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.