TITLE: SUNLIT HEARTS
AUTHOR: MEENU MEHROTRA
PUBLISHER: VITASTA PUBLISHERS
MY RATINGS: 4 out of 5
Have you ever read a book you couldn't take your eyes off from? A book that you read and re-read again after you reached the middle, fearing it would end? The book that makes you think, that you disagree with, that you want to fight with but you just cannot ignore it. My relation to the book simply was this quote a class-mate I could never become friends with had said to me during our farewell-
You are the kind that can be loved or hated; envied or laughed at, but certainly cannot be ignored.
I had at that point of time, tried gathering what she had meant by it.. And had gradually forgotten about it. But yesterday night, while I was planning to sleep, I saw the book partially hidden by the pillow. I flinched and I felt myself being attracted towards it. "Only a few pages are left.." "You have to read through it" thoughts came into my mind, as if to challenge me.
I picked the book and started reading from where I'd left and I realised I had left the story right where I knew conflicts would start brewing. And yet, despite efforts, I decided to read it, cover to cover.
The first page of the book reads,
all the brave & empowered women
who are unafraid to seek their truth
follow their hearts,
celebrate their womanhood
Marriage has been a complicated thought for me, I being the observing kinds have seen more of the atrocities of a marriage around me. Personally, I have wonderful parents and everything. But in general, outside my home, I have seen people not being in love and yet are married to each other. Especially in India the whole concept of
" शादी सिर्फ दो लोगों का मिलन नहीं दो परिवारों का मिलन है " (Marriages in India are not just about the unity of two individuals but the unity of their families as well.)
The togetherness is the sanctity of the marriage, what happens within it is a private affair, but the marriage itself is a matter of public scrutiny. Here is the plot- Medha falls in love with Nikhil while in college. Nikhil does not reciprocate. They move on and eventually get married and settled. Medha however, is not able to surrender to her husband Rishi's love. Things worsen as they shift to Muscat, despite Medha's unwillingness for the same. Also, Medha realises that a workaholic Rishi does not understand her passion for Writing. She feels discouraged and blames him for every misery in her life. Time brings her back to India and it also brings back her ex-flame Nikhil. Nikhil's comeback becomes a watershed in Medha's life as she finds a stronger sense of attraction towards him, considering the misery she was going through in her marriage. She decides to separate from Rishi but the only sense of bonding, their son Yash stops the marriage from falling apart. She starts living in India while Rishi is left all alone in Muscat. Medha gets involved with Nikhil and love blossoms between them.
What does she choose? Love or her Marriage? Whom does she choose- The Man she has fallen in love with or the Man who is the father of her child?
Meenu Mehrotra has wonderfully beaded every chapter, every line in a symphony of emotions, sometimes in clusters of emotions and sometimes in ephemeral descriptions of the Nature around her. Through Medha she addresses a friction that every woman feels at some point of time in her life. It also shows how Sex has a meaning for women, just like it has for men. How physical intimacy is a gateway to her, while her disconnect is clearly visible from the abstinence. These little things are often ignored when it comes to a man –woman relationship. Medha is not an emotional fool, but is a human with a mind of her own. She is aware of her decisions and the repercussions. She speaks in what she believes and is resistant to her dislikes.
The usage of quotes and anecdotes before every chapter, in itself provide introduction to what lies ahead. They swell the emotions in a reader, as if the reader in his/her subconscious mind already knows what is to happen and yet, cannot stop reading it, devouring the emotional escalations he/she goes through as the plot deepens.
My favourites are-
“There are times when we must sink to the bottom of our misery to understand the truth, just as we must descend to the bottom of the well to see the stars in broad daylight.”- Vaclav Havel
“I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly for you tread on my dreams.”- W.B. Yeats
And the last one is,
“Never cut what you can untie.”- Joseph Joubert
These lines hit your guts and you begin to question your own convictions. The definitions we have been taught and told, and seeking, “what it takes to be happy”
A wonderful transformation is what I acknowledged in myself after I finished this book. I have always been ashamed of what I feel for someone. I care too easily and I love even more. I love some of my friends and people do have a problem with it. They say, “Love” has to be defined. This book further solidifies my belief that Love is what one feels and it never has to be defined- Never.
If you liked this review, do leave in a comment! And do buy the book here at discounted rates!
Meenu is a wonderful person and a prolific writer. I recommend this book to anyone who wishes to give Love a second chance!
Also, you may wish to contact the author, give her your feedback, etc. Her website is www.meenuthewriter.com
The Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/SunlitHeartsByMeenuMehrotra