Author- Rajesh Talwar
“I once saw a religious painting in a bookstore of a child playing, with a huge black cobra poised in the background, watching and protecting the child. It reminded me of her. The snake was the temper in her that allowed Simran to preserve her child-like, good-natured innocence.”
Simran by Rajesh Talwar is one such book which should’t be judged by its cover. Extremely intriguing from the very first page this book contains such contents that I could hardly fathom from the blurb. John, a lecturer in philosophy at Delhi University, returns to his flat one evening to find a letter waiting for him. A subsequent meeting with the author of the letter leaves a question mark over the supposed death of John’s fiancee, some years earlier.
This book contains diverse subjects stringed together to form a heart-warming as well as a heart-breaking tale. John was an orphan and later came to stay with his foster parent, Eliot. Eliot had a great impact on his life. Eliot’s sexuality had an even greater impact on both their lives, being discriminated and doubted of ‘socially degrading’ actvities, when John lost his foster parent, the only family he had, he vowed to do something to honour Eliot. Later, John grows up to work with the hijra community.This part of the book where John is always ready to help and stand by the hijra community shows the gratitude and respect he has for everyone irrespetive of their sexual preference is really heart touching. This book throws light on how people with varied sexualities are treated in our ‘developing country’, because of the so called societal norms and prejudices. The friendship that Sonia and John had was so great, I totally adore that part.
This book also has Simran’s story, her life and how she was discriminated against because she was a woman. She was expected to get married as soon as possible and leave her education. But she rose as a rebel, fought with her parents and didn’t even budge against all the pressure put by her parents and went ahead to do her Masters. Then there was Simran’s sister who went ahead with their parents wishes and got married, and what happened next in her married life changed her for the better.
The Author has done a great job with the narration and the writing style was really engaging. There were some parts about philosophy which kind of bored me since I’m not into that subject. The cover page could have been much much better. The characters were very beautifully described and overall, this book was an amazing read.