Review: Arranging love, contemporary way!

Arranging love, contemporary way!
Arranging love, contemporary way! by Poornima Dhiman
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A bold exposé by a strong and independent woman.

It takes more than courage to write about troubling sociocultural issues. Cultural conservatism often suppresses free and frank expression. Truth, however valuable, is often hidden away in the recesses of the mind – because revelation can lead to embarrassment all around. A patriarchal culture invariably mutes the plaints of women. Yet some must speak and reveal, and confusion, angst, and agony do at times lend strength to such expression.

Poornima writes lucidly of such matters in millennial Indian society. She narrates the yearning and betrayal that a young girl experiences as she traverses the “marriageable age.” And of a choice made – to be true to oneself – as the protagonist learns and matures as a woman.

Male dominance and chauvinism is a topic often penned about. The patent unfairness of a society and culture that feeds and supports such attitudes, on the other hand, isn’t always clearly detailed. Poornima writes of men who take full advantage of such ways perpetuated. She details experiences of a girl, who wishes only to find her mate and true love, exploited by weak-minded males who take refuge in their families’ judgments when it suits them to do so – after taking full advantage of a girl’s hopes and desires. She writes of fence-sitters, unable to firm their cartilaginous spines, who continue to dump their emotional detritus on trusting girls. These males – who aren’t dominant, and freely exploit social bias – come across as weak and unworthy of their traditional roles as protectors of families.

Poornima’s protagonist Ananya faces such encounters as an independent girl who breaks social constraints and asks more of life. As is her right. She falls into traps, succumbs to games boys play, and goes along with contemporary methods of browsing find-your-right-mate.com pages… Though some do find mates they can live with through such methods, she finds these pathways desultory. She continues her search for a true love.

Will Ananya find what she seeks? Will she discover true love? She is brave and resolute in her quest.

An intriguing narrative written by a young writer, the book is easy to read and humorous in its treatment of difficult relationship issues. It provides a front-row seat to the malaise of millennial Indian society: the gauntlet girls face as they reach adulthood. Like making lemonade when life serves you lemons, Poornima’s story is a credit to independent girls and women.

As with any rough gem, some polishing, such as editing and proofreading, can add much to this self-published narrative. A commendable debut work!

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About Rian Nejar

Rian Nejar is an Indian-American author. He trained and worked as an engineer in India, lived briefly in the Middle East, and arrived in America in the early 90's. After a Master’s degree in electrical engineering in America, he worked as an academic instructor, engineer, entrepreneur, and technical writer over the two decades since. Humbling and Humility is the first heartfelt written expression of his varied life experiences. He lives and writes in the Southwest United States.
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