Of late I have observed that I am more and more inclined to books that talk about strong women, women who have overcome hurdles in their life to lead a life that they create for themselves. Such a book that I recently read was Ananya, A Journey Towards Light by Urmila Deshpande.
The story revolves around Ananya as is suggested by the title of the book.
In a tragic accident, Ananya lost both her parents while she was still very small. Shobhana took Ananya under her wing and raised her as one of her own. After her divorce from Anand also, it was Shobhana who raised Ananya. She was at times more than a mother to the troubled little girl who had lost all faith in God as a result of all the unfortunate events that unfolded in her life.
It was with much reluctance and after a lot of cajoling that Anu went with Paulami, her best friend to attend the Durga Puja function. It was the turning point in Anu’s life. She experiences things that Anu cannot share with her mother Shobhana. She starts seeing dead people and having weird dreams. She lives her life toeing the lines of phobia and depression and neither Shobhana nor Paulomi are confident enough to leave her alone.
Anu keeps feeling that there are things/people lurking in the shadows who are trying to contact her and this creates a sort of fear in her. Though she goes through a lot, she does not confide in Shobhana who is keen on helping Anu out of the situation. In these times of internal strife, Anu comes in contact with people who claim to be able to help her.
What happens to Anu and how Shobhana and the others deal with it forms the rest of the story.
The reader is confused as to whether the protagonist suffers from some illness that causes her to hallucinate and forms theories in their heads as to where the story will head. Only towards the end of the book do we know that occult sciences have a role to play. The narration is smooth and clear however it felt like the ending of the book was rushed through. The book in a nutshell portrays the modern women who hold on to tradition firmly with one hand while leading a life of courage, love and hope.
I received the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.