort of physical and emotional needs. However, Rihana’s mother and aunt and also her only friend Shipra constantly help her to get over the hurdles. Some days of peace and bliss do stand in their relationship but then Veer’s infidelity crops up and Rihana decides to make this as the last straw of their so-called marriage that has shadows of Veer’s alcoholism, bad habits and domestic violence. Nonetheless, Rihana could not get any relief and time and again was forced by her mother, ailing father-in-law and Veer himself for another chance. For the freedom she wanted so peacefully, ultimately made her to enact a deliberate sin declaring her a sinner.
 Needless to say, we live in a male dominated society where there is a certain kind of veil or a strangling for a female when it comes to talking about happiness, be it physical or emotional from a marriage or a relationship.
The author Bhaavna Arora has crafted a smart story line highlighting pivotal issues in a very subtle yet apparent way. However, I hold some unsettled qualms. I support Rihana’s decision to walk out of the marriage and not give Raj another chance but I fail to understand the need to introduce Avinash into her act and become a deliberate sinner. I believe the character of Rihana was pretty intelligent and headstrong to simply walk out of her marriage or just bring about her passionate one night stand with Raj in picture. Wasn't that enough to highlight what she wanted to tell Veer- the infidelity, the feeling of betrayal? Secondly, when everybody seems to hold a hot spot for Rihana, why was Veer so ignorant and indifferent towards her?

The writing is simple sprinkled with wry of humor. The book is fast paced and the author has etched the intimate scenes aptly. Nevertheless, I appreciate the author for writing a book that specifically distend the topic about feminine needs and the hardships faced in a marriage versus the societal views and indecent norms.

Positives: The book audaciously underlines issues like infidelity, marital rape and an unhealthy marriage with no conjugal bliss.

Negatives: The author has drawn her protagonist Rihana as an attractive, bright and independent girl. However, during the course of my read, I felt the same woman going extremely weak, hasty and disappointing.

Verdict:  Dilemmas and desires is what seemed to be the plot of ‘The Deliberate Sinner. I will go with 2.75/5 for the book.

About the Authors: Dr. Bhaavna Arora is a new-generation writer who is an avid learner from life. She is a young enthusiast who has two MBA degrees and a Doctorate from Pittsford University in Leadership to her credit.

A philanthropist at heart, she has been sponsoring an underprivileged boy's education. She also works closely with an institute for special children.

Write to her at

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This book has been reviewed by Shaily Bhargava who is an avid reader, freelance writer, amateur photographer and a trait curious soul addicted to tea and coffee. Some of her short stories are published in online literary magazines of repute.

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