Book Reviews

Leema Dhar: You Touched My Heart

You Touched My Heart by Leema Dhar
Publisher: General Press
ISBN: 978-9380914732 Pages: 178, Price: - Rs 140

Leema Dhar is one of the well-known Indian Fiction writers these days as she has begun her career just 14 months ago and in between she has written four exceptional pieces. She is known amongst the scholars to her sincerity and ability in articulation, the concerns of the urban educated middle-class woman. All her novels to date like Till We Meet Again The Girl Who Kissed the Snake, Mom and I Love a Terrorist, etc. work through a feminine consciousness.

Leema, a prominent and up-coming Indian English fiction writer, delineates the undulations of the female ego or self under the pressure of critical human predicaments and emotional affinities. You Touched My Heart, her fourth novel, dealing with one of the most important theme and sub themes of literature is a quest for ‘self ‘in life as well as in literature. The attempts to understand ‘self’ are predominant. All human activities are perhaps centered on these endeavors to coming in terms with the self. In literature also the search for self is a predominant concern of authors of all genres. The main character of the novel is negotiating her way through difficult situations in relation to her identity, as part of her family. Confessions are always intriguing. And, when it comes in a paperback with a bold-lettered title of “You Touched My Heart” – it is sure to clutch attention. Moreover, the explicit cover design and an attractive intro at the back-cover of the book are provoking enough to give it a try.

The main protagonists an author Leema desperately wants to be interesting. She desperately wants to believe that she doesn’t care about whether or not she is interesting. Leema was naturally strong willed, audacious, and was willing to accept tacit public disapproval for her actions in order to live her life the way she wanted to. She wanted to expand barriers of attitude and behavior. She wanted full independence to invent herself as she wished. She wanted full freedom to create only herself, and wanted to be this way at all costs.

Besides individual characteristics, the concept of self can also be understood through relationships in the story. In quest of love Leema runs away from her home and loving parents. . Her adventure ends on the queen of hills Mussoorie.

But what she wanted she did not get in the form of love. She tried to search love in her two friends but she fails. Ultimately her expedition comes to an end where she finds the convoluted reality of life after meeting to an age old artist.

She has given a beautiful description of Massoorie in her novel:

The sun had risen high in the sky; Massoorie at noon was a beauty to watch, the soothing warmth provided by the tender gentle rays that would eventually kiss each part of your body like a faithful companion.

It has the form of great writing. Vocabulary, sentence structure, paragraph structure - it is a perfect simulation of a work of literature. Again we can see it:

The tall pine trees hovering on the hills shone bright as the morning rays fell upon them, making them shine like diamonds, as if parenting and nurturing them stealthily.

As confessional writing originates from the personal or private obligations of a writer to express directly or indirectly his or her own experiences , problems and complexes, the real subject matter of confessional writing is the writer’s own self, and it is his or her quarrel or understanding with the ‘self’ that constitutes the real thematic pattern.

The journey of the Leema is given a mythical resonance, as the events of the novel to episodes that occur in any adventure. I enjoyed reading the book more so because of the writing style. To read something light without it being too mushy, you must pick up this book.

The ending is unusual unlike what was expected. I enjoyed the book and everything it had to offer. However I liked the writing and the plot. A good read if you want to read something light and interesting.

06-Jan-2014

More by :  Dr. Anshu Pandey

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