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Book Review: Mukti by A. Dharma

Title: Mukti
Author: A. Dharma
Paperback: 28 pages
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, Inc. (December 31st 2012)
Genre: Short Story
Read: e-book
Stars: ****/5
Buy On: Amazon
Summary: (Goodreads)
mu·kti [moo k-tee] — the final extrication of the soul (purusha) from samsara; an end to human suffering and liberation from the cycle of death and rebirth.
Sanskrit: मुक्ति; release — from the root muc “to let loose, let go”

Mukti is a working girl, fresh out of college, living a sheltered upper middle class life in Mumbai, a city booming with call-centers and consumerism. But her parents have a plan that takes her by surprise. When their well meaning decisions clash against her view of the world; the issue is approached by both sides in a manner that is commonplace in their society. With an outcome that is just as common.

But unforeseen events unfold that drive Mukti’s relationship with her life over to the dark side.

My Review:

Kindle Freebie: Thanks A. Dharma for giving your book away and letting me know about it :)

Cover: Bright and pretty, it made me feel all bright and smiley.

Paper and font: Easy on the eyes!

Readability, language: : An easy read with simple language used delightfully!

Why did I choose this book: The blurb sounded promising.

Mukti is the story of a girl in the India of today, striving for freedom. She does try to stand up for herself; fight for what she wants but a lot of times just gives in to the pressure. She makes her choices and the sheer accidental nature of life leads her down paths she hadn’t meant to walk.
The story is about 23 year old Mukti who has just finished her studies and started working. Giving in to parental and societal pressure she agrees to an arranged marriage. And what follows is the short story.

Mukti simply means freedom but that word holds so much in it. There are so many freedoms we fight for everyday. The freedom of choice, the freedom to marry who and when we like, the freedom to work, the freedom to speak, the freedom to live and freedom from it all. A. Dharma explores the freedoms we have and the choices we make in his short story appropriately named Mukti.

Mukti’s story is not a new story, it can happen to anyone of us if our stars are misaligned, that said the story is still heart-breaking. A. Dharma takes a couple of sharp turns in the story, just when you’re starting to think you’ve grasped the storyline. And when he ended it, I couldn’t believe it was over. I went back a page to see if I missed something; the end was like falling of a cliff. And like falling of a cliff where the impact is delayed, it all hit me with a few seconds delay.

A. Dharma has based his story in the cities of Mumbai and Delhi with Mukti’s family living in Mumbai and the boy’s family in based in Delhi. He has done a good job of describing Delhi nights as I knew them – at night the streets are quiet with a silent sort-of beauty, India Gate looks beautiful in the night, but just a little away you can see corruption and violence, the people here are pushy with power and so are the cops. It feels like this struggle between beauty and evil.

How can you not associate and sympathise with Mukti, as women we’ve all been through some part of her life. The dilemma of what we want to do with our lives, societal pressures, parental blackmail, arranged marriages and the lot. Mukti’s parents are the typical parents who want to be done with a daughters wedding. It takes a great responsibility off their shoulders and they can breathe easy. And yet they love their daughter and want to see her happy.

The story is narrated by Mukti as she looks back at her life and contemplates what went wrong. A. Dharma uses simple language but spins an enjoyable tale that makes you smile at times as you remember a similar situation.

Like I was saying earlier the story took some abrupt turns. Not that it a bad thing, A. Dharma has done a good job with the story. But the story holds a lot of potential and a lot that’s left unsaid could be written. I’d love to have read about Mukti’s various debacles in the arranged marriage world. On another line, I would have liked to know more about Mukti’s inner struggle and her fight against what happens too. But there’s no taking away the unexpected end that A. Dharma throws in without a warning; it left me gasping.

All said and done I enjoyed reading Mukti and am looking forward to A. Dharma’s next book.

About the Author:
A. Dharma is an online marketing consultant who live in Mumbai and dreams of living in the heartland of India some day. He can be found on Twitter as @adharma.

Buy On: Amazon

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