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paul chitra

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Delayed Monsoon
by paul chitra   

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Literary Fiction

Publisher:  pustak Mahal ISBN-10:  8122311717 Type: 


ISBN-13:  9788122311716

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After a prolonged dry spell, dark clouds loom over the horizon. The rain drops hit the parched earth with a vengeance…..the aroma of soaked mud fills the air. A sense of rejuvenation spreads around, as new life springs out, transforming the barren landscape into a thriving oasis. Abhilasha, the mother of a grown up girl felt the same when she finally meets the love she had longed for. A union in the most unusual of circumstances and in the most unusual of places –the internet. Abhilasha was caught in a dilemma whether to listen to her mind or to follow the beats of her heart.
But this conflict served as an impetus which pushed her to a new height. Going through an emotional roller-coaster, finally she reached a stage where her passion turned into compassion, the most powerful form of love, where all conflicts appear trivial, finding their way into a harmonious homogeneity. In this new scenario none of her loved ones was left behind. A strong conviction bonded and inspired everyone to undertake life’s journey where the rough edges were smoothened by the healing touch of love.
A story woven around the life of an Air Force officer’s wife with a glimpse into what goes on behind the closed gates, guarded by vigilant men in uniform. An insight into the life of Abhilasha and her dilemmas, the seemingly ordinary incidents but which are interwoven into a complex puzzle that she must solve.

It was pretty late in the night, when they came back home. The room felt stuffy. Abhilasha flung the door wide open and came to the veranda. The sweet fragrance from the adjacent jasmine vine lingered in the air while soft moonlight enveloped her.
“What a lovely night!” Nikhil came and stood besides her.
“Let’s sit for a while in the open,” said Abhilasha.
“Sure, but let me get a whisky first,” said Nikhil.
“Not again, haven’t you had enough in the party?” Abhilasha was a bit annoyed.
“ It’s not for me it’s for you dear,” he said.
“For me? Could anyone tell me since when have I started drinking whisky?” she raised her eye brows.
“From tonight,” he winked and went inside. Nikhil came back with a glass of whisky.
“You may take a sip,” he offered.
“No way, I never consumed alcohol.” She protested.
“So what? The sky wont fall on you if you take one or two sips on some rare occasions,” said Nikhil.
“But why should I?’ she asked.
“Just to give me company when I am in mood,” he said.
“Are you sure it will be ok if I drink?” she was still hesitant.
“Yup, as long as you don’t get drunk and it’s not in public.” he said.
She took a sip and twitched her nose “It’s yuck!.”
“It takes time to develop a taste,” Nikhil enlightened her.He sat besides her and wrapped his arms around her. Tiny white flowers fell intermittently from the vine, while soft breeze caressed them lightly. The stage was all set for a perfect romance, when suddenly a loud noise tore apart the calmness of the night, as bright head lights from many vehicles, could be seen approaching them. And within seconds, the entire squadron was at their place. The room was jam-packed with no place to even move around.
“We thought of having some coffee at your place. Hope we haven’t disturbed you,” said someone who led the group.
“Not at all,” she pretended to sound casual through her nervousness. There was no way she could make so many cups of coffee in her ill-equipped kitchenette. To start with, she didn’t even have such a big utensil to boil so many cups of milk, forget about the rest. Abhilasha looked at Nikhil for support. But by then, he had abandoned her and was too busy with the unexpected guests, to even look at his wife.
“Hey Abhilasha what are you thinking?” asked someone.
“ What is there to think? Please get us some coffee fast,” enjoying her discomfort, they pestered her.
“umm……err….yes….” she was at her wits end and tried to hide her uneasiness with a nervous smile.
“No doubt you look great when you smile but apart from that lovely smile, we are expecting some coffee also,” said another. By now, the crowd, the noise and the teasing had got on to her nerves, making her so tense that her mind became blank.
“Come on guys don’t trouble her any more,” Mrs. Luthra took pity on her.
“Relax dear, no need to panic. They brought everything with them. Just allow them to use your kitchenette and they will do the rest,” she said. Now she felt relieved and watched with amusement as a big container, paper cups, milk, coffee powder and a big packet of sugar appeared out of thin air.
“Leave everything to us and just move out,” she was sent away, as Abhilasha tried to help them. A visibly happy Abhilasha obliged them and joined the other ladies.

Professional Reviews

A beautifully written novel.
A beautifully written novel. I enjoyed reading this book. The honesty and sincerity with which the author narrated the story is commendable. The characters are so real and their emotions are so true. The portrayal of Abhilasha, the protagonist of the story is just superb. I am sure many of us will find an Abhilasha in herself. I could relate to all her emotions; from deprivation to fulfillment, from pain to pleasure. The theme of this novel is wonderful. How an unassuming girl born in an orthodox middle class Bengali family becomes a torch-bearer —the transformation of an average woman into an extraordinary person. This is a novel with a message which will get the thinking process rolling.

An engrossing story
An engrossing story. From the time I had started reading the book till I could complete , I was in a state of trance, away from my surrounding. I was with Abhilasha, completely immersed in her feeling. Very nice way of writing. I want people to go through it, to experience the pleasure of reading.

Captivating and eloquent
DM is a captivating and very eloquently written story. Chitralekha writes about Abhilasha's dreams desires, failures and every hurdle in life that she faces bravely and emerges as a successful women. she talks about the protagonist belonging to a humble background. Though brought up in a conservative manner yet her determination could not be curbed .She adjusts and adapts to the Air force life. There are some hilarious and some heart rending incidents connected with the Air force life. Many Indian women can identify with Abhilasha's character which has been very sensitively penned down by the author.. It is a must read interesting book.

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