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28 Years A Bachelor: A Novel Set in India Kindle Edition
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The opening of the book with a brief synopsis reminds one of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice where, she talks about universally accepted truth!
Madhav , the well educated South Indian male, 28 years old is the said bachelor, from the title. Though he loves his parents, his heart pulls him towards his paternal grandparents, tataiyya and nainamma living peacefully in a village ancestral home.
Then there is Jaya, Madhav’s younger sister, Syamala the long haired dusky beauty who is Madhav’s sweetheart and other characters like Devika, Murthy garu and others who complete the story.
Madhav proves he is not a spineless, city-bred boy, when he stands by his widowed sister or when he follows his heart to marry the girl of his choice, rejecting any dowry, even if it meant making his parents unhappy.
The lovely village environment, the ‘wacky’ tataiyya and ‘caustic’ nainamma (referred so by the author herself) are a treat to read. I found myself loving tataiyya the most.
With decent doses of Telugu sprinkled throughout, the story had a native touch. (Telugu being my mother tongue, I enjoyed reading it)
The subtle humour made me smile at places.
Some of the characters are relatable, like say Madhav’s mother, who couldn’t forgive her son, even after many years, for having rejected her suggestion to marry a rich girl with a huge dowry.
What I like:
As I read the earlier book I had a feeling that the story would surely tackle one social issue or the other. Here, the issues turn out to be, child marriages, early widowhood and dowry along with dusky girl misconception.
I loved the character of Madhav and I only wish there were more men like him!
The book is about the inner issues a 28 year old man has about marriage, traditions,and family.
What I like the most is that he is a FEMISNIST!.He steps up for the women around his life, and defy a heavy patriarcal society, and those CONSERVATIVE traditions that brings injustice and unhappines for women, and leds to the married ones a rather repressive life.
Mostly and specially in the country side -It's very upsetting and sad that pretty much the value of a woman is how much money they can provide to the groom if they marry, and THE ULTIMATE REALIZATION for a woman is to get marry and be a good wife. Period.
He also struggles,with deciding what environment is best for him, the city life or the relaxed life he left behind in the village where is grandaparents live when he started to pursue a better future- pressured by his parents.The relationship between the three of them was unstructured and it's the one that is deveoped the most, they were very alike to me but complemented well!
There are a lot of themes the book touches, like arranged marriages,the importance of money in these alliances,widows, what is expected for Indian girls and sons when it comes to parents,family life...all of this written smoothly, and so is the story.
The book and the story of Madhav allowed me to take a peek at a lot of indian costumes, which i really enjoyed, it was an every day life story, simple but full of things to be learned and inevitably makes you thhink. A good good read!
This novel, too, like the author's previous ones, touches upon social evils such as dowry, female infanticide, child marriage, and the plight of widows. While certain social stereotypes are reinforced, yet others are eloquently turned on their head, with Madhav's "old-fashioned" grandparents proving to be far more liberal and open-minded in their outlook than his "modern" parents. Through it all, the story manages to maintain a light and humorous tone that serves to underline the hard-hitting sections rather than undermine them.
In all, this is a story that remains with the reader long after it is read.
Most recent customer reviews
There are many similarities with the Indian culture and my own.