Thursday, September 29 2022

Small-town comfort, family members lingering together, lazy sips of tea and gossip and worried parents discussing the delayed marriages of the daughters of the house. This is what a typical day looks like in the home of a small town family reuniting after a long time.

When two sisters Neha and Priyanka (protagonists of Surabhi’s book) return to their hometown after the death of their grandmother, nostalgia hits hard and old wounds reappear as life takes a new turn. Life changes for Neha, an adopted child, when her cousin Priyanka’s parents pass away and suddenly family members start pampering Priyanka to make up for the parental love she has lost. Neha, in the process, feels alienated especially from her grandmother who is obsessed with her cousin. Life goes on and Priyanka settles into her seemingly perfect life after marriage and Neha continues to work for a living and leads an independent life. However, when life brings them face to face after years, the story progresses.

In author Surabhi’s first comeback work The girls of Patna, the author takes readers on a journey to Patna. The author writes in detail and uses a familiar approach towards his readers. Getting into the small-town mindset, Surabhi emphasizes the obsession with marriage and the pressure on Neha to find a suitable partner before she turns 30. However, living outside Patna for a few years as an independent woman, the author leaves no stone unturned. without looking back to claim that Neha has outgrown the men of her hometown.

The author gives the reader the impression of being on a cultural trip to his city. The author, originally from Patna, has explored the finer details of the closest relationships, the struggles of those coming from small towns and making it big in the subways and the book makes for light reading with insight into the author himself. .

The girls of Patna
Surabhi
Locksley Halls
225 pages, 350 rupees

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