I received the book Forbidden Desires by Madhuri Banerjee from the publisher, Rupa Publications, and would like to thank them for the same. This book is the story of four women, Naina, Ayesha, Kavita and Kaajal, who are all different from each other
‘Why do romantic relationships fade away? Does the magic slowly die? Or do lovers simply wake up one morning realizing they are done? Is it a trick that time plays on happy couples or is it something more profound, an evolution perhaps, of our feelings and our needs?’
Imagine there is a person you know nothing about, who is slowly destroying your marriage. Imagine there is a stranger who enters your life and makes you realize you are living a lie. Imagine there is a love so deep that you need to sacrifice everything you have to save it. Imagine you find out your partner is cheating on you. What will you do?
Naina, Ayesha, Kavita and Kaajal are four women who know nothing about each other and live cocooned in their individual worlds. Until one day, they’re forced to reckon with shocking truths they never imagined! Their desires haunt them, provoke them and make them fight to choose a new path in their lives. Will these women survive their stories of passion, betrayal and pain? Bestselling author and film writer Madhuri Banerjee brings to you a new romantic thriller that interweaves varied stories of women and their passions, to show us how all relationships ultimately crash into each other.
Naina: Born and brought up in London to Punjabi Parents. Smart as paint with an Honours degree in English Literature. Uber cool. Supremely sexy. Sparkling brown eyes. Long, dark brown hair. Excellent Cook. When in London, she met Kaushik in a bus. They chatted for hours- it was love at first sight. Parents liked the Bengali boy, soft spoken, family man. Tall, good looking, cultured, studying to be a lawyer. He was perfect. They get married and life is perfect. They move two Delhi and have two daughters in quick succession.
Ayesha: Slim, Petite and flower like. Oval face. Almond eyes. Long, rich auburn hair. Soft spoken. Demure. Loving. Caring. Perfect housewife. Had an arranged marriage to Varun, an IAS Officer. . Never loved her husband. Has a son. As an IAS Officer’s wife, has to keep up pretenses. Everything has to be picture perfect for her husband to be successful at work. She loves photography. Tarini is her friend from Allahabad, now marries in Delhi to Sanjay, a lawyer.
Kavita: 39, tall, sleek and smart. Delicate fingers. Wavy brown hair. Twinkling eyes, sharp nose. Wears pants and suits. A gynaecologist. No hobbies. Holds a dark secret. Had love marriage to Gaurav Gupta, then a medical representative. Regrets it till date. Has a son. Cannot divorce Gaurav because he is a good father and a good son-in-law. Lives with her husband and son in her mother’s house. She has a younger sister.
Kaajal: 30, Lawyer. Short. Slim. Beautiful. Curly brown hair. Smiling eyes. In a complicated relationship. Loves to shop.
Now, Naina is more of a housewife, looking after her kids and home. Kaushik is busy building his career. Their relationship is on the backburner. Kaushik has no time for her, comes home after she has slept off, sleeps in the guest room. She wants to open her own restaurant and feels that can wait till the kids require less of her time. Wins Masterchef. Writes a cookbook. Teaches cooking to groups of ladies at her home. All the while her support group is the two sets of grandparents and her friends, the ones she made in Delhi when her first-born started going to school. Until Pinky, her beauty parlour lady, suggests that she teaches cooking to Arjun, a rich man and get paid well.
Ayesha throws lavish parties on Diwali and sees her husband lose at cards but she keeps it all from her parents. She does not get along well with her in-laws. At a party, meets a politician and expresses her view and opinions and he listens to her as Varun never did.
Kavita is a successful gynecologist. She is not happily married but has to keep working to run the house. She goes to a conference and her life changes.
Kaajal starts to have an affair with a married man, confronts his wife but decides not to get married and she feels marriages become boring after a time.
The story is about 4 married women Naina, Ayesha, Kavita and Kaajal. The women are different and the plot is also different. The author has portrayed them as one of us but I feel what she has written about is not so common in the society these days.
She has introduced the characters differently, some of what I have taken to introduce the characters in my review. The language is simple.
This book is about insecurities, about unfulfilled wishes both at professional and personal level. It is about women trying to find happiness for themselves as individuals.
Go on read the book, but please, please, don’t let the book get on to you or it will make you feel a bit insecure about your own marriage.
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from the Publisher in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.