Read an extract from Untamed Heart in the debut issue of Setu, in June 2016.
Untamed Heart: a praise song to the contemporary Indian woman
Mona Dash’s debut novel, Untamed Heart, is a praise song to the contemporary Indian woman coming of age in a patriarchal society that refuses to relinquish its orthodox views. In an India, struggling to hold ground between tradition and contemporaneity, enmeshed in a plethora of complexities, the female protagonist Mohini comes to terms with herself and the world around her. The meeting of East and West and the spaces they occupy geographically and culturally are marvellously portrayed in the novel. The response of the protagonist to her multicultural spaces is based on her own choices and at the same time, beyond her control. The strikingly beautiful protagonist is an ambivalent and complex character: martyr, deceiver and explorer in wilful pursuit of the world and a means of transcending her limitations. In Mohini’s dilemmas, we see the India existing in many tiers: the sanctimonious middle class India, the India of the emerging, educated upper class, the corporate India, the NRI India and the evolving female India. Opening at a critical moment in the protagonist’s life in New Delhi, the bustling capital of India, the novel takes the reader through a labyrinth of Mohini’s past, her present, her roller coaster emotions, her complex family life and her uncertain future.
By Usha Kishore, poet, scholar.
First published in LakeView International 68 LIJLA Vol.4, No.2 August 2016
Read more at pages 68-71 in issuu.
UNTAMED HEART by Mona Dash is a bold novel, engagingly told. It’s the saga of a modern, educated woman with accomplishments and deserving aspirations. She has the ability to impart a classical touch to anything she takes up or is into. Agreeing to get spliced, she turns into a homemaker doing her best for the joint family even at the cost of private space between her and her husband. So much so everyone in the family looks up to her. She becomes indispensable. But if things are stagnant, where is the spice? The irrepressible urge within her comes to the fore and urges her on, and she launches herself into a job with élan. Within no time she makes a name for herself to the envy of even her superiors. Her escapades take her even out of the country on business events and conferences. Singapore, Malaysia, UK, France, Sweden. This globe-trotting go-getter feels at home wherever she goes. An embodiment of free spirit, she yearns for more and more. Whatever she dreams of, she realises it. So is everything smooth and hunky-dory? How does she satisfy her husband, how does she satisfy the members in the joint family? To know answers to all these and to many more unsaid, do grab your copy of UNTAMED HEART, and race through the 324 page novel packed with woman-power. Kudos to Mona for the unique plot and theme, for enriching the story with a mass of relevant inputs, for creating the right atmosphere from scene to scene, and for being photographic in detail wherever demanded, and for her narrative skills.
By U. Atreya Sarma, Editor Muse India.