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Book Review: Sidereal Destiny (If Fate Unfolds Beforehand) by Vaishnavi Sanoj

Destiny plays an important role in shaping up our lives and the decisions we take. But, how do you know what is backing up your life and destiny – it could be luck, support, astrology, self-belief, and so on. Among all factors, in India astrology plays a major role in deciding life decisions, and marriages are no exception. Now, the question is what happens to love marriages or people who marry someone outside their caste or religion or country. Are they doomed? What happens to astrological compatibility then? Of course, this is quite a debatable topic and views differ from one person to another.

On the similar lines and commotion, Vaishnavi Sanoj has sketched an interesting story where some lovers, in full defiance, cross the line, which is otherwise forbidden by their stars and zodiac signs and horoscope prediction. The novel is – Sidereal Destiny. Its tagline says – If Fate Unfolds Beforehand. Well, in the novel you will get the answer – “when fate unfolds its story, we can only play the role of a witness.”

As the novel opens up, we see Latha, Anand, and Arpitha residing in a well-known mansion named Naimisham, but they are passing through stale mood because of conflicts. Arpitha has fallen for a guy named Aarush. In fact, both are in love and want to get married. Well, the problem is caste and creed. Aarush hails from some other caste. This is a big worry for Arpitha’s mother Latha – she herself, owing to obedience to family, succumbed to unsuitable marriage. Well, the irony is that she now wants her daughter to follow the process of arranged marriage.

Latha fails in altering Arpitha’s mood and decision, thus she seeks the services of astrology and horoscope to prove that her daughter may suffer because of love marriage. However, things turn out otherwise. However, the way to succeed in love isn’t going to be easy for Arpitha. For some good part, Arpitha remains the lead character of the book and astrology related terms and topics run like banter in the backdrop. Outside, inside, the book has much more focus on astrology – if someone has really scored less in this field, then this is going to be a worth reading. By reading this book, you can get a good chunk of knowledge about Indian astrology, and for sure you will get to know all of its divisions like Jataka, Golam, Nimitham and so on. In fact, there is always more to learn about astrology. Also the author has given special emphasis on as how most fortune-tellers fool people, out in the market there are basically two types of astrologers, and you can find specimens of them in the novel.

It’s interesting to know, that where the astrology theories seemed awkward or out of place, she piquantly placed the information in a very funny and clever way, something like this:

“Interestingly, Indian astrology treats the sun and the moon as planets and assumes that the sun revolves around the earth.

Perspective is everything!”

The second story of love is that of Anand, brother of Arpitha. He was the guy who opposed her sister’s love affair but soon he finds himself in the same trap of astrological compatibility game. This time, the story is intense.

Apart from the sidereal elements, the novel highlights family values, societal pressure, parental expectations from their children, and changing views on marriage and shunning of superstitious beliefs.

The crux of the novel is that future cannot be predicted – and even if it could be – the result will not be pleasant or enjoyable. Also, the kind of pressure it creates on a person is unbearable, by reading Anand as a character you will sympathize with him.

At times intense, at times humorous; the author has made all aspects work in a perfect blend to deliver a near perfect story. Well-written and well-edited, this novel by Sanoj is good to have on your TBR list.


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