Book Review: An Unequal Harmony

An Unequal HarmonyWhen I read the blurb of An Unequal harmony for the first time, for some reason I thought that this book would have something to do with betting rings involving  Reva, Sid and Anshuman. Pretty naΓ―ve of me and I blame it all on the new age Bollywood films πŸ™‚ Speaking about Bollywood, here is a novel that has all it takes to be made into a movie for the multiplex audience.

The book starts at a quick pace, with a car accident that puts Reva and Sid in the hospital. Things get more edgy when Reva’s husband, Anshuman walks into the hospital to find that the hospital refuses to believe that he is her husband as she was admitted by her husband  in the first place. From this point onward begins Anshuman’s search for answers about the side of Reva’s life he never knew about and everything that he discovers increases his risk of losing the wife he loves forever, to another man who loves her just as fiercely. Many can love a woman and even be ready to give up their lives for her – but who will the woman choose? And in this case who does Reva choose?

 When it comes to most love triangles it is always the man who strays or falls in love with the other woman. What made An Unequal Harmony different was the fact that this time it was the woman who looked beyond her husband, a man she married for love and a perfect married life, for love.  Now before we get up on our moral horses and claim how wrong this was, the author takes us through the lives of the main protagonists  which might help us understand Reva’s decisions in a more matured manner. He describes the evolution of the lives and characteristics of the protagonists starting with their family and educational backgrounds and the paths that led them to their respective careers and fast paced lives in Mumbai.   As the book progresses, the reader can understand why each one of them chose the path that they did.  Any modern day  married male or female reader would identify with most of the arguments that take place between Reva and Anshuman, their attitude towards the other’s career and what each person thinks about the other person’s priorities.

What I could not fathom was the fact that Reva never really comes across as an emotionally needy person, but yet this is the very same reason she chooses to encourage Sid. Also, the details of Reva’s marital status is known to Sid during his first meeting with her; nevertheless he pursues her hoping that love would blossom between them – in fact, I felt that it was this behavior that made Reva feel that her  problems with Anshuman were larger than life and that she had to be with someone else to some happiness and get some attention. I am sad to say it, but it seemed like a deliberate attempt on the part of Sid to get another man out of the way to get what he wanted. Either way you see it, it is this very same feature which makes this book different – the fact that a marriage crumbles not because of another woman but because of the wife or the other man.  The character that I loved the most was that of Anshuman – he came across as the wisest amongst all three. His reaction to the ugly truth about his wife and her feelings for him and his string of thoughts which seem very logical even in the worst situation of his life was simply amazing. One very rarely comes across people like him in real life.  One more beautiful thread of this story is the maturing of his relationship with his dad with who he shares a rocky relationship for most of his young and adult life.

The book is a great read – when I say great, everything about it was just that! The language, the pace, the way the story evolves and anything else that you can think of. Every character had a prominent role to to play – be it Anshuman’s assistant, his mother or Siddharth’s room mate and best friend Chand.  Indian authors are truly taking the literature scene by storm and when you read this book, I think you would agree. I also felt that the book ended in the most perfect way –  just when I was  almost falling off my couch with the anticipation of  how the whole triangle might turn out, the book ended leaving me wanting for more.  In fact I scanned the book several times to check if the book had really ended! I also wondered if the author would be writing a sequel! And that is a mark of the author’s success!

A book that is not overtly romantic or promises a happy ending but a book that might change a reader’s thoughts about love and even pursue it differently and maybe with more maturity.

A perfect book to read just any day.

Title: An Unequal Harmony
Author: Souvik Gupta
Publisher/ Imprint:
Pages: 310
Genre/ Sub-Genre: Fiction/ Drama
Rating: 4.00 of 5
Reviewed for: Author

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