I received The Other End of the Corridor by Sujata Rajpal as a review copy from The Book Club and would like to thank Rubina for the same. It is the story of Leela, a girl from Patiala who thinks that life would be good to her after she is married.
The Blurb (from Goodreads):
When your dreams are tainted with lies and deceit, you have no other choice but to walk to the other end of the corridor.
Leela has nothing extraordinary about her except the dream to become famous. Her desires take wings when she gets married to a handsome boy from a respectable family in Delhi. But her dreams are shattered even before they have a chance to take flight.
She happens to meet two friends from a long forgotten past, which infuses hope and opens new avenues to realize her dormant aspirations. Leela delves into previously unexplored paths of deception and forbidden passions that only make her stronger.
In an attempt to rediscover herself, she falls in love with life and with herself but her life takes a sudden turn again…
No matter what, Leela will continue to chase her dreams.
Where does this journey take her?
Nineteen year old Leela Sethi from Patiala becomes Leela Chopra, wife of Vishal of Delhi. Thought to be a curse by her family because she is a Manglik, Leela feels life will be good to her following her marriage to Vishal, an engineer (who she finds out is just a graduate and jobless). She is overwhelmed when her mother-in-law, Ma, showers her with precious gifts (only to find out later that they were fake), she postpones her dream of becoming an RJ (a dream that she has been dreaming since she was ten). She is treated badly by Ma and Vishal and she takes it unflinchingly. He threatens her by saying that he will commit suicide, Ma blames her and she even suffers a miscarriage, still she daydreams that everything will be all right.
Then, Vishal gets a job offer in Bengaluru and they move. She meets her old friends from Patiala by chance and feels that maybe all is well. She tries to cover up her middle-class background in front of her rich friends. She learns to use social media and becomes Elaa Singh, makes friends on facebook and fells free. Atrocities continue and she daydreams until one day…….
The cover is beautiful and the book seems to have been written keeping in mind many Indian women who go through all this and much more without uttering a single word. The language is simple and the pace is good and the story has been narrated in such a way that it was difficult for me to put the book down. The character of Leela has been developed well but I felt that Vishal was spineless. She is strong facing everything while he is still tied to his Ma’s apron strings.
I loved it when Leela escapes it into a world of dreams where everything is perfect.
The book has been written so well that it was hard for me to believe that it is the debut work of the author.
Disclaimer: I received a free e-copy of the book from The Book Club in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.