Hello everyone, let’s welcome July with a Book Review. The one I am reviewing today is a short Novel ‘Bhaunri’ written by Anukrti Upadhyay. This book is sent to me by Blogchatter to read and review as part of their Book Review Program. I was quite excited to receive my first paperback book to review on my blog though I was not very sure if I would like it or not. Also, this is the first book I’ve read from literary fiction which is not one of my favorite categories. But I must say it left me enthralled with the storyline which is not like any usual love story.
At many points, I felt like leaving the book due to too much of sad truth revolving around the characters. But that is also the thing which kept me pushing to read more and find out what happens next. The author made me fell in love with the brave protagonist and hate her in the next moment by her choice of actions. I finished reading it a few days ago but the bold character of Bhaunri is still lingering in my thoughts.
Book Title: Bhaunri
Genre: Literary Fiction
Publisher: Fourth Estate India
Author: Anukrti Upadhyay
Number of Pages: 140
About the Author
Anukrti Upadhyay has post-graduate degrees in Management and Literature, and a graduate degree in Law. She writes in both English and Hindi; Daura and Bhaunri are her first publications in English. She divides her time between Mumbai and Singapore.
This is the story of a young girl named Bhaunri who belongs to the desert clan of Gadolia Lohars. The story is set in an era when the nomads had started settling down in colonies in the Thar desert. The times when the child marriages were prevalent across the state of Rajasthan and daughters were married off for a bride-price.
But, Bhaunri’s parents were different, they refused the bride-price for their daughter. Her father was a nomadic blacksmith while her mother belonged to the tribe of Gujjars. Bhaunri has got most of her skills and character from her empowered mother. The initial chapters of the book tell the tale of how Bhaunri’s mother met her father against all odds.
The actual and intense part of the story begins when Bhaunri reaches her husband’s home. Everything that her mother had taught and everything which she believed in was tested with each passing day. She found herself drawn deeply and powerfully towards her handsome husband, Bheema. It was clear that she fell in love with her husband even before knowing him better.
I would describe Bheema as ‘Hulk’, the otherwise calm and withdrawn man who turns into a beast when he senses emotional stress. Anger, treachery, infidelity, are some of his other characteristics. But for Bhaunri, he was like the Sun God.
What happens when Bhaunri finds out about her husband’s true character? How does she deal with her obsessive love and desire for him? There are always two sides of love, which side does she choose? You will have to read the book to find that out.
I really liked the way the whole story and the characters unwind and I could imagine each and every scene happening as if it’s real. The story is fast paced but some scenarios made me stop & think about the hardships of these women. Sometimes, it’s difficult to believe things which we have never experienced. The author’s writing style is natural and descriptive, I appreciate her efforts and in-depth research about the life of nomads and their practices. The use of typical Rajasthani words like ‘Beendani’, ‘lada’, ‘kako-sa’ add that depth to the whole storyline.
Overall, I found the novel interesting, if you are into literary fiction reading, you will definitely love it. For people looking for an escape from the daily grind, they may find it a bit intense. There’s a great possibility that the protagonist may stay in your mind even after you finish reading the book. Don’t worry, it will not haunt you!
I wish the author of Bhaunri all the very best for her new book. And, hope to read more of her work soon.
You may get your copy of this book from Amazon here!