Book Review: Wrong, for the right reasons
Author: Ritu Lalit
Rating: Four Stars
“The hardest lesson to learn is not that people you think you can’t live without can live without you. The hardest lesson to learn is that sometimes to stay sane you have to give up the people you love. You have to cut them out of your life ruthlessly or they will destroy you.”
First of all, I would like to thank author Ritu Lalit who sent me her book, ‘Wrong, for the right reasons’ to review. The author chooses a current theme, ‘divorce’ which is dreaded and scorned upon in our patriarchal society laden with human prejudices. When it comes to a single mother who has chosen to opt out of a marriage, she is looked down upon, aspersions cast on her character and name calling flying in all directions. ‘Wrong, for the right reasons’ starts with Shyamoli, a young mother who has two children. She has a tumultuous relationship with both her mother and daughter. As her life evolves, she find love on her way and a love-hate relationship with her childhood friend. Like a wounded tigress, she clenches her jaws to fight society and on her way, her near and dear ones, to protect her cubs.
Make no mistake, ‘Wrong, for the right reasons’ is not just about drama or emotional pangs but has a very humane touch, tongue-in-cheek humor that lifts the emotional burden off the readers’ minds and hooks one from start-to-finish. At one glance ‘Wrong, for the right reasons’ is a compelling read and Ritu has a magnetic command over the narrative, language in this riveting tale. The plus point is that Ritu Lalit offers a brand new and refreshing concept, every chapter starts with a quote. It’s pure and seductive writing. What’s life without quotes?
Shyamoli Verma’s timing is wrong. In her late twenties, she finds that her marriage is irrevocably broken. She comes back to her parents with her pre-teen son and an infant daughter, only to find that she is unwelcome.
Independent and brash, she decides to bring up her children and also get a divorce without any support from friends and family.
When I started reading Ritu Lalit’s Wrong,for the right reasons, I thought that it would be another run-0f-the-mill divorce story and emotional hang out centering on the life of Shyamoli that took the upside down. But, I was delighted to discover the world of Shyamoli, a troubled relationship with her daughter (Kitty) and mother, emotional bond with son (Samar), a friend on whom she could rely (Subodh), friend-cum-foe (Uma), ex-husband (Manav) and someone like Gulpari who entered her life like an angel who stick like glue to her existence. The characters weaved in the book are so real and close to the humans we encounter in life. There are so many characters scripted in books that remain mirror images that we aspire to be but is confined to pages. Ritu’s depiction of the life and struggle of Shyamoli comes alive as a character whose inner battles and struggle is the story of the woman we encounter in our daily lives. Shyamoli is no heroine but a common woman who has her inner strengths and weaknesses. She is very much today’s woman.
Ritu Lalit deftly portrays the conditions of women through Shyamoli who is vulnerable at times, whether it’s the equation with her friend Uma or the troubled relationship with her teenage daughter, Kitty, who will burst at any moment like pressure cooker. The forte of the book lies in the bond Shyamoli cements with son, Samar who discovers the pains of his mom in this path of self-discovery.
“This was so wrong, he was still a boy. He should have dreamed about making out with girls and becoming the latest pop singer or whatever teenagers aspired to do, not being his mother’s support. My son, my gentle and reticent son who shied away from anger and emotion had been forced to witness her betrayal.”
The sensitive touch that Ritu Lalit brings to this novel, lends credibility to the plot which you will find very hard to put down. Wrong for the right reasons is one of the rare books where the author gently touches a very serious issues by weaving characters you would relate to, their battle with life and where the main character is not justified at all. I couldn’t put this one down. It’s refreshing, endearing and for sure, the author’s knows how to tap her audience. Light moments, there are plenty. Here is one author who is in sync with the language the young people speak and the palatable chemistry between the language of the characters and the average reader. Honesty, in-your-face yet so true to life.
“There is nothing complicated about life. To a crook everyone looks like a crook. To me, the world looks like a bowling alley, so that makes me one of the nine pins. Life can knock me down, but I will come to my feet again.”
1. Somehow, I couldn’t digest Shyamoli making out with the man (Roop) who cheated her of her hard earned money to seek vengeance. True, it’s the author’s creative space that I respect but it didn’t gel too well with me.
2. As the book opens, Wrong for the right reasons starts slowly but, once it grips you, there is no looking back. Plus, the character Uma’s love-hate relationship with Shyamoli leaves me confused at times. But, that’s it. It’s the author’s creative call that I am not disputing.
Ritu Lalit’s Wrong for the Right reasons is the story of the everyday woman, the ‘female’ answer to Amol Palekar of the 80s movies, if I may say so. The quintessential woman whose path we will definitely cross on the busy roads, the metro or at work. The novel is a page turner weaved in a simplistic manner, there is no breath-taking climax, mind you, but told with a pure heart. Plus, the characters Gulpari, Manav, Kitty, Samar, Uma and Subodh are depicted with a human face, conveying the message, there is no right and wrong. It’s a tale about a woman’s battle, love, friendship, bond, passion and of course, humor. Who said that one cannot make believable characters and tell their stories of struggle in a light manner? Ask Ritu Lalit.
Wrong for the Right Reasons is a must-have on your shelf or kindle for it is the kind of story that will accompany you in life. Go and grab it for it will stay with you forever.
The author can be reached on http://blog.ritulalit.com/ and on her website http://www.ritulalit.com/ and you can order your copy on Amazon