Thursday, October 25, 2012

Review: The Edge of Desire


Author: Tuhin Sinha
Reviewed by: Purvi Shah

The Edge of Desire is a story of a female, who is raped and that event shapes up her life as a politician, seemngly changing the future course of events for the country. The inspiration comes from the age old epic "Mahabharata" where  Draupadi's cheer haran lays the foundation for the battle. 

There are principally two kinds of writers. One , who start a story and shape is up as the heart goes or as the pen prevails, the others who outline a story, chart out the characters, frame the sequence and go by joining the dots. Essentially a difference between way of thinking, but the end product of this book, makes you think of the latter ones.

The two central characters, Shruti and Sharad seem to have a lot in common. They are both enigmatic public personalities with a drive to do something for the country. Both politicians with failed marriages, lonely and depicting shades of grey. Yet they do not have a clearly defined relationship. They are not friends, they do not fall in love, they are colleagues, yes. Tuhin Sinha tries to define their relationship making them the modern day Draupadi and Krishna of the Mahabharata, citing the example many a times comparing various turns of events in the story. Not very convincingly , though.

The story does not rise and fall, or has many , sorry any highs and lows, mostly revolving around the Indian political scenario in the 70's and 80's. Except for the rape of the central female character, which is pivotal in her joining Indian politics, the story moves on pretty much like a daily soap.

Also , an important aspect, I noticed throughout is that: There are descriptions of emotional turmoils Shruti faces many a times (but as would be clearly evident to any female reader) and  all of them, I repeat ALL of them are starkly from a male viewpoint. When the author has attempted so much research on politics, the Mahabharata, etc, he should have done a little homework on the female psyche, especially since the book is in the first person, a memoir of Shruti, and if a female cannot relate to the emotional punch at all....I don't know what to say.

On that note, I leave it  for the reader to figure out whether to like the book or not. Its a difficult one to label and very tough to review. I would give it a 5 on 10. A good read for the political minds, maybe...


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