Book review of Sunaina ki Jadooi Sandal by Anuj Tikku
Sometimes, we feel that we toil so much for something so little. While some accept how things are and move on, others ponder over the question of why. What is the reward for all the struggles we have had to undergo, at times at the cost of almost everything? And somewhere in this blur of disillusionment and drudgery, Sunaina ki Jadooi Sandal begins. For the themes it explores and the story it narrates, I will say this unhesitatingly – this is the best book I have read by this author till now.
The first reason why I enjoyed reading Sunaina ki Jadooi Sandal is the context. The backdrop is as universal and simple as it can be. Inspired from questions we often ask ourselves when on the face of a crisis, the “struggle-to-sustain” equation is what drives Sunaina, the protagonist of the story, to live her life. However, after the demise of her husband, she is compelled to take a different turn in her life. And here comes the part of the magical red sandals. Bestowed with the abilities of flight and leaping from one wall to another, Sunaina gains superpowers from a pair of sandals. This miraculous event is followed by a dream sequence (yes, we all love turning points in stories!), where Sunaina’s husband tells her that he was murdered by certain people. Here begins our hero’s quest to seek the truth. No, if you are wondering whether Sunaina ki Jadooi Sandal is a superhero story or not, well here’s my answer – she is a truth-seeker who comes across the magical sandals at the right time. It is as simple as that. However, the superhero theory might be true, as Sunaina finds a sidekick in her student Vimala! Anyway, coming back to the point; Sunaina ki Jadooi Sandal is a very unconventional story which involves a woman in super-sandals who investigates the possible homicide of her husband. It piqued my interest in particular, because I have not come across such a story among Indian new releases. Thirdly, the narration was so flawless throughout, that you would have to read till the last page to unfold the mysteries involved with the case.
Towards the beginning of my review, I did mention that Sunaina ki Jadooi Sandal is the best story that the author has written in the recent past. And I mean it. I have read a handful of stories previously published by Anuj Tikku , most of which have one thing in common – an offbeat premise with a gripping storyline. Although I have undoubtedly enjoyed reading a few of his previous stories, Sunaina ki Jadooi Sandal is unique. The reason why it stands apart from his other works is because of the freshness of the concept, as well as the execution. It is interesting to note that, for a story that is premised on something so fantastical (the sandals, of course!), Sunaina ki Jadooi Sandal juxtaposes the plot with figments of reality (struggles, loss, acceptance) we have certainly experiences in one way or another. In short, this is a book that will not disappoint you at all. My best wishes to the author for his future projects.
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