The Guest by Suneetha Balakrishnan is a short read of 47 pages. And this story shows that a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law can be friends. I picked up the book from Kindle Unlimited because I found the blurb interesting.
The dynamics of Indian family life is not quite what we watch on TV.
Are all moms-in-law tyrants? Are all husbands romantic but with no time to express his feelings to his wife or chauvinistic and wayward and involved with other women even when he is married, or just mama’s boys? Do moms-in-law and daughters-in-law bond at all?
Here’s Sameer, who is a ‘catch’, an eligible bachelor one hears of as ‘nice’ boy in matrimonial parlance. To a girl and her family that only means that he is qualified, comfortably off, well-employed, young and has no bad habits. And when Sameer was proposed for serene Kavitha, she thought he was too nice. But is a girl allowed to say No because the groom proposed is unexciting? Then she met his mother…
The Guest is a day in the life of Mama, Sameer and Kavitha. A story of ordinary, everyday people, that drop the garb of fiction and offer you a slice of life, which is more than a storm in a tea cup.
Kavita, Sameer and Saraswati live in a typical Indian middle class household. Saraswati was widowed young losing her husband to an accident and brought up her ten year old son, Sameer, single handedly.
Sameer and Kavita’s marriage is arranged at the behest of his uncle and Kavitha only agrees to the marriage after meeting Saraswati. The two women develop a bond and Kavita is more of a daughter than a daughter-in-law to the older lady.
Sameer is happy go lucky person, who prefers his world sunny, often ignoring problems until someone solved it for him or the problem just went away. He is an easy going person, does not take any initiative and is detached from his family. If things worked his way, he was OK but if things did not go according to his preferences, the whole world would be at fault. Even before he got married to Kavita, his cousin Arjun would help Saraswati in the household chores. Kavita is a quiet, complacent little woman and she has no complaints. Even after his marriage to Kavita, Sameer does not take any responsibility and the ladies want Sameer to take charge.
One day, Sameer and Kavita have an argument and ………..
The duration of the story is just one day but the way the story has been written gives the reader an idea of who the characters are and their inter-personal relationships. Though the story is simple with realistic characters, and only 47 pages long, the essence of the story runs deep. The story has been beautifully narrated and I loved the twist at the end.