Gauri, a woman with a million lives. The title is enough to pull the readers to the book because tales of women are unprecedentedly accepted of late. But as the saying goes, never judge a book by its cover. It is not the story of Gauri. It is the story of Shiva and how Gauri became an inevitable part of Shiva’s life and how she, remaining in the background changed his life forever.
Knowing Gauri through Shiva
Shiva is born in a typical middle-class family to an irresponsible and abusive father and a submissive mother. Growing up seeing a toxic relationship between his parents, Shiva craved love. As much as it is expected, he finds his love in Gauri. Like the love-stricken teenager that he is, he proposes to her. But Gauri being her is taken aback by this insolence of proposing a girl without knowing her. The author directly points to the clarity of vision and strong headedness of Gauri. the same can be seen when she recognizes Shiva’s teaching talent and urges him to take it as a career option.
Familial protests against a relationship is not a rarity even now. Shiva’s mother’s character is a multi-dimensional one and the color of the character changes when he proclaims his love for a girl whom she doesn’t approve of. This mother can be seen anywhere. The representative of the opportunistic humans who decides to shake hands with the enemy just t get even with someone else whom they hate more. Thus Shiva and Gauri start living together and build a small universe. Small, because the Gauri could not conceive due to reasons unfathomable to the couple. There is a sequence where Gauri is being publicly humiliated about her infertility. The sequence would make the readers want to see Gauri’s trauma of being humiliated. But the author stands out in his approach of not doing so. Because if the plot has maneuvered into the track the book would have fallen into the category of a daily sop screenplay.
The twist that is left to the readers’ perception:
Further, Shiva meets Shalini and the plot has a steep twist. The author has left it to the readers to decided what the connection between Shiva and Shalini is. The perception of the readers decides whether it is an extramarital relationship, or an overboard friendship, or just a toxic relationship. For nowhere in the book, the author mentions any romantic interest by Shiva or lack of interest towards Gauri. On the contrary, he is transparent towards her. Hence I like to perceive it as a special friendship that happened because of Shiva’s fragile mental frame or imbecile emotions state. The climax is controversial. There could be arguments like Gauri should have done more, Gauri should not have done as much or any preference the readers would have.
The controversial Climax:
As a reader, I loved Gauri for what she did but I would have put my foot forward way earlier. The title and the blurb are misleading. Reading those if you are expecting a daily sop heroine’s story of tribulations, you will be disappointed. One should approach the book without prejudice. The narration is simple and vernacular and hence would be appealing to the masses. Personally, I would like to see more experiments from the author in terms of literature. Or a sequel maybe!