|Book Review|: The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad

3:41 PM

Hi Beautiful!

Before I start of reviewing this book, I must mention, this book took me by surprise. I was expecting a book much similar to "Mrs. Funnybones" but fortunately, "The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad" turned out pretty different. This book comes out as a much better read and makes the author shine as a writer. It is in no way outstanding compared to the standard I had set for Mrs. Funnybones, however Twinkle's second book comes off as a whiff of fresh air. 

A collection of utterly magical stories that will leave you crying, laughing and wholly enchanted.

A gangly young girl transforms her village with a revolutionary idea. Sixty-eight-year-old Noni Appa finds herself drawn to a married man – ‘Why do people have to define relationships, underline each word till the paper gives way beneath,’ she wonders. Bablu Kewat becomes obsessed with sanitary napkins much to his family’s horror, and a young woman keeps checking the weather forecast as she meticulously plans each of her five weddings. Funny, observant and wise, this is storytelling at its most irresistible.

The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad

Series: Stand Alone
Author: Twinkle Khanna
No. of Books in Series: 1
Genre: Contemporary, Short stories, Indian, Comedy, Humor, Drama, Fiction, Short, Culture

"The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad" is a collection of 4 short stories. I was not aware of it when I made the purchase because personally, I am not a fan of short stories . For me they are too quick and short. I like the plot to build and simmer, while with short stories I feel rushed as if a lot of details have been left out for a quick ending. It obstructs me from better understanding of the characters and the story also fails to gain depth. Good short stories can only be well written by accomplished and senior writers in my opinion or someone with natural writing talent. 

All 4 stories in the book have an undercurrent of feminism and revolve around trivial details of women lives. Yet these trivial matters are somehow symbolic and constitute the principles of their lives. The language is as usual very simple which is what I like about Twinkle's writings. I'll review each story separately. 

The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad

As the title of the book goes "The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad", the first story is about a small village girl Lakshmi, with a cliched plot and dilemma of South Asian countries, the birth of the girl and the burdens it entails. So the story starts off with Lakshmi's elder sister's marriage preparations, her excitement and Lakshmi feeling left out because she isn't old enough to be part of adolescent girls' group. Lakshmi's sister gets sent off back to her parent's home after her marriage because her parents could not meet the ever increasing demands of their in-laws. The news of pregnancy blooms as a hope in her parent's heart but the birth of a girl kills it. Lakshmi grows up experiencing the torments a woman has to face in society. Birth a girl and you are further doomed and abandoned in to the abyss of  neglect and hatred for bearing another girl. Observing all this happening around her, Lakshmi is struck with a bright idea of bringing an end to woman's plight for which she ultimately became a legend in her village for times to come.

Salaam Noni Appa

The next story "Salaam Noni Appa" is about 2 women who are in their sixties, living alone, stuck with the mindset of "Log kia kahein gay?" (What will people say?). Noni Appa has led an exemplary life assuring that she does everything by the book thereby giving people no chance to question her or her principles. Along the years loneliness has seeped into her every fiber yet she is unwilling to open up to life or take a chance on happiness for the simple fact, "what would people say?" When she is handed another chance at love, she is reluctant initially but after a tragedy befalls she sees the world from new eyes and realizes what really matters is her happiness and not what people would say. The ending of this book reminds me of fictional happy endings we have all grown up reading. The story is very cliched but quite relate able. I reminds us of the harsh realities of life and the loneliness one may have to face but leaves the reader happy and content with the ending. This story is a light read with a dash of humor sprinkled frequently into it and is my favorite story in the book. 

If the Weather Permits

"If the Weather Permits" is the third story in the book and is by all means my least favorite. The story failed to make any sense to me at all, it was completely pointless. The author was either very confused or was unable to put her point across the readers in a manner where they could make sense of it. The story is about a woman named Elisa Thomas who keeps on marrying over and over in pursuit of happiness despite her failure in previous marriages. The author fails to mention the reasons of her failing marriages and somehow makes Elisa come across as a bad person responsible for the failure and this what Elisa's family also thinks. Maybe this was the case, but the story fails to explore the details and leaves the reader speculating. Elisa seems to have the art of attracting all the wrong men. These things are pretty obvious in the story but the story leads nowhere. Elisa seems like a woman who is trying very hard to find her footing in life and tries to accomplish this by marrying men and failing each time. The story simply failed to grab my attention as I found the pattern repetitive. For a book that is subtly focusing on women, the story struck me as out of context with no point. 

The Sanitary Man from Sacred Land

This story is fictionalized based on the story of Arunachalam Murunganantham, the person who is famously known as the man who wore a sanitary pad. The author has presented us with a simple character of Babu Kewat, a romantic husband and a dedicated son. There is romanticism in this story along with the bitterness of life. Babu wants to make the lives of women folk easier by introducing a hygienic sanitary napkin which is also affordable. Being the driven person he was from his childhood, his obsession for making an affordable and hygienic napkin cost him the companionship of his family. People could not understand his vision and he was shunned from his own town. But his hard work and dedication led to his success and he became famous for his invention. His success and fortune led his family back to him. I particularly did not like this part of the book where his family reconciles with him because he became famous and rich. The author beautifully highlighted in a subtle way how our own shadows leave us during hard phases of life and how people flock you once you are famous and rich. 

With simple writing style, diverse characters and different segments of society, this book is a good one time read and a much improved effort by an immature author. The stories are none the less mediocre and perfect example of how a person of average talent be labelled as a best seller with the right resources and right amount of money. No grudge against the author but I am only voicing my disappointment over the hype of her books. 

Rating: 3/5

Verdict: A good one time light read for beginners

I purchased this book online from a Facebook store by the name of The Book Hub for Rs. 250. 

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