31 Miles – Vinita Bakshi.
My Mom’s review. She wrote in pure Hindi and I am trying to translate it to English, although my vocab doesn’t do justice to her words but whatever:
I got the opportunity to read the book “31 Miles” by Vinita Bakshi and once I started, just couldn’t put it down without finishing it. No doubt this book is so beautifully written that it actually shook some untouched corners of my heart. She has actually uncarved the deep engraved feelings of an Indian woman. Author has actually very well put together and has understood what a woman goes thru and what her struggles, pains, dilemma, confusions are, that commendable and I believe she is a perfect psychologist. Protagonist is a middle aged (45 years), well educated, a mother of two from an upper class family, even then she doesn’t remain untouched by something like infatuation at that age and situation is what the book explores. Her husband is a smart, very well placed, caring, loving and a man who will leave no stone upturned in fulfilling her wishes. A simple thing which tells a lot about him is that he actually gets restless and waits for her standing at the terrace the day she gets late to return home from her work. He wouldn’t even let her drive their car alone thinking that she may have an accident, just imagine. Even after being married for two decades or more, she still has no idea how much he loves her or she just doesn’t understand his love at all.
She always feels that there is something missing in her life, may be those little praises that she expects from him or those little “I love you’s” that go missing in the daily rut of life is what gets fulfilled by “Rajan” the new entrant in her run of the mill life. How this new “Online relationship screws up her married life of two decades is the rest of the story. The utter romantic Rajan and his histrionics make her fall head over heels and she just couldn’t see anything else. Author has to be praised for the way she has done and covered this delicate turn of events where it never goes out of hands and never feels over done or goes over board. It is actually to her credit the way she has carved out the strong character of the protagonist who still tries to make her lover understand that they are both married with kids and have spouses, still the way it turns out to be is quite shocking yet convincing. But what happens next as well as how it all ends is something you’ve got to read the novel for. I found the ending to be quite emotional and heart touching, especially the way her “Guru Maa” handles the situation and guides her is simply terrific. The actual depth of the novel and the narrative is its ending part which impressed me to no bounds, it was indeed what the Author wanted her readers to know and understand (I believe).
This book is actually superb for those ever so emotional people who may take a wrong step or two at one point of there life and think that there is no going back. Its a must read especially for those and will be an eye opener who are on the verge of committing a mistake knowingly or unknowingly. This will work like an ultimate guiding light for those lost souls. I will rate and recommend it very high and will call it a must read for all.
PS: I am not sure if my translation does justice to her original review in Hindi. And I got the book back on my rack with this 🙂 so I will be reading it soon myself.