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“You are adopted.”
These three ominous words are intermingled in the book The forgotten daughter by Renita D’Silva.
It is the story of three women Nisha, Shilpa And Devi. Their stories are dealt in separate chapters but they merge in the end like rivers intermingling in the ocean.
Nisha is the cool collected child of two scientists. She is a mathematician and writes down any emotional problem and works on it clinically like her parents for whom showing emotions is difficult. Nishi lives in England. It is when she has an emotional crisis ‘catholic prayers rusty from disuse and held court….surprising she had led them and it had calmed her, for whom not two weeks ago, mathematics the solid rigidity of numbers had been religion.’
Shilpa who has craved for children is willing to go to any sacrifice to have them but her comfort is not science or doctors but a madwoman by the peepul tree. The madwoman has been given A gift from God to see the future. And she just listens to her as the gospel truth. She also writes a diary in which she shares her recipes.
Devi is tempestuous and willing to fight for her rights and not mince words. She rebels in her own way by not wearing the clothes expected of her. Both Shilpa and she then lived in India. Later Devi moves to England.
There are glimpses of our nosy and noisy bustling country. The bonding which can only happen in India between neighbours who are privy to your every secret and yet always there to help you is an example.
The book is about motherhood fragile relationships love between men and women. The different Gods who are equally benevolent whether it is the catholic god of the Hindu God. It is also about destiny the unseen hand which always plays a major role in your life.
The description of India through Nisha’s eyes is lyrical …the jack fruit-scented breeze instructing the coconut tree grinds to bow down and say hello.
Lately one binge-watches web series but after a long time I binged read this book and it was unputdownable.
Image is the cover page of the book
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