Marriage is such an overrated word. We don’t need irate parents to keep bugging us to get hitched. The aunties, chachas, Miss- Good-looks-married-Mr-FatPay, Sabzi wali, the ever irritated lady at the ticket counter & even the neighbor’s grumpy dog constantly remind the bachelor about the miserable life they are leading. The only mission they seem to have in life is to push the Kuwara & Kuwaris ” around. According to these self-appointed culture saviors, marriage is the ultimate destination of every single soul on this earth. Believe me, if I say so. If you don’t ask the question from a ‘Bechara Kuwara ‘ who has been living, eating & sleeping the marriage dream.
Hooked, Lined & Single By Rashmi Kumar is a story of an author who is independent, successful, well traveled & a ‘Divorcee’. I reason I have hyphenated the word ‘Divorcee’ is because the main plot revolves around it. But hey wait ! it is neither serious or boring. In fact, the story is pleasantly refreshing. I won’t use the term ‘different ‘ or ‘Hatke’ as I find it most used & abused.
Meet the Protagonist
Alafia Singh, 32, a Christian by birth is a successful woman. Her only motto of her life is to find a ‘Good’ guy & settle down. On her quest to find herself a partner, she meets men of all age, shapes & sizes. She falls in love with few, reject some & becomes good friends with others. However, she couldn’t manage to ‘Pin down ‘ a good guy & get hitched.
Why is a marriage so important? Is it a personal choice rather than a social obligation? Alafia is an independent woman yet she succumbs to social pressure to find a suitable partner & settle down. Such is the patriarchal approach of our society.
Alafia The Wolfie “ as fondly called by her Richie Rich & flirtatious friend Ali, comes across more of a lamb ready to be hunted than a tigress on a prowl.
Alafia could be any girl. She could be a girl living next door who looks extremely centered & focused. No one can ever understand the struggle she must be going through. It is heartening to see how social stigmas change a person’s perception. If an independent woman like Alafia could say something like ” See, a man helps me find the beauty in me. I think my whole world becomes the man.If I don’t have a man around, my life is nothing”.
Read the interview of Author: Sweet Talks With Rashmi Kumar
Book- Shook & all that!
A story set in our own ‘Dilwali Delhi ‘ has successfully captured the nuisance of city culture & conflict. On one hand, you will find yourself in a typical middle-class household discussing all important matter on dinner table & on the other side you get to groove with elite crowd gorging on finest of booze & caviar. The setup, characterization, language ( or should I say slang :) ) create a perfect picture in front of you.
The story takes the reader from a high-profile party to glorious mountains (Dehradun ), from bustling metro life to spooky past life, from Mr. Money bag NRI to a non-fussy charming Canadian. It has all right ingredients to keep the interest level high.
But most of all that I liked was the realistic approach of the writer towards all her character. None of the characters comes across as forced or over the top. They speak the language that is today’s readers understand.
Some of the quotes from the book are simply bookmarked worthy. Sample this ….
” Alafia , my dear, forgiveness also means letting go of your own guilt, shame, sorrow, anger, & other negative emotions that are keeping you from forgiving people, events, situations, and the past in general. ”
At times, the events & emotions looked repetitive. After Alafia’s initial two meeting with prospective grooms, I started feeling like if I was reading the female version of Bollywood dud ‘ What’s your Rashi’ ( If you remember it at all ). But thankfully the story took a much-needed diversion & instead focused on Alafia’s life.
At the end, the story lost the pace. I wish it had the same amount of punch till the very end. Ethan , the non-fussy Mr. right makes a guest appearance. The mushy moments between the two take the reader to the world of happily ever after. They meet, hold hands, have the right amount of conversation, almost end up coming together. Was it necessary? In my personal opinion, the character of Ethan doesn’t bring anything to the story.
It is a good read laced with good humor. It is not stereotypical as in most cases where the girl is ” holier-than-thou ” “Saving her body for Mr. right. Although the story has a female protagonist, every single youth of ” marriageable age ” ;) can relate to it. It’s refreshing, entertaining & non-pretentious. AND thankfully, It is a well-edited book. Readers won’t be distracted by silly typos or editorial errors. If you are a fan of chic lit, “Hooked, Lined & Single” is just for you.Enjoy !
Rating:- 3.5/5 :)
( * Views expressed here are my own. The Book review is commissioned by the author . )