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Book Review: Shree's Varah by Sandhya Borkar

Shree's Varah by Sandhya Borkar is a mystical spiritual thriller with a long cast of intriguing characters. The author has deftly intertwined all characters, their sweeps, actions, and much more through a spellbinding narrative. Equally the story also focuses on the vagaries of life and how God’s blessings compensate for loss and pain.

As the novel kick starts, we see that some people from various parts of the world are heading to Krishnagari for the Festival of Shree Mela, somewhere in Maharashtra. When Abhay and Preeti reach Krishnagari for the festival after many years, contrary to their expectations, much has been changed. Vallabh is no more. He was shot dead by his enemies. Radhika – his widow – is devastated beyond a limit. She is so distraught by the tragic events in her life that she lost fait on Shree – the God. Since the novel has a spiritual streak, Shree acts a central character like banter in the backdrop. He makes sure that justice is prevailed in everyone’s life.

Gradually, the story zeroes on Vallabh –a famous and kindhearted man in Krishnagari. However it didn’t go well with the Sarpanch and his son Chandru. The duo is also the organizer of the Shree Mela that occurs after every 12 years. Enmity, friendship, rites of passage, destiny, fate, and revenge are some hot serving themes in the book. Other than an incredibly power packed story, the author also did a brilliant job by painting the insights of the story with locals and customs of Marathi culture. In fact, Varah is a Marathi word meaning blessings.

With time Radhika and Sheetal rise up from rags to riches, yet their rivalry to Sarpanch and his son never ends. Will Radhika and Sheetal get justice? If so…how? Who will be those angles that will set their life back on the route? As the story chugs ahead, the author keeps introducing one character after another that matter to the overall plot of the book. Other than Radhika and Sheetal – there are more than a few nice auxiliary characters that shine with their roles such as Gopi, Suraj, and Raj.

The book is a lovely combination of drama, melancholy, family allegiance, fate, love and much more. One thing is sure that while reading you will get the hunch that life can take up any turn, but a firm faith on God can set everything right. The novel has a booster of spirituality in an innovatively fictional way. Sandhya’s narrative skills are great, she binds the web of story in such a way that once one gets through some pages, the book becomes unputdownable. Highly recommended for people of faith and fate!

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