Ananya- A journey towards light

Ananya book review


Life is all about the choices. Some choices are within our control and some, well, they are just have to be accepted as decisions taken for us.

Shobhana had to decide whether to adopt and bring up her husband’s sister’s child, when the child was suddenly orphaned at the tender age of 5. Her decision to take Ananya under her wing and protect her is where this story starts.

Ananya, having lost both her parents, is labelled as a cursed child by her grandfather. Little does he realise that this label would affect her to a great extent later in life. She grows up with a feeling of guilt. This guilt only increases when her adoptive parents get divorced when she is 10. This guilt is what eats into her for her entire childhood and manifests later on when she is in college.

Ananya grows up confused about her feelings towards God. She is convinced that just God does not love her and that is why her mother and her father got taken away. She feels unworthy of being loved and grows up as an atheist.

Then one day she goes to a Durga puja festival and life as she knows changes. She feels tortured by the voices within her head and is not sure whether she is touched by the divine hand or devil’s side. There is a drastic change in her positive nature after that incident. The story goes on to talk about what happens to Ananya and how she deals with this.

Ananya touches the heart when you realise how much a child can be affected psychologically by all events in their life- good and bad. This happens even at a young age when they cannot even express what they are feeling. They don’t choose their parents but as parents you do have the choice to make them feel loved and protected.


Each chapter is narrated by a different character in that person’s perspective. The flow of the story is very smooth and the plot is shrouded with some amount of mystery that keeps you wondering what is actually happening.

The last 2,3 chapters however are a bit too long and too repetitive in the idea of light versus dark. It kind of makes the entire narrative a bit heavy and you are not left feeling light at the end of the book. Thought the book is just 147 pages, it feels much longer because of that.

Ananya is the debut book of Urmila Deshpande and is priced at 180INR.

A lot of deep thought and philosophy in a small package.



Absolute Truth, For Beginners by Katarina West



This review is long overdue and I am totally kicking myself for getting caught up with the mundane activities of life and pushing this aside.

The title of the book makes it sound like a self help book. Right? In a lot of ways it kind of is self help. I found myself identifying with the fears of Elisa (one of the main characters) more than once. The book starts with the lines ” we are all Nobodies”. A line that goes straight to the heart and stirs some emotions. Elisa is a art historian and somehow lands a job in the villa of a famous mathematician, Judith Shapiro. The story begins with a sense of depression, where Elise elaborates on her insecurities, something that all of us have been through in the past. The narrations flits between small scenes of her past and the current, though mostly staying in the present. As the plot unravels, the characters of Elisa and Judith grow deeper. The relationship between them is purely physical at first but there is some connection at a more emotional level as well. Judith, a renowned mathematician, is described a Somebody in the book. Famous, powerful, eccentric describe Judith’s persona.

What I loved about the book is the organization of the chapters. Each chapter has an unusual title and more over there is one word that is the highlight in the chapter. Katarina goes on to give a small description for that word with reference to the story. For eg. Nobody is the word of chapter 1 and the meaning for it is given as ” No person, no one, ┬áthe lowest of the low.” After a point I kept focussing on those rather than the actual story. Another very fresh aspect of the story is Elisa’s way of classifying people with ES number.

The language is captivating and the description of the scenery really makes your imagination run wild. Set in Italy, the story is an interesting take on a relationship between 2 women, sexual and more. There is passion, there is confusion, there is ecstasy and there is depression. A coming-of-age story with a lot more packed into the 300 odd pages.

Overall I am really glad I was given an opportunity to read and review this book.

Thank you Katarina.