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Saturday, October 27, 2012

Post 16: Book Review 13: Of Tattoos and Taboos! by Anurag Anand

Title:  Of Tattoos and Taboos!
Author:  Anurag Anand
Date:  2012

Publisher:   Shrishti Publishers
Price: Rs. 100

When the author of this book Anurag Anand told me that his recent book after the very famous "The Legend of Amrapali", is based on life of a Gujarati girl who sets out from from a town into a big city attracted by its pace and fast life, i was immediately interested to read it. Thanks a lot Anurag  for sending me a copy the very next day!

SNAPSHOT:  Its a story of an educated but simple Gujarati Girl Sejal Patel who gets charmed by fast and free life of Mumbai - a metro city. The transformations in her in order to be a smart, social and live life on her terms break the Taboos and adapt to Tattoos.She even goes to the extent of changing her conventional Gujarati name to modern Sherlyn Ahuja However what is her purpose in Mumbai? Will these exterior changes really change the person she is?  These are the issues that the story compels one to think about.

The Book:  First of all the cover page is very well designed and fits theme and thoughts of the protagonist. Therefore, once I read the first two pages of pages where her theory about comparative male and female psychology went, gripped me and i went on reading till the end.

The story begins in the colorful back-drop of Navratri days, when Sejal (the protagonist) along with her best friend from childhood to MBA, Kamini are dressed up for a great Garba night. However for Kamini the incentives are more as she is about to meet Nirav, her love since past five years after a separation of three long years. They stay at Nirav's place for the night where Sejal gets friendly with Nirav's friend Jacob and they drink and get a little intimate. This is her first experience of intimacy with a man, who doesn't even call her up. She feels bad and guilty, however upon introspection she realizes that she didn't fell for Jacob it was Mumbai she was attracted to! Around the same time Kamini shits on her own to Mumbai, gets a job and lives an independent life there. Their regular conversations gives wings to Sejal's dream and then she decides, its time to fly. She finds a job and despite of her parents little reluctance, the presence of Kamini in Mumbai favours her get her way.

She is now into a demanding job and lives with  Kamini. One night on Kamini's insistence they go to a pub where both of them get heavily drunk and make out with two complete strangers. Sejal being too drunk is semi-concious and recalls everything just the nest day. While Kamini isn't affected by it normally and preaches that "if guys can have fun why cant we?' Somewhere, maybe she wants to accept it to decrease the guilt. Slowly the guilt fades as time passes buy. She finds a great companion in her boss Ravi which blossoms into love from both sides. They both gel well with each others friends and room-mates. However, right after two years of this relationship, when he goes home to talk to his parents about her, he instead comes back engaged!!! She feels cheated and shocked. As she deals with these feelings and tries to reason out his ulterior motives, he sees him falling for the newest girl in their office which leaves her disgusted. Thanks to their social life of Mumbai, there is always someone and she doesn't feel lonely. Meanwhile Kamini reveals she broke up with Nirav as she found him in compromising position with two females. All these events disgust her against guys. She now changes her current job to avoid seeing Ravi everyday.

Now begins a new phase in her life where she is sick of men and their lies. However, she finds a great friend in Vishal, a struggling actor. He is someone she could be herself with and its the same for him. They also being physically attracted to each other they become friends with benefits. They spend time and make out regularly, however keeping it a secret from everyone and their status "single". He sees many other girls and she also has one night stand with her boss on an office trip. All is well until one day Vishal proposes and they get married only with the consent of his parents. She gets disgusted by the guy her father chooses for her and sends them her wedding invitation just a day before. She now gives up her age old name Sejal Patel to a modern Sherlyn Ahuja, and as a mark of leaving the taboos gets a tattoo! All this that a normal Gujarati girl cant dare do even in her dreams!!!

Is this a right step? Will their open ended relationship always be the same? Will they be able to live that way always? Will her values change with the name and the tatoos? Or does the heart always has taboos?For an answer to all of these grab a copy!

A lot of soul searching and introspection that happens as Sejal passes through different phases of life, i could relate to them the most and it just kept me thinking. 

The Verdict!!!
Negatives:  There are one or two incidences in the book which are unnecessary. However being very small they never make you feel bored. 

Positives:  The language is simple and good. Story is something one can easily relate to. The story ends with a beautiful message. Also a special mention here that the author deserves to be applauded for his ability to do justice to the female character and her emotions. It is a difficult task to understand and comprehend women, thinking like one is a feat!

Final Statement:  An entertaining read with a message and some introspection.

About the author: 
Anurag Anand is a Mumbai based Banking professional, for whom writing is simply an extension of his passion for books. He has authored best-selling titles like 'The Quest for Nothing', 'Reality Bites' and 'The Legend of Amrapali'. He has been widely acclaimed for his realistic style of writing and ability to capture myriad emotions within his words.

Grab a copy today!!!
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1 comment:

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