The moment I saw the review of Shashi Despande’s latest book 'Strangers to ourselves’ in ‘Times of India’ i had to buy it immediately. There has never been any promotions whenever her books are released but thank god I could get hold of it sooner.
The story is about Aparna an oncologist and Shree Hari an upcoming singer and their complicated relationship. But thats not it there is a lot more in this story than just that. There is Jyothi a cancer patient whom Aparna is treating. And how Aparna gets personally involved with Jyothi and her whole family which she never intend to do. Also the whole story moves forward and backward mostly revolving around Aparna. How her parent’s perfect marriage broke in the later years, what went wrong with her own marriage which ended in divorce and how in turn it affected Aparna and Hari’s present relationship leaving Aparna fearful of any commitments. There are lots of past digging in the story which reveals secrets and so much more which makes the whole book intriguing.
Basically, this book explores more about human emotions, agitations, the logical and illogical part of human mind. As the titles says, yes we are 'strangers to ourselves' at one point of time. Our personalities changes without our knowledge, there is one personality which relates to our past and the other which is our present, come to think of it both are totally different yet same in a way. Aparna and Hari were too going through this confusion and chaos.
Like Despande’s other protagonist, Aparna too was a complex character but some how i could not relate to her as i did with the others. That was bit disappointing for me. Although, i must say it was nice to meet so many interesting, bold and talented characters in one book. I really cherished the time spent reading this one. Somehow 322 pages weren’t enough for me and i wanted it go on and on something which is impossible!
About Shashi Deshpande’s writing i have already praised her so much in my earlier reviews (http://my-book-journal.blogspot.in/search/label/Shashi%20Deshpande)
that i have nothing more to say except she is my inspiration in many ways.
An interesting quote from this book…
“ A Writer is like a bird building a nest. You pick up facts, ideas, stories, all kinds of things- and then knit all these together with your imagination.”