Review of Caught in the crossfire by Jyothirllatha Girija

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Book Name               :       Caught in the crossfire        
Author                       :        Jyothirllatha Girija  
Publisher                  :
Genre                       :        Fiction/Humor
Number of Pages :         208
Publishing Year      :         2015
Binding                      :         Paperback

Rating : 5.0

 Blurb(An Excerpt)

It is one of the sections in an office of the Central Government (of India). The Head Clerk enters, followed by Sangeetha, who has come to join the office as a new recruit. All the clerks there stare at her without removing their eyes, because of her bewitching beauty. She is not only beautiful, but is slim and adequately fleshy neither more nor less for her height. Everyone guesses she must be slightly more than 5 3″ but definitely not less. Apart from the chiselled features, she is strikingly fair like a girl born of a couple, natives of Mangalore .

Mathan is a Central Government Employee. Mythili, his colleague decides to link an alliance between Mathan and Sangeetha, who is also working in the same office. Mathan’s mother Kalyani is uneducated and orthodox. The trio tries to convince her for Mathan’s marriage through hook and crook. But, after tying the knot, Mathan is sanwitched between his mother and wife. How does Mathan handle the dilemma? Whose side will he take? Will Mythili help him?


Mathan- Protagonist
Sangeetha- Mathan’ wife, colleague
Kalyani- Mathan’s mother
Mythili- Mathan and Sangeetha’s friend, colleague

 My Review

First of all, I would like to thank for the review copy of this book. The book was adapted into a Tamil serial. So I assume that original version was written years back. It is brilliant that authoress came up with such a hilarious and satirical book at that time.


Authoress is a Tamil writer but she has mastery over English as well. The book is extremely hilarious but authoress pulled the comedy effortlessly. Being a woman, it is a plausible fact that she criticized the thoughtless action of two women,which is prevailing even now. She reinforced the importance of education implicitly. Authoress did not play with words or intricate literary magic. She narrated the story in a simple manner, which is the highlight in itself,

The friendship between Mathan and Mythili is quite refreshing to read. Not even for a moment I felt bored or drop in pace. Authoress is already known as an excellent writer. Hence I feel an inhibition in reviewing her book. The fact that the book was adapoted into a sop by renowned film maker K. Balachander, speaks loudly about the quality of the book and the story.
The comparison of Mathan to ‘Maddhalam’ a double sided percussion instrument is simply brilliant. The title of the book is apt for the story. The cover image by blended perfectly with the story.
While we read a book, we try to visualize it but in this book the words automatically transformed into visuals. To make a reader laugh is not easy since the writer could not take the advantage of any audio or moving visuals but Jyothirllatha Girija is such a blessed writer that she did it seamlessly. She proved that age is not a barrier for anything. She published the translated version of the book at the age of eighty.


I could not find any negatives other than one or two typos, which I would like to ignore because it would be an injustice to judge this book on that basis.

One Liner

The book took my breath away.
Avail the book from 

 About the Author

Born in 1935, Jyothirllata Girija started writing in Tamil for children first in 1950 and then was introduced as an adults’ writer by ANANDA VIKATAN in 1968.  She has more than 500 short stories, 25 novels, 50 novellas, 3 full-length plays, several articles on social issues, translation of major part in Tamil of Kiran Bedi’s As I see it etc. to her credit.
She has won 20 awards so far for her Tamil creations. Her teen-agers’ novel which already won an award in Tamil Nadu was translated in Ukraine and released during the Festival of India in Moscow in 1987.
As for her creations in English, introduced by Vimla Patil of Femina in 1975, she has written about 36 short stories in the Indian periodicals – THE ILLUSTRATED WEEKLY OF INDIA, FEMINA, EVE’s WEEKLY, PRATIBHA INDIA, YOUR FAMILY, FICTION REVIEW, WOMAN’S ERA, MOVIELAND (MALAYSIA), THE SUNDAY (INDIAN) EXPRESS, THE WEEK END and EVE’S TOUCH. 
Several articles on social and political issues in ALIVE and OPEN PAGE in THE HINDU.
Long rhyming poems in couplets that were serialized in POET, Chennai – edited by late Dr. Krishna Srinivas – viz. Ramayana in Rhymes, The Story of Jesus Christ, Voice of Valluvar (Tirukkural, The Tamil Veda), Pearls from the Prophet (300-odd sayings of Prophet Muhammad in verses), Song on the Sun God (English rendering in verses of Aditya Hrudayam) and The Living God at Puttaparthi, in quatrains.
Gandhi Episodes, based on Mahatma Gandhi’s autobiography, is being serialized now in In METVERSE MUSE, (Visakhapatnam), edited by Dr. H. Tulsi.
Also several single poems in anthologies of various poetry magazines of India.

Reviewed for the publisher

 Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book as a complimentary copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
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