The Bride Who Would Not Burn – Rajesh Talwar
Ravinder is an eligible boy who manages a shop along with his father in Ghaziabad. He and his family are extremely impressed by the wealth and lavish lifestyle of Poonam, a girl he is shown for an arranged marriage. They have secret expectations of a fat dowry from her widowed mother, Mrs Bajaj, and hope to use the dowry to set up another shop in a posh, commercial area of Ghaziabad.
But Mrs Bajaj has deliberately hidden her true financial status from them.
Post marriage, when expectations are not met and the truth about Poonam’s financial status tumbles out Ravinder’s mother hatches a plan to set her daughter-in-law on fire and pass it off as an accident, and after a decent mourning period marry Ravinder off to another richer girl.
In an entire list of books up for reviews this book caught my eye and the title and cover both made me want to read it. As soon as I received the Kindle version of the book I began reading it and finished it in one go.
The Bride Who Would Not Burn is written in a play/drama format, which I found a tad annoying in the first few pages but the story and writing had me so engrossed that I started enjoying this unique form of writing a book.
My guess is that the book is set in the 90’s, and Talwar’s writing transports you there. With his smart writing and humor he has cleverly shines the light on the typical Indian Hypocrisy, especially when it comes to judging women and when it comes to dowry. Each well etched character stands out and stays in your mind, and I would go so far as to say that you are likely to find shades of people you know in the characters.
Most writers know how difficult it is to write simply and Rajesh Talwar is a writer who has aced that with this book. Take a bow, Mr Talwar!