Demons or hallucinations – The debate never ends. We might have read books and seen movies that talk about the scientific truth behind paranormal activities as well as the ones that condone the belief that ghost exists. While the debate prevails, the reading and viewing experiences provided by such creative products are unarguably endearing. Batshit by Kritika Kapoor is one book that hooks the readers to the happening and boring life of Pia while leaving them lingering on the thoughts about the demons in her head.
Batshit by Kritika Kapoor – An Analysis
Pia belongs to a family of perfection and is going to marry someone who, according to her family is the embodiment of perfection. What matters to the family is the sprawling mansions, extravagant functions, and splurge of money to impress the world outside. While the family expected their younger daughter Khushi’s wedding to be a cakewalk (they are all social animals) Pia turns out to be a hot potato, and the relapse of her past happens on the very night of the wedding. The mess she is, Pia messed up her sister’s wedding. What happens next? How she deals with the demons in her head? How her life changes after that night and everyone else’s for that matter is the crux of the book.
A monster is on the loose. And it’s dressed to impress the posh South Delhi social scene.
Twenty-something Pia Bhandari has the ideal life – or so it seems. As long as she puts on a happy face, no one is any the wiser about the sinister voices in her head. Not her boyfriend Raghav, or her soon-to-be-married younger sister Khushi, her long-time psychiatrist Dr Agarwal, her father Ajit or even her mother Neeta, who is otherwise obsessed with controlling her daughter’s life.
But Pia’s demons follow her wherever she goes. One yellow-eyed demon in particular. Feral and bloodthirsty, it threatens to rip through Pia’s life, leaving a murderous trail in its wake. Hurtling between the opulent kothis of GK-2 and the plush bungalows of Sainik Farms, this twisted tale about a Delhi girl’s fight against the dark forces is about to get batshit.
Dark humor and stark reality
The author unapologetically lays bare the societal standards of the thin girl is beautiful and poised girl is a successful formula. She subtly places the scenarios where with a single line of thought or dialogue the characters come across as body shaming and judgemental. Pia’s looks have been a constant topic of discussion before and after her weight gain and loss. How a plump woman is left out in the cold during family gatherings much worse scanned from tip to toe with hidden disgust and evident pseudo sympathy
How someone’s mental health is a butt of jokes for the family much less the society is palpably portrayed throughout the book. The worst-case scenario when the closest ones are unaware of the real issues is a reality that is sticking out like a giant tree of truth in the book. Someone who has been through the same can relate closely with pia and be sympathetic and empathetic in the process.
A cliche trope with a unique narrative
The trope of Good for nothing heroine with a perfect and smug sister and don’t care, partner, is a trope that has been overdone. So is a mother who body shames her daughter to feed on her insecurities. But what makes the book stand out is the uniqueness of the narrative. The author makes the readers swim through the psyche of each character and makes them connect with each of them. Like a movie screenplay, the characters are placed in the right place at the right time to the viewers the right perspective and a visual representation of imagination. Once we are immersed in the book we just go with the flow with no regard to the trope. The readers are just in the eye of the tornado with Pia waiting for what happens next.
While trope sounds like a cliche what transpires later is an unexpected twist in the tales of Indian literature. The author leaves the readers flabbergasted with gruesome twists without graphic sequences.
This post is part of #BlogchatterA2Z 2023