Beyond the Veil – The journey of an Indian girl is a novella by Siddhi Palande. Siddhi took to writing the book to get over the grief caused by her father’s death. And she has taken the task of writing and publishing her debut work with a month-old baby.
This is a story about an Indian girl named Janhvi Desai. A conventional Indian girl who has been a good girl and lived a nice conventional life. She hopes the marriage to a Mumbai based engineer Ram would change her life and bring a freshness she was hoping for. But life is never as you expect it, is it? Between the anxiety of being the ideal wife her mother told her to be and trying to getting used to her Bandra based “cool” husband, Janhvi tried finding a foothold in the new city and in a new life.
Chemistry between her and Ram, her career, her relationship with her in-laws especially her inquisitive Mother-in-law, an ashram stay and her brush-off with the typical South Bombay socialite are all part of the story.
What works for me are no loopholes, all ends neatly tied. Nice simple language that convey the message aptly. True to its genre- novella, a short crisp read. A strong plot. Consistent motives and action by the characters. The way Siddhi has explored patriarchy and it’s effect on both Men and Women effectively. The fight-back instances are consistent with the stories of a modern Women instead of the Ekta-Kapoorish take. A nice ending(don’t want to give away the plot) and tales of finding a soulmate. A very good debut work. A take on feminism without being preachy.
What did not work for me: I would have loved it if this was a novel instead of a novella. That would have given the author some more time to develop the characters. That would have also helped her elaborate the instances and explain Rams motive for his behaviour. A parallel narration of the events from Rams perspective would have given this is a very nice touch. Although that is just my view.
All in all, the book sure would make Siddhi’s father proud.
Title: Beyond the Veil
Author: Siddhi Palande(Prasiddhi)
Publishers: Educreation Publishing Delhi