Sonal Kalra, Managing Editor, Lifestyle, picks her favourite read of 2021 - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Sonal Kalra, Managing Editor, Lifestyle, picks her favourite read of 2021

Dec 25, 2021 03:42 AM IST

Filmmaker Ashwiny Iyer-Tiwari’s first novel, a journey of love, regret and despair wrapped in brilliant storytelling, feels like a textual extension of her cinematic canvas

The book starts with the words “I am living my life looking at the rear-view mirror, driving to the end of the beginning of where I started.” You instantly know this author will end up striking a chord, no matter whom or where in life you are. Acclaimed filmmaker Ashwiny Iyer-Tiwari’s debut as a novelist makes Mapping Love seem like a textual extension of her cinematic canvas.

Ashwiny Iyer-Tiwari’s debut novel is a textual extension of her cinema. (HT Team)
Ashwiny Iyer-Tiwari’s debut novel is a textual extension of her cinema. (HT Team)

The protagonist, Oorja, is a young girl who travels back to India from the US after the loss of her mother, to reconnect with her estranged father. Intriguingly, she finds him missing at their family home in Lucknow. There starts her search for a father she never really cared for or connected with, but now must find in order to close loops. The search, through the scenic banks of Banaras and the haunting wilds of Jim Corbett leads her instead to a dying grandfather, and a young man who is set to inherit his estate. What begins then is a journey of love, regret, despair - all wrapped in brilliant storytelling that’s been quite the signature of Iyer-Tiwari.

Now catch your favourite game on Crickit. Anytime Anywhere. Find out how

Sonal Kalra (Courtesy Sonal Kalra)
Sonal Kalra (Courtesy Sonal Kalra)

The language throughout the book is lucid, the aura introspective. Oorja’s search for her lost identity forces the reader into her shoes, like it or not. There is a certainty of conviction with which the author takes you through the roller-coaster of emotions in an Indian familial set up. It is done with a lot of sensitivity, and dollops of warmth that is rather relatable. It also pushes the readers into a contemplative mind frame more than once, perhaps because to grapple with bittersweet relationships in a family is quite an all-pervading challenge. The narrative tends to lose pace somewhere in the middle, only to grasp it again with twists and turns that Oorja experiences as she discovers her family’s secrets.

Mapping Love turns out to be a trigger for self discovery, if only briefly. It’s not a lengthy, complicated book, and in that sense, is a good travel read. But read it anytime else and it will still leave you with a strange blend of a smile on the face and a hollow in the core of the heart.

Catch every big hit, every wicket with Crick-it, a one stop destination for Live Scores, Match Stats, Quizzes, Polls & much moreExplore now!

See more

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Thursday, June 13, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On