Book Review : Surpanakha by Hariharan Iyer
Author: Hariharan Iyer
Plot: Educated, young, no-nonsense bearing, able administrator—these are the qualities that won Sesha the loyalties of the people after three years of rule as the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. An allegation that he was the mastermind behind the murder of 73 Kannadigas threatens to bring him down but he is miraculously saved in the 11th hour.Even before he can relish his victory, Sesha is slapped with the charge of sexually offending a young nurse. This time round, the case is strong and his supporters are uncertain. Worse,his teenage daughter calls him ‘vile’ and walks out of the house. While Mythili, his wife promises her full support, her secretive activities—undertaken with the help of a retired Will Zarina, the human-rights activist, succeed in bringing him down? What about the insinuations of a celebrity lawyer that he is casteist and anti minorities? When the young nurse is found dead, the case becomes even more complex. Who is innocent? Who is guilty? And who is the mastermind?
Rating: 4 /5
First of all a huge thanks to the Book Review Tours and author for providing me with a copy of the book
What i loved about the book is the fact that the narration flows seamlessly and is highly captivating.It doesn’t take much for the readers to get engrossed in the the book as right on the onset of the book, things start with a good speed and fueling your curiosity.
I think the plus point of the book is definitely the smooth language which makes the journey easy and comfortable for the readers.
The book takes the aid of flashback narration where in between the current flow of the book, you get snippets of the events that has led to the present scenarios and the author has done efforts in maintaining a smooth transition and not making the shift of scene so stark and evident and another important thing to notice is the character strengths that attracts the readers to the book as each characters stands out with strong personalities
The book has a smooth language and narration and the book keeps you hooked all of which establish that it is a good read.
MYTHILI CHARACTER SKETCH
You can bump into her the next time you visit the vegetable market. You can spot her in the pharmacy round the corner. Or in the grocery near the bus stop where she will be negotiating the prices with the grocer.
She is Mythili. The unassuming, down-to-earth wife of Sesha, the Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu. She does not give a damn about the security protocols that surround the Chief Minister and his family. Would you believe that she once gave the slip to the specially trained security team guarding her husband, dragged him out after a lecture to the Anna University students and took him out for a romantic drive in the middle of the night? If you think she must be a girl in her twenties, you are wrong. So horribly wrong. She is 40. But what has age to do with a heart brimming with romance?
Hers was an arranged marriage. That she would marry her cousin Sesha was decided by her father and Sesha’s mother when she was just five years old. She had no qualms that her father decided for her. One of those old types.
She has been watching Sesha for the past 35 years.
He established his authority over her as a 12-year-old boy—he would expect her to follow him when he finished lunch, offer water for washing his hands and a towel for drying them. He imitated his grandfather, who wanted his wife to do such jobs. Like her grandmother, she enjoyed being his minion.
A few years later when she asked her father to buy bangles for her while on a shopping trip with Sesha and others, Sesha took offence. His grouse: She should have asked him for bangles. She felt proud that he was possessive about her.
As a teenager, when he got almost drowned in Cauvery, she dived into the river and rescued him. She was amused by his clumsy attempt to impress her.
Much later, more than twenty years into their marriage, after Sesha has become the Chief Minister of the state, when he is accused of complicity in the murder of 73 Kannadigas because the neighbouring state stopped releasing water, she dismisses the charge with contempt. Of course, when the court is on the verge of declaring him guilty and when the media predicts his arrest, she is, no doubt, disturbed. But something in her tells that Sesha is incapable of crime. When the court acquits him finally, she feels vindicated.
She is confident she knows him very well. Like the back of her hand.
But then comes the gravest charge. A young nurse who took care of Mythili two years ago alleges sexual harassment by Sesha. Mythili has high regards for the nurse. She is not someone who will level a frivolous charge. A celebrity lawyer lends support to the nurse and vows to send him to jail. Media holds him guilty. Activists demand his resignation. Sesha’s supporters in social media desert him. Above all, their daughter suspects Sesha and walks out of the house.
What will Mythili do? Accept the mounting evidence against him and hold him guilty? Or rely on her unassailable faith in her husband and wait for a miracle to save him?
Her response to the challenge sets her apart.
About the Author:
Hariharan Iyer is a finance professional based in Dar es Salaam. Not content with just a rewarding corporate job, he took to writing a couple of years back. He blogged on media and current affairs for a year at valadyviews.blogspot.com before hitting on the idea for this novel.An idea so powerful that it convinced the accountant in him that he could put together not just a balance sheet but an intriguing political thriller as well. He has definite views on politics, NGOs and media ethics and has tried to package them in the form of an interesting novel.
Hariharan lives with his wife in Dar es Salaam while his two sons are pursuing their ambitions in India.
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