stops with a note unfinished
Shared with Carpe Diem
The festive season is over and as the lights have dimmed and the noise has calmed down, a strange feeling of emptiness is hovering around. Now an empty, idle brain is devil’s workshop who has a penchant for mysteries and murders. So my inner devil gets intrigued seeing the title of Rasleen Syal’s debut novel “Happily Murdered”. A large mug of coffee, my favourite cozy corner and I finished 246 pages at one sitting. And yes, I must say that the book is quite capable of holding your interest till the last page.
Rasleen has clearly confessed in the ‘Acknowledgment’ section that she is an ardent fan of Agatha Christie and that her muse owes a lot to Christie. So, as I started reading, truly speaking, my expectation was quite high.
Set in the backdrop of a fictitious town Ratnagiri, located at the foothills of The Lower Himalays or Siwaliks, the story opens up as the newly wed daughter-in-law of the Mehta family is found dead on the very next morning of her wedding, still clad in her wedding finery. It comes as a bolt from the blue to the Mehtas and to their chagrin the police conclude this as an inside job. There are ample proofs against a particular member, Sara Dulla, but on a deeper look it becomes clear that someone is trying to implicate her in the crime. The “whodunit” game starts from here and all the nine members become suspicious of each other. The story continues in a style of parallel narration, one exploring the facts and incidents that happened on that fretful night and another is the narration of Gulab’s own life-story, in first person.
Just like Christie, Rasleen has portrayed “high society” characters with mainstream appeal. The character of Gulab is well created with an array of humanly emotions, all meddled up due to lack of one thing, LOVE, and for which her quest never is quenched. There are many clues left by the author here and there so that the readers can ransack their own brains to pinpoint the murderer. It could be anyone, the most practical and dominating father-in-law Mr. KD Mehta, the pompous and boastful mother-in-law Tina Mehta, Gulab’s husband, the philanderer Sid, who is in dire need of money, or any of the other conniving in-laws who some way or another have played important roles in Gulab’s life. In fact, a moment comes when you start even suspecting the octogenarian ‘Biji’, mother of KD Mehta.
The success of Rasleen’s pen lies here. She presents the characters with a psychological introspection and thus revealing the fact that how an unnatural death can drastically change the nature and ambiance of an otherwise normal household. The characters confront each other in their process of becoming sleuths in their own way and many bitter facts surface up. The plot is not so fast-paced but the pleasure remains as the reader unknowingly starts to investigate along with the 9 members. The clever deceptions made by the author to manipulate readers’ thoughts and feelings has made it more difficult for them to solve the main mystery.
I’m a nitpick when it comes to thrillers ( I can’t help it). So there are certain things that has made the book enjoyable as a one time read only. It’s not like classic thrillers which are cherished every single time you go through them even knowing full well who has actually done ‘it‘.
I fail to understand why Gulab each time succumbs to Sid, when she is aware of his infidelity and is strong enough to raise her voice against other adversities.I would like to share one of Christie’s quotes in this regard, “Too much mercy….often resulted in further crimes which were fatal to innocent victims who need not have been victims if justice had been put first and mercy second”. Gulab’s love for Sara and their friendship too look like a bit made-up. Normal feminine instinct does not let a woman to do so much for another woman who is in love with her own betrothed. Moreover, detection should always be logical and scientific as a process. Somehow I don’t find it logical enough…..the process of detection.
The language of Rasleen is a delight. Like a cool breeze blowing slowly though the enjoyment is often marred by typographical errors and even omission of words in at least two places.
However, “Happily Murdered” is a good read over the weekend. I enjoyed the book and is recommending it for all mystery lovers.
The book was received as part of Reviewers Programme on The Tales Pensieve.
Shared with Carpe diem
*Dipawali or Diwali is the brightest of all Hindu festivals. It’s the festival of lights ( Sanskrit dip = light and avali = a row i.e., a row of lights) Dipawali is celebrated in autumn. Human beings are the legates of their past good and bad deeds which either mar or mark their existence on earth, either through fortunes or misfortunes. It is believed that an escape from this is impossible. Dipawali or Diwali is celebrated all over India and Goddes Lakshmi and in some places Goddes Kali or Shyama is worshipped. To know visit this page.
Children, they are the future of any nation. Their upbringing, education and both physical and mental health are of much importance than anything else. As for parents, they always try to give their children the best. Best schooling, best teachers, best manners and culture…everything. But all these will go awry if the child suffers from ill-health. A healthy child is a happy child, and a happy child is sure to make the world a better place in every way.
Nutritional support for our children, in these days, has become more important than ever. Now one can argue on this point that wasn’t it necessary earlier? Yes, of course. But gone are those days when no preservatives were used in foods, when the soil didn’t suffer from chemical fertilizers and when, of course, the world was much free from pollution. With advent of time, with advancement of technology, everything has changed. Now our children are exposed to pollution from the very moment they see the light of this planet. The food we give them, even the most expensive ones, are gone through several processing and preservatives are used to improve the shelf-life. Moreover, some are grown far away and so when they come to the market, even though they look fresh and fine, they might have already lost the essential enzymes and other nutrients to a considerable amount. Our children are now also under stress and tension for the academic standards have increased and their awareness about the outer world and activities have increased exponentially too. The world now is more competitive and more cruel, to speak the truth.
Just one thing hasn’t changed (and will NEVER change), that is parent’s love for their children.We always want our children to lead a happy life. And the road to happy life is paved with good health. I can remember, in my childhood, whenever I suffered from cough and cold, my didun ( maternal grandmother) used to concoct an Ayurvedic syrup using Tulsi (basil), adrak (ginger), madhu (honey) and amla ( Indian gooseberry). It was a titanic task for her to make me wash down the thing for I used to throw all known tantrums. But however, she always succeeded. She had that time and patience.
But as I’ve already said, we are now on 21st century and life is faster and busier. As a working mother, I know how difficult it is to get different ends meet with a little child at home. More so when you’re intransigent on the health issue. I neither have time nor the patience of my didun to gather those ingredients and brew such concoction. But as a mother I want my son to be healthy and that he should grow natural immunity. But how? I was really worried and that was the moment Dabur Chyawanprash came into rescue. I have complete faith on the time-tested formula of Dabur Chyawanprash. This is because after going through their website , I came to know that they not only use Amla and Giloy (Guduchi) but also 40 other natural ingredients which are essential to strengthen the natural immunity system of children. The exclusive formula of Dabur Chyawanprash helps to increase the NK cells (Natural Killer Cells, the medical terminology being ‘antibody’ ) and thereby increasing the natural internal defence system of the body up to 3 times.
Strengthening this internal defence mechanism means that my child would be protected from various infections with his own strength, what more can a mother want?
And last but not the least, most of the vitamin tablets, tonics and their ilk are confronted by a wrinkled up nose, a despising look and crossed arms! But that is not the case with Dabur Chyawanprash…..it is accepted rather with pleasure and a smiling face. My son loves the taste! I’ve found it as a blessing. As Voltaire said, “The art of medicine consists of amusing the patient while nature cures the disease.”
Thank you Dabur Chyawanprash for making my life easier and my son’s life healthier and happier.
Remember the great site which ensures that you save while shop? Well, the site TopCashback.in is again the talk of the town this Diwali. To know what they normally offer throughout the year, please go through this post of mine.
But this Diwali they have some exclusive offers which is hard to resist and which you make you feel that shopping is synonymous to saving! Among the latest offers on TopCashback, you could share your referral link to earn Rs.500 and your friend after joining TopCashback will also earn Rs.500. This Tell-a-friend bonus is available for a limited period.
So, what are you waiting for? Go and grab the offers before they are gone. Let this Diwali be the most memorable one.
:-) Wishing you all a very HAPPY DIWALI :-)