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Book Review: 30 Years in the Searing Sun by Kalavathi Raj

30 Years in the Searing Sun by Kalavathi Raj is a profound memoir of a woman who looks back at her childhood and romantic encounters until she got married. As the title suggests, the book narrates the tussle, plight, and struggle of the author for straight 30 years, covering her childhood, school days, corporate profiling, encounter with various types of good and bad men.

Other than romance flings in a female life, the book also sheds light as how the Indian patriarchal society looks down at a girl child. The first part brings the pain and misery of the girl received by her father. By all means, her childhood was bereaved of love, with no one around to comfort her. She turned alone and aloof!

She hailed from an army family, subsequently, the frequent transfers of her father added salt to her wounds. In one instance she was forbidden to eat non-veg during the lunch time, and at another instance, her mother cared nix when she bled during periods. Life was quite unfair for the girl. There are many heartbreaking instances that will gather sympathy for the girl.

“With utmost sincerity and gentle maneuvering he took his last smoke and bolted out the rest of the cigar into my skirt filled with pink and yellow flowers.”

Next two parts are about corporate jobs, meeting men, and finding a dream husband. Unfortunately, her first encounter with her manager at a kiosk desk job is a regretful story of molestation. Love is a difficult thing to find in a world hungry for carnal desires. However, she boldly opposed him at the cost of facing shame.

As the story chugs ahead, you will be amazed to acquaint with women philosophy looking to have men and love in her life, at times she is right, another time regretting being close to a guy. Bet it any situation, the narrator’s inner voice never let her sit peacefully. Mental peace is vital for everyone, so does for her.

“My inner voice at once echoed to me, ‘No wonder he’s like all the other men – easily infected by a woman’s looks’.”

The memoir is not entirely filled with bad experiences and people, in snatches she also relished true and genuine love of gentlemen. Penning down many romance affairs with mixed experiences is a commendable job done by Kalavathi Raj. She wants to spread the message that a lonely lady’s life is like walking on a tight rope, she has to balance at every step. It isn’t a thriller but the true life story of one woman with strong heart and a never-give-up attitude.

In her own words: she aims to light up the way for many women to create their own path and find their right life partner.

It can be gathered that she felt lonely and emotionally unsupported but she never succumbed to her miseries. Like a warrior, she fought and stayed. A light of love and hope found her when she met her husband.

It’s an evocatively written memoir. The author didn’t exaggerate to gain bouts of sympathy, but remained holistic in her approach. She writes, and to various extents a reader could feel the same about reading it. Travelling this path with the author is challenging for one who had traversed the path. However, it leaves the reader with a sense of inspiration, feeling motivated to use one's determination and mettle for the happiness of self and others, and to find one's greater purpose in life.

Buy from Amazon.


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