Archive for November 17th, 2009



Captured by Poonamshree Kumar


Book Review: The Malhotra Bride

sundari venkatraman - the malhotra brideHow many books have you read that leave you smiling at the end? And how many books have you read that make you grin every now and then, and make you chuckle when you least expect it? From author Sundari Venkatraman comes a sparkling tale of a marriage arranged between two beautiful people by their families, both of which have the same respect for tradition and culture but differing perspectives of marriage and individuality.

Hailing from a conservative Hindu family, Sunita Rishi is petrified at the thought of her freedom being snatched away when her parents insist it’s time for her to get married. Enter hunk Akshay Malhotra, an extremely good-looking young man handling his father’s multicrore empire Malhotra Garments, and equally unwilling to get trapped in marital bliss and give up his bachelorhood.

The two almost immediately become enamoured with each other (of course, what were you expecting?) but sign a verbal contract to part ways after being married for three years, for Sunita to be able to fulfill her dreams and ambitions. What follows is a breezy ride of courtship, with minor problems posing as speedbreakers the duo must slow down for and gracefully glide over.

Not once throughout the The Malhotra Bride does Sundari Venkatraman let you realize this is her first novel, and she displays her gift of putting her flow of thoughts into words without trying to prove any point at all, and that is what makes her tale an even more compelling read. I suspect a great part of The Malhotra Bride is autobiographical, for it seems impossible to me that someone can write in this manner without actually having experienced it, but since the author dismissed that suspicion by laughing it off when I put it across as a query, I’ll have to go back to my first opinion – that she is exceptionally skilled at her craft.

I’ll admit I picked up this book in a bid to gain more insight into the behaviour of alpha males, but ended up falling head over heels in love with Sunita. Hook, line and sinker. I’m also quite taken by the fact that the author has woven this story together without any grey characters, you will not find malice or spite anywhere in The Malhotra Bride.

Reading and listening to music are two of the greatest pleasures, and I often combine any one of these with the joy that is drinking. I’m surprised at and annoyed with myself for calling for several more rounds of the intoxicating stuff just because I didn’t want to leave the restaurant without finishing The Malhotra Bride. Will I ever go anywhere near ‘chick literature’ again? Not till Sundari Venkatraman publishes her next delight.

Book Review: The Fountainhead

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November 2009
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