Book Name – Not So Grave: Commentry from beyond
Author – Dr. Aparna Salvi Nagda
Rating – 4 🌟
Dying is not that bad after all. Do try it once
A book that talks about death, grief, loss, and its acceptance – you would expect that to be as serious as grave. But, Aparna’s Not So Grave is completely different. Rather as the name suggests it is indeed “not so grave”. It uses smart humor and wit to bring forth the profound serious issues of life (and death) to its reader. A brave and unique effort indeed.
About the Author –
Dr. Aparna Salvi Nagda is a Homeopathic Consultant by day earning her bread and butter through a medical practice in Mumbai. Yet, she yearns for a living with liberal writing and expressing herself through the Word. Finding solace in books both academic and fiction, Aparna is also a teacher by passion, enthralling her students with quirky biology lessons, half of which she reproduces from class to class, generation to generation. Of all her passions, being married is the best one. Marriage has also blessed her with an amazing, encouraging family who makes the passion of living worthwhile. Her husband, a doctor by profession and her best buddy, pushes her from the kitchen to the writing desk so that he finds solace from the crackling pots and thudding pans.
Aparna is hopeful that the twilight years will be nothing less than passionate extravaganzas of writing expeditions.
Robinhood Singh, aka Robu, is a boisterous Punjabi Dhaba owner in Delhi. His sudden demise shakes the world of the 3 women in his life – his mother, Beeji, his wife, Pushpakala, and his daughter Dimple. Being narrated by the dearly departed Robu, it shows how the effervescent Beeji and the caring Kala learn to cope and accept the loss.
As Robu ruminates, “death makes you wise in hindsight, during the whole period it stays dumb.” Along the journey (after death) he sharesdeath makes you wise in hindsight, during the whole period it stays dumb his regrets, and judges a few characters and you cannot help but fall in love with his perspective.
What I loved
- The beautiful mother-in-law and daughter-in-law relationship. The bond between Kala and Beeji is endearing and a welcome departure from the standard fare. The Hindi K-serials should take a lesson on how to portray a bonding. Robu’s wife who is a Tamil Brahman, and a professor, is miles apart from Beeji in terms of ideology, temperament, and personality. Yet they are bound by a common love and loss. The charming daughter-in-law and the progressive mother-in-law made a great pair together.
- The names. The author had me with a Labrador named Chandigarh, nicknamed Chandi. Not to forget the charming Robinhood Singh as the narrator.
- The way issues that are muchly hushed upon were handled so easily in the book without losing their sensitiveness. Like the pleasure of women, a special child with ADHD, or giving love another chance.
- I love when authors use the cities as a character and Delhi was as much a character of the story as the named persons. I have visited Delhi twice for a brief period, so it was fascinating for me.
- The occasional chuckles that are spread throughout this book keep the readers engaged all through the book.
- This beautiful cover is an instant attraction.
What could have been better
• The character of Jugal or the tadpole( i loved the comparison). The reader in me wanted to read more about the sensitive guy. His way of celebrating Kala’s birthday almost reminded me of Rab ne bana de Jodi, and the SRK fan in me was elated. Hoped to read more such anecdotes.
• The ending. This book can easily be expanded and given a full novel structure. The ending seemed abrupt or rather the reader in me wanted to read on.
• The abundant use of colloquial terms jarred the reading experience a little.
Overall Aparna has done a fabulous job and knowing that she draws inspiration from her real life makes this read more personal. A huge shoutout to the readers to not miss this quick, sensitive read.