Belonging to the clan of Gadoliya Lohars, Bhaunri is courageous, speaks her mind, and never succumbed to fear or intimidation. She has been married to a young Lohar, Bheema long before she knew the meaning of it. Mesmerised by Bheema, she arrives at her in-laws and decides to win his heart no matter what it takes. Bheema is misogynistic and never true to one woman. Bhaunri begins to find his unfaithful side and longs for the respect she deserves as a wife. Her love soon turns into an obsession.
A feminist story beautifully shrouded by Rajasthan folklore. – Mini, Book & CornerTweet
Though Bheema doesn’t stop lurking around, he doesn’t stop reprimanding her for outspokenness, yet she wills herself to keep trying. Like a rock, she never leaves her ground and fulfil her wifely duties as well. She stoically endures all the pain but never succumb to it. Born to a headstrong mother, she remains true to her legacy. She knows no boundaries when it comes to defending her honour and earns admiration for her perseverance in the eyes of her father-in-law.
A fresh storytelling and authentic setting of the novella
It is a short novel with a captivating plot that slowly unfolds layer by layer as Bhaunri begins to unveil the realities of her in-laws. Anukrti creates an aura of Rajasthani traditions, ancient customs, and cleverly addresses the holes in our heritage. Her deliberate usage of Rajasthani vocabulary adds authenticity to the novel and we are immediately transported to her imaginative world.
The best way to know a place is through its food and the author Anukrti knows it pretty well. She ensures to make way for the local cuisine in her books. Having read two of her books, I admit that I feel hungry. I immediately get attracted to the local delicacies and in turn become a part of the setting of the novel.
The characterisation of Bhaunri is congenial
A young opinionated and courageous protagonist is the heart and soul of the book. Anukrti raises questions about equality in love and suffering through the guise of Bhaunri. The stark contrast between her mother and mother-in-law reflects the journey that still needs to be taken to bring a change in our caging norms and rules. Her mother-in-law was a victim of domestic violence but she never raised her voice and felt like it was her destiny to bear with all the pain.
Bhaunri was different. She never wavered from speaking her mind and resisted Bheema’s every demeaning behaviour. Reading about her, filled me with power and energy to stand up for myself and do whatever it takes to earn my due.
Read it or Skip it?
A thought-provoking novella with an indeterminate ending that will leave you hanging wanting for more yet satisfied in its own way. A must-read.
Do you read novellas? Have you read books that represent your local culture?
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