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Book Review: Mistress of Honour by Bhaavna Arora

book review


Bhaavna Arora, author of the bestselling novel The Deliberate Sinner, has been in my list of To-Read’s. Her second novel Mistress of Honour was thus hugely anticipated.

A “hatke” theme and lucid prose made it easy for me to tide over the pages effortlessly during a Kolkata-Delhi flight. The honest narrative, plain language and gripping plot will surely keep you hooked till the end. This novel is all about love – in the backdrop of war. Potnis, who serves in the Indian Armed Forces, comes across Pansy, a beautiful young girl who lost her parents, during Operation Blue Star. Smitten by love they get married and are blessed with a beautiful baby girl – Rihanna.

The book begins with Rihanna wanting a baby brother, which is Pansy’s wish too. Potnis, who is committed to the country first, is unconvinced and has been avoiding a second child for quite some time now… Life takes a turn, series of events unfold and… read the book to find out. Meanwhile, Rihanna grows up and is bitten by the love bug. History repeats itself as the love of her life hails from the air force – Advik. Their relationship faces the test as the country faces the Kargil War.

The author magnificently takes us through a tumultuous ride of emotions as the narrative takes twists. In fact, the reason that Mistress of Honour will keeps you looped in is the manner in which Bhaavna describes love – whether it is for the special someone in your life or the country.

Just like a Shakespearean tragedy, you will have to tide over a outpouring of emotions as you console yourself for the loss in Rihanna’s life. Surely, Mistress of Honour qualifies for adaptation into a JP Dutta classic on silver screen!

My Rating: 3/5 stars

DISCLAIMER: All Images Used In This Post Have Their Respective Copyrights

Memories in March

Another film starring Rituparno Ghosh. Another film scripted (and ghost directed?) by Ritu Da. The art of film making achieves more finesse with every film that Rituparno gifts us. With every offering, Ritu Da makes us sit back and ponder on some facets of life we happily ignore otherwise.

For people like me who stay away from home, when was the last time you talked to your Mom? When was the last time you asked the one you love, how (s)he is? Is there anything you wanted to share with someone close to you but held it back fearing adverse reactions? I believe we all live in a closet, an imaginary divide between us and the world. A world of our own where even our closest companions have no access.

Relationships dont have names. They cant be branded. Feelings define them, not names. Memories in march simply puts the message across. Our perceptions of civility, conservationism, morality fade out of the scene in the beautiful merging of emotions with life, realities with perceptions and our inherent biases are programmed for death.

Some films are made not to be watched but to felt.  The pain of loss, the dilemma of acceptance, the turmoil of penance, the bonding of souls come to life with the haunting scores of Debojyoti Mishra. Tagore comes to life with “Eki Labonye Punyo Prano”, the bard’s influence is felt in the two brojbuli songs in the film.

People say Ritu da’s scripts are slow, boring. I never understand why they want moments to fly past when characters are trying to hold onto them. Time chooses to stand still when a mother enters the bedroom of her deceased son. Why should the frame not freeze?

Memories in March will make every mother emotional. It will make every son want to go and give his mother a tight hug and say, i am there for you Mom. I suddenly have this big urge to hug maa and tell her i love someone and its a he. Who knows what happens even a minute later.

Memories in March with all humility reminds us that we live for moments. Memories make our life what it is. Love and only unselfish love can make us humane and conquer hearts beyond all hardships.

Having praised the film all along i could not find any justification for dubbing Sahana’s mother’s voice with Mithu Chakravorty. The scene where Ritu Da calls Deepti Naval melodramatic was instead a melodramatic one. And at times the editing seemed to kill the narrative. If these can be pardoned, the film like memories flow through your mind and are here to stay.

I would highly recommend my readers to live this experience. It is available for download on the internet for 2$. Watch it not because it talks of a relationship between two men, not because it is a film written by Rituparno Ghosh. Watch it because in the end, we exist because we live relationships.

[P.S. Like in the film, Raima Sen has an invisible presence in my review. She is as much part of the relationship between Sid and Ornob as Aarti is]

My ratins : 3.5/5 and must watch.

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