The Indian Reading Duo Book Review 📖🇮🇳
Book- In Search Of Heer
Author- Manjul Bajaj
Genre- Physiological thriller
Published- 2019 by Westland Publications
👩❤️👨 Set in 16th century Punjab, undivided India, it’s a progressive, modern retelling of the timeless tragic love story of Heer and Ranjha.
Heer Syal is a strong, assertive, empathetic warrior woman who challenges the restraints on women. Ranjha is a serene, gentle, humorous flute player, who renounces the ways of the world. It’s a feminist narrative that continually questions the trials and tribulations of women, the power and diktat of some men, the ethics of piety, and the value of social constructs.
👩❤️👨 I especially loved the fact that Manjul Bajaj’s characters redefined stereotypical gender roles and the strong female characters supported each other, rather than submitting to patriarchy. It’s a story of love and longing, of sexual freedom and identity, of the constraints of class and gender, of abuse and exploitation, of good and evil.
Manjul Bajaj’s writing is lyrical, poetic and entertaining, scattered with pearls of worldly wisdom. The imagery is detailed. Interestingly, her story takes into account the points of view of non-human narrators: the crow, pigeons and goat, which plays out like a dark satire on humankind and its ways.
👩❤️👨 Usually, tales of lovers rebelling against conventional social norms have a tragic end, which is invariably interpreted as a punishment by God for not conforming to those norms. So does Heer and Ranjha also have the same fate? Or in this fictional intake their story is taken to another level by the magic of deeply chosen words of Manjul? Well, read the book to find it out.