Thursday, January 31, 2013

The Secret Wish List by Preeti Shenoy

The story revolves around Diksha, who has an affair with Ankit at 16. Her parents soon find out about this and are utterly disappointed with her behavior. Naturally, like many other Indian parents, they send her away to her cousin’s place to continue her studies. Once she turns 19, they get her married to Sandeep. Although Diksha is reluctant, she obliges in order to placate her parents and win their love and affection. Sandeep turns out to be an extremely self-obsessed and self-centered guy, who thinks that the only role of a husband is merely to earn for the family. 18 years pass by, and he never shares any emotional relationship with Diksha or their son, Abhay.

18 years of toiling around the family leaves Diksha feeling worthless about herself. Her cousin, Vibha, who identifies the inadequacy in Diksha’s life, makes her write a wish list and then follow it. The rest of the story is how Diksha fiddles with her impossible husband, Sandeep, and her dream life. By the end of the book, Diksha is in a position to confront the hardest things in life, and move ahead. During the course of time, she rejoins her old friends and past relationships.
The book emphasizes on how important relationships are in a family. The book shows how inconsistencies in marriage can lead to chaos. Quite often, when a marriage breaks, it is not because of a huge disaster, but because of a thousand little things that are neglected.

Things that I like about the book:

·         Excellent narration skills. The pace at which you read the book tells you how interesting it is. Since it is written in present tense, it is much more readable and appealing.

·         Emphasis on relationships. The book shows you how lack of admiration towards your family members can break their hearts.

Things that I do not agree with:

I agree with the book that although what Diksha did is a huge mistake, she still deserves her parents’ love and affection. But, come to think of it, any Indian parent doesn’t accept their 16-year-old child kissing somebody. I cannot empathize with Diksha when she terms it as ‘just that one mistake’. She feels she has been treated as a criminal. Well, it is only natural for any parent to behave that way. Diksha should have had some sense before doing such a thing. However, her parents should have reconnected with her at least after some period of time.
When Diksha meets Ankit after a long time, she instantly goes to bed with him, without a second thought. Come on! She’s 35 when she meets him. Why couldn’t she be more sensible? What if he cheated on her? Such an affair should crop up only when she is determined to leave her husband forever and spend the rest of her life with her love. But she does this even before thinking of anything else. She could have waited until she confronted her husband.
Overall, I would recommend this book to people with very modern views. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I am not that broad-minded yet.


  1. Very cool review. May be, we south Indians are not that broad minded..

  2. Thank you, Nachi D. I thought my review was silly. Thanks for your support.

  3. "I am not that broad-minded yet" --- :) Hope you do start taking things a bit less seriously darling