Author: Siddhi Palande
Originally published: 26 March 2017
Page count: 114 pages
I got this book in exchange of an honest review. All the opinions are mine and completely honest.
A Lawyer by profession, Janhvi Desai has lived her life on the dictates of her family. Assuming that marriage will bring in freshness and freedom she gets married to a Mumbai based engineer, Ram. But once again faces wrath of the society. Every passing day as Janhvi Desai – Raghuvanshi, her self-esteem diminishes as her dreams get trampled upon. But while finding the meaning of her being her relationship with her estranged husband takes a beautiful turn. Between Ram and Janhvi rests a delicate secret and an irrevocable difference. But some relationships thrive despite the difference. Delve into the dysfunctional world of an Indian girl where patriarchy is villain, free will far removed, where two bruised souls meet and it is only to change the definition of soul mate.
Beyond the veil is a fantastic debut by Siddhi Palande who draws attention to the condition of women in India and other issues that exist in our patriarchal society.
The protagonist of the story, Janvi is a young, strong willed woman who speaks her mind, believes in equality and is a mirror to every young girl in the country. She goes through a lot after her marriage, adapting to a husband who refuses to love her and new life in the city. However to me, Janvi felt too flat. Inspite of suffering from the hands of the society, I could not feel much sympathy for her. Similarly, Ram, her husband was underdeveloped. I wish the author explored him better. He could only get spotlight in the last 10 pages or so.
I really liked how the story has been told in the form of diary entries. It made it very interesting to read. In some parts, however, the story dragged and became boring. Also some characters and stories felt too clichéd and overused.
Overall, Beyond the veil is a promising debut by Palande and I am looking forward to reading more of her.