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The protagonist is a woman; no she is too young and naive to be called a woman. She is a girl all of nineteen years, who having led a life of being an unwanted child, thinks that Fate is giving her a ticket to life in the form of an educated 30 year old husband. Her parents are happy that they could find a husband for their manglik daugther so soon.
From Patiala to Delhi, as Leela moves cities after her marriage, she dreams of leaving her bad days behind and seek bliss in her marital home. Alas, the reality that awaits her is different. Having been told numerous lies, she struggles to come to terms with the truth when it surfaces and shows its ugly face to her.
Her transformation from a headstrong girl to a docile wife amazes herself as she realizes how she too, like her mother whom she detested for the same reasons, put her dreams on the back burner and tried to live a life as per the norms of the society she belonged to. While this transformation amazes some, it is but a sad reality for many women in India who are forced to stop their personal pursuits and do what is expected of them. Post marital life in India is seldom what one dreams of it to be. More than the husband and the wife, the parents, the in-laws and the society decide how a married couple’s life ought to be.
Her move to Bangalore owing to her husband’s new job changes her life and brings her vis-a-vis to her old friends. The Leela from Patiala initially loathes in self pity, but soon learns that she can live a dual life one where she submits to her abusive husband and another where she is Elaa, the young girl who has it in her to fufill all her dreams. She dares to do all that her husband stops her from doing and enjoys being her online persona in real life too.
Like all lies, this too comes to an end. Reality and fiction come face to face. Her life comes to a standstill and she is left with nowhere to go and nobody to turn to. What will Leela do? Will she ever be able to confront her tormentors? Will she fulfill her dream of being an RJ and being famous?
Sujata Rajpal creates a very believable Leela, one who is not entirely free of faults, one who is not purely fictional and one with whom many women can relate to. Leela is a brilliant woman and The Other End of The Corridor brilliantly portrays her journey and her transition from a naive girl to a woman who knows the tricks to survive in this cruel world.
This is a recommended read for all women and men alike who have no clue what it is like to be a dark skinned, manglik woman in India.