“Arranged Marriage” by Chitra Banerjee is a small collection of short stories. Its been long I read short stories, and I even wondered for a sec whether I did a mistake by buying the book. But I was not that much dissatisfied. Maybe its because of the similar emotions I am dwindling in. Or maybe I could understand what they mean when they bring out the moral ” Perfect life is an illusion”. Now that doesn’t mean anything personal about me, but it somewhere resonates in the mind that its part of the bitter truth.
There are stories dealing with dreams and hopes of a bride to the hidden pains and troubles of marriage amidst the unexplainable bond of happiness or the silent comfort and dependency attached to it. I thought it would contain some reflections of a newly wedded couple and their thoughts, but the book grew beyond the small things to reflect upon the big picture. It talked about the live in relationships, pregnancy and abortion and related feelings, the depth of decision making at various stages in life, including that of a adoption, or the delicacies of hiding infidelity and disdain in absolute blankness. What touched me was the bare blankness attached to every character leaving them raw (or ripe?) enough to bare life with half-closed eyes.
The 350 bucks was too expensive for the collection. But nevertheless, it was a good read and had simple vocabulary enough to keep you bound. It can disturb your mood swings, so I would never recommend to read it unless you are in a state of what-the-hell with the world or are in practical terms with life.
I would rate it at 6.5/10.