Tuesday, January 22, 2013

The Secret Wishlist by Preeti Shenoy

Yet again, in ruthlessly cold winters, a book came my way to lend some calm and warmth. Such books become special. Months after you have read them, they will still bring an instant smile on your face when you spot them on your book shelf. Captivating, charming and engrossing - even before I begin, I can use these three words to characterize the book I am about to review.

The Secret Wish List, another great read by the best-selling author Preeti Shenoy is a book I am glad I read, the reasons for which I shall entail later. For now, a brief peek into the plot of the book. The story revolves around a central character - Diksha. She could be any one us. A single mistake by her, at the time when she was stepping on the threshold of womanhood condemns her to a life of pseudo-servility, masked under the dutiful role of a wife-cum-mother. She is married to an uncaring, insensitive and workaholic husband, who has no idea what transpires in the world beyond his office, newspaper and golf. Fifteen years into her loveless marriage, Diksha suddenly finds herself at crossroads when her first tender crush resurfaces in her life, and she realizes she is still very much in love with him. Prior to this realization, Diksha has another. She, albeit very late, but recognizes that her life within the domestic bounds has become the kind of monotony she can no longer survive in. In a moment of emotional rush and upon the insistence of her cousin, she makes a secret wishlist. This wishlist is not entirely extraordinary, which only goes onto reflect the basic elements of fun which Diksha had been deprived off in life, but perhaps, now, that could change.

I am head over heals in love with this book, as well as the author. It is a girl's story, told with sensitivity, drama, sensibility, and it manages to save itself from becoming a sob-story through and through. It is not a story about making mistakes. It is a story about making a life for yourself. It teaches you, in its own little way, how much it pricks if the life you live is not in accordance with your dreams and desires. It dwells on the emptiness which creeps into the hearts and minds of those homemakers whose life is confined to a thankless routine of caring for their husbands and children. The book focusses on 'life', on 'living', as distinguished on merely 'existing'. It touches your heart at many instances, especially when you realize that things that are taken for granted by you are actually a distant luxury for someone else. It makes you angry for the protagonist, whose character is well shaped and keeps developing during the course of the novel.

Told in an extremely lucid and simple narrative, The Secret Wish List is a book no girl out there should miss. I insist on girls reading it, because I know they will associate with it better. The book spreads itself over a span of 18 years in a non-linear narrative, but not once does it let the reader feel lost. It is a decently paced book and is engaging enough to make you want to turn pages faster. Rich with human emotions, you never know, if this story might hold a mirror to your life as well. If nothing, it will at least make you scribble your own wishlist, because, the first step towards getting what you want is knowing what you want.

Nothing less than 4 stars on 5 for this one.

Book Details - 
Author - Preeti Shenoy
Publisher - Westland
Published - 2012
Genre - Indian Fiction
Price - ₹ 175
Pages - 275
Rating- 4/5

1 comment:

  1. An engrossing tale of an Indian Women who as a young girl has ambitions and her own identity. Yet, she succumbs to parental pressures and ends up getting married to someone she doesn't look up. She has an independent house, a smart kid, high earning husband and supposedly everything that typical conservative Indian Parents would call for in a perfect Married life. But there's definitely more to life. An identity for oneself, a relationship with your better half that gives you space to breathe and be yourself, a friend in a husband. These are the traits Diksha never finds in her husband. A sequence of events that lead her to realizing what she wants our of life and that gives birth to her "Secret Wishlist".
    The narration is beautiful and only an Author of the Caliber of Preeti Shenoy can put forth her ideas so flawlessly that you build an instant connect. Her style of writing hits you gently yet deep within, that you would want to get up and take charge of your life, married or unmarried, young or old, the novel will push you to pause and think if you are what you wanted in life. If not, it's time to get up and get going. Preeti Shenoy has a clear and lucid style of writing that keeps you gripped to the novel. I finished it in 3 hours straight and I am all charged up to take ownership of my life.