Book Review: Parineeta by Hiranya Borah
Genre: Romance, Tragedy
Word Count: 5,060
Parineeta is a beautiful young woman who lived a tragic life without love. She was forced into a marriage with a controlling man twice her age and had two spoiled sons with him.
After her first husband's death, she married a womanizer for financial security and physical pleasure. Even though she did it to help her sons through college, they turned on her, calling her a prostitute.
In all this time she was only in love with one man. Unfortunately, she didn't get the chance to tell him she loved him until it was too late.
About the making of Parineeta
Hiranya Borah wrote Parineeta to explore possible problems that happen from a younger woman marrying an older man as well as the struggle from living in a loveless marriage. In the preface he stressed that all of this is fictional. The man Parineeta loves shares Hiranya Borah's name, but it wasn't his intention to put himself in the story and any similarities between himself and the character are coincidental.
A Captivating Tragedy
Parineeta might possibly be my favorite of Borah's stories that I've read so far. The characters are relatable and in fact I know a lot of people who are similar to them. There are not many of the annoying exclamation points Borah liked to put in his earlier stories, and there aren't any author notes mid-story like there was in Interview.
Hiranya is the narrator telling Parineeta's story. While he's noble and very relatable (how many of us are also ecstatic when divine intervention takes us out of an awkward situation?) I wish the story was told from Parineeta's point of view. It's hard to relate to her when we see nothing from her point of view except for the letter she wrote.
Parineeta's first husband irks me. He is easily jealous and controlling and I feel bad for Parineeta being forced into that marriage. While Borah condemns her second husband more than the first, I think the first one is worse. He gives Parineeta no sympathy of affection as far as we see. At least her second husband cried when she died.
In fact, I like her second husband, Anoop. Borah describes him as a heartless animal, but that's not a fair description. Anoop freely admits he uses women only for physical pleasure and that is what he wanted Parineeta for. But Parineeta wanted it, too. She knew exactly what she was getting herself into.
‘Did you love her from your heart?’ I asked (Anoop).
‘No, I did not love her, neither she loved me; but I have sympathy for her. My sympathy is like sympathy or liking for a good employee of the employer. She served me well against my payment. Now a days, getting good service after paying sufficiently is also rare. I have many ladies in my payroll; but she was the best among them. She was very clear about our relation. She told blatantly, she is going to give her body for physical needs and for money. She told in unambiguous terms that her heart was with someone else for last three decades and that would remain there.’ He sighed.
He supported her and her sons, albeit paid for her sons' college to get them out of the way. He cared enough about her to take her to a doctor when she was depressed and he cried when she died. No, he didn't love her, but neither of them were looking for love in the marriage so Anoop isn't exactly a 'heartless animal'.
All in all, this was a pretty good story. It's available for free on Smashwords. If you read it, let me know what you think in the comments.