Title : Girl From Fatehpur
Author : Sarita Varma
Publisher : Indireads
When I was asked to review a romantic novella, I was not much interested in reading yet another book of this genre. Although 'Pride and Prejudice' still happens to be one of my all time favourites but then it is 'Pride and Prejudice', a different class where everything from characters, situations to feelings are dealt with utmost care and aestheticism. Unfortunately the new age romance novels are not considered complete without some dose of those 'scenes' in them. I have a big grouse that innocent and decent romantic stories are hard to find. But 'Girl From Fatehpur' was like a whiff of fresh air which contains all elements to bring a pleasant smile on a reader's face.
I always maintain that a story can aim to make an impression on readers if it offers something new either in terms of plot or in the execution of the same. If neither of these get satisfied then readers feel cheated. Sarita Varma's story excels in the execution category. It is a simple story of a small town girl Sanjana, who is now working in Mumbai. She happens to be the point of adoration of one of her seniors Krish who proposes her for marriage. But something in Krish does not make Sanjana feel the way she wants to. Before committing herself to a relationship with Krish, she wants to give herself some time to think it through. A family wedding comes as a perfect escape to distance herself from expectant eyes of Krish for sometime.
There she happens to meet Rajan - a childhood friend and a neighbour. As a young teenager she had nurtured some tender feelings for Rajan but Rajan was at the threshold of giving wings to his life in the promising land of US. Back in Fatehpur, during the marriage preparations there are ample situations in which they are thrown together and this gives them the chance to know each other better. But do they really know each other better now? Does Rajan muster the courage to overcome his fear of commitment which he had inadvertently developed seeing failed marriage of his parents? Would Krish be able to woo Sanjana in the wedding itself? The marriage commotion, various preparations, the kumbh mela, all add beautiful colours to the narrative.
Sanjana is portrayed as a pretty, loving and simple girl with her head rightly placed on her shoulders. Rajan is a doting friend to Sanjana and is clearly in an unfamiliar situation when he confronts his own feelings. A commitment wary person, Rajan finds himself at loss of words when he is pitted against Krish.
The impeccable and lucid language and taut editing - deserve special mention. Language is perfectly balanced, neither unnecessarily flowery nor low on adorning the proceedings appropriately. The characters are neatly created and developed. A feel good story that would leave readers with happy and pleasant feelings. Perfect for short, fun light-read.