One And A Half Wife by Meghna Pant (A Review)

27 05 2012

One And A Half Wife

by

Meghna Pant

(Review by Karthik Keramalu)

Marriages are made in heaven. A metaphor coined to appease the newlyweds. But how long does heaven provide shelter. Until love lasts? Where are marriages made with no love to offer to each other? Is marriage the only solution to a woman? Is it escaping from a reality of dreams?

Parents support their children in all of their endeavours. Soul of a person does not lie in the sole of another. Independence is not freedom, it is merely a channel opened to persevere one’s thoughts and deeds.

One And A Half Wife gives the reader a ladder to reach Amara Malhotra. A soft vase, vulnerable yet moulded and shielded by her Mom, God and her ‘future’ husband. She builds her own wall when she finds out that love is mostly needed in a marriage. And that love blooms from being together and not avoiding the other.

Her transformation from being just another person to being herself starts when she realises ‘giving’ is not what makes for a happy life, ‘receiving’ is an equal counterpart.

The story of Amara Malhotra or rather the story revolving around her starts with her family vying for the green card. And as the bell tolls, they are in America. The land offers them a new home, a new identity, a new beginning. They are neither Indians nor Americans – somewhere in between, as one of the characters says. Amara gets married (as marriage is perceived to be the utmost purpose of a human life according to the community there). Soon she realises marriage means concoction of two people – husband and wife and their ideals. While the wife gives and gives, the husband takes nothing. The bitter relationship fizzes out in a matter of time. Amara’s parents blame her for losing their foothold in the Indian American community. They are in India again to turn a new leaf. To turn the lights on with an intention of dumping the sour food.

Here, she gets in touch with her long lost friend Shikha didi. Together they look for the buried ‘self’ of Amara. In the process, she dares to help the daughter of a local goon with little help from her ‘man’.

Amara succeeds in making herself proud. Does she make her parents proud? The question does not arise when a person swims in success as success is always shared.