Sunday, 6 May 2018
Book Review: Saving Maya, by Kiran Manral
When I picked up Saving Maya at a book store, I half visualised a woman named Maya who had to be sent to rehab or needed to be rescued from a cult. However, the blurb on the rear talked of a divorced woman in her mid-thirties (with a young son) finding love and I was intrigued enough to drop the book into my shopping bag.
Maya is a modern woman, living in a modern city, aka Mumbai. She uses modern gadgets and apps, including WhasApp and Uber, goes out pubbing at joints such as Irish House and, as may be expected, works for a startup. Her son Dushyant crimps her style a bit and her mother is not of as much use as may have been expected. However, she has a good domestic help, who unfortunately is on a month’s vacation, which stretches across most part of the story.
Enter Samar. Handsome, successful, intelligent and a professor at a top notch university in the US. Maya’s neighbour, they are on the same floor, which makes it rather convenient. Samar has smoky eyes and the women in the building can’t have enough of him, though he is a recluse. When Maya enters into the first of a series of brief conversations with him, she finds him incredibly attractive, but there’s no sign of reciprocity. Instead, once they get to know each other better, Samar offers a quid pro quo, one that would kill the spirit in any romantic woman, but hey, Maya is a street fighter and after some bargaining, she accepts the offer, albeit with some modification.
It’s not a straight forward romance, and Kiran Manral does not offer her readers the assurance of a happy ending. Towards the end as Maya prepares to attend her ex’s wedding, I did for a brief while wonder if Manral would end on a philosophical note.
I usually don’t read romantic fiction, but I am glad I picked up this book. Written in simple, but elegant English, Kiran Manral not only tells a good story, but also transports her reader to Maya’s world in Mumbai, one I have some familiarity with, which made the story all the more enjoyable.