Skip to main content

Book Review: I Want To Run Away by Deepa Iyyer

Romance genre is one of the most popular genres across the world. People prefer reading it for intense characterization and a farrago of emotions. In a romance novel, it is always tough to tag the emotions, as readers easily find themselves swaying up and down with the tide of emotions. Well, this novella ‘I Want to Run Away’ by Deepa Iyyer is slightly offbeat and different in its semblance. It’s a romance novel, but differs in its intensity and other elements.

This novella is based around Aashika – a young girl from a small village called Valayapuri, located somewhere in the interior part of South India. She is a college student, but at the same time very ambitious about her love choice, career choice, and not to leave out freedom in her lifestyle. Dreaming big is not a sin – however it may be in her village where people are still quite remote by the way of life, and technology has very marginal intervention and women are reckoned nothing more than slaves. If you read the story, you will get the feel that the backdrop prepared by the author for her lead character, Aashika, is nothing better than a barren land. How will she survive and move ahead in her life? How will she race ahead to fulfill her hidden desires and dreams? In her opinion, the answer is moving to a faraway city. She is of the opinion that if she runs away to a kind of big city, she may get dominance over heaven i.e. job, money, freedom, lifestyle, life partner (boyfriend, husband, and so on). Remember Bollywood movies like Jab We Met and DDLJ. A kind of fusion and heady mix of romance and Bollywood spice is evident throughout the story.

In a sense, she is right to do that. But the question is, will she get everything as she has been planning since long?  Maybe yes….maybe not? That’s the thrill in the novella. Coming to other side of the novel, we see the grim side of her family. Her family is totally patriarchal and orthodox by roots and cultural lineage. She has two more sisters – she is the middle child. Elder sister had some bad luck with marriage and the younger one is studying and probably doesn’t understand the world that Aashika holds in her mind. Both are different but lovingly close to each other. Her father is a strict man, who believes in all the rituals and customs of the society. He is hell-bent to get Aashika married off. He opposes love affairs, freedom of women, love marriages – imagine what kind of stoic he is?

As the book starts, you see that guys come to see her for marriage. Aashika plays her tantrums and successfully manages to drive them off. However, things go little awry when Sanjay visits her. She finds herself in dilemma. That guy seems to be a good fit for her. They interact and hang around and form a respectable understanding. What next…will she give up her plan of running away and succumb to this smart guy – Sanjay? That’s another interesting story among all mini stories.

It is bit late to introduce this rich and boastful brat Aadhi, well he also plays a vital role in rolling up and down the story. Aadhi and Aashika have an affair. But midway Aashika realizes that Aadhi is a wrong choice as he wants her to confine to the homely chores after the marriage. As the love story of Sanjay and Aashika fosters, this guy Aadhi creates unavoidable troubles. Aashika’s life screwed up. And there are more than one reasons for that. Will she be able to make a comeback?

As the author claims that it is a light romance novella, yes… she is totally true to her stance. Other than the main story, the way Deepa Iyyer humorously challenged and made fun of male chauvinism is not less than glittering gold. Remarkably, humour has never been lost. At times, you may roll up and down with laughter goose bumps, just look at this excerpt and you will find the praise justified… 

“So many families came forward with marriage proposals for my Rajesh. I even know two families who fought with each other to get their daughter married to him. ‘Rajesh is ours…Rajesh is mine…’ the families kept fighting. I distinctly remember, there was this one family, a very rich mill owner, who literally staged a dharna at my place!” Rajesh’s mother touched his cheeks gently after revealing details of the modern day swayamvar and that effeminate ass tittered in glee.

Writing style – yes Deepa Iyyer is a prolific writer with good command over language and situation handling. Anytime, it is a well-written and well-edited book. If she manages to write more light romance novels, though slightly inspired by Bollywood stuff, no doubt she can rule this league in India. Overall, a good book to be finished in one sitting.


Popular posts from this blog

Poem Summary: Where The Mind Is Without Fear by Rabindranath Tagore

Poem by Rabindranath Tagore: Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high Where knowledge is free Where the world has not been broken up into fragments By narrow domestic walls Where words come out from the depth of truth Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit Where the mind is led forward by thee Into ever-widening thought and action Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake. Short Summary: This poem is written by Rabindranath Tagore during pre-independence days, when India was a colony of the British. The underlying theme of the poem is absolute freedom; the poet wants the citizens of his country to be living in a free state. According to the poem, we see that the poet is expressing his views there should be a country, like where people live without any sort of fear and with pure dignity…they should

Book Review: The Blue Umbrella by Ruskin Bond

Among all Ruskin Bond books, The Blue Umbrella has, so far, gathered immense applaud from readers and critics alike.  This is a short novel, but the kind of moral lessons it teaches to us are simply overwhelming. This is a story of Binya, a poor little girl living with her mother and an elder brother, Bijju, in a small hilly village of Garhwal. One day while herding her two cows back home, she stumbles upon some city people enjoying the picnic in the valley. She is enthralled to see them well-groomed and rich. She craves to be one like them and among many other things of their, a blue frilly umbrella catches her attention. She begins craving for it. On the other hand, the city people get attracted by her innocent beauty and the pendant in her neck. The pendant consists of leopard’s claw – which is considered a mascot widely in the hills. Binya trades her pendant off with the blue umbrella. The blue umbrella is so much beautiful that soon it becomes a topic of conversation fo

Poem Summary: Ozymandias by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Ozymandias is a short poem of fourteen lines written by Percy Bysshe Shelley. The concurrent theme of the poem is that nothing remains intact and same forever in this world. Even the brightest of metal, one day decays with passage of time. The throne name of Egyptian King Ramesses is Ozymandias. It was his dearest desire to preserve himself forever by building a huge statue that he thought would never tumble down. Stanza 1: I met a traveller from an antique land Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand, Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown, And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command, Tell that its sculptor well those passions read Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things, The hand that mocked them, and the heart that fed; Summary: The poet narrates the poem through the eyes of a traveler who seems to have come back from a remote and far-away land, referring to Egypt. The traveler r