Monday, 11 January 2016

BOOK REVIEW - “Punjabi Thali” by Swati K Gulati


The very thought of a Punjabi Family reminds me of a serene lake in the midst of a valley. Calm quite surface with no ripples is what meets the eye. But a peak into the under surface tells a different story. With the sheen of the marriage fading to a certain extent in a short span of four years Shalini was aghast to see the turmoil below. The entire range of relatives from her in-laws side, including the Buas and Massis were scheming, conniving, manipulative and devious to the extent that it left her perplexed every now and then.

The story revolves around the bragging Punjabi family creating sardonic situations out of routine day to day life. Their penchant for running everyone down for their speech and dress sense speaks volumes about their own mannerism. For Shalini who is observing all this from the calm water above feels the life unfolding in this Punjabi family as satirical and at times humorous.

In order to share her experience in the Punjabi family, Shalini decides to pen down her observations. Her task is made complex by the fact that her sister-in-law is in love, and had confided this to Shalini. This dilemma whether to help or not is further compounded by the fact that Shalini is not the favorite Bhau. It is a complex mixture...a Punjabi Thali.  

The initial chapters are devoted towards the pre and post marriage period. Then it moves on to the relatives and the resultant personification of various relatives. The story also touches upon the sudden change in husband’s enthusiasm for life after marriage.

While solving the case for Shalini’s sister-in-law her husband finds his true self again and speaks up for his relationship with his wife. He understands the essence of being married and the need to take a stand.The climax was quite interesting with twists and turns as they unfold. For that you need to read this book.

Now my Positive viewpoints:

The positives of the story are the primitiveness in the narration that impressed me. The author narrated the story in a very unique way; it seemed as if she is talking to the readers personally. The author has been successful enough to connect with the readers, I loved it, and I am sure that the target audience will love this book too. Special mention how Rahul changed drastically and then took a stand in front of his family in order to save his and Shalini’s basic rights, and make Shalini feel important and precious for him.

Some suggestive points:

Although the narration of the story is wonderful but at some places the story becomes stagnant. When the story does move; it inches towards the end, to convey just a one line message that sums up the book. I feel the narrative was coming back to the same point after each change of scene without adding much to the story line. The author seemed confused in building the plot in initial few chapters. The way it ended left the reader cheated, because as a reader we always want to know the complete and proper end. Even typical melodrama of Saas Vs Bahus’ was too much to handle after a given point of time.

Final words:


  Overall if asked I would say this is a light and simple book, perfect accompaniment to your weekend pastime. Overall I would say...this is a good job done by Author (Swati K Gulati ) I would give 3 stars to this book.

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