Meera by Parul Mehta Patel
You wouldn't know when you are half way through a good book because you are flipping pages, faster than usual! That's what happened when I read Parul Mehta Patel's 'Meera'.
'Meera' is the story of a girl, a daughter, a friend, a sister and a wife. So what's new with that you ask?... Nothing that has not been done before, but you still connect.
Well, to begin with, you can easily identify with main protagonist Meera. As a five year old, you understand her insecurities when she has a new sibling. As a teenager, you associate with her high school drama and her trauma which she suffers. As a daughter, you relate to her life in a dysfunctional family. As an older sister, you can feel the maternal instincts she felt for her much younger sister. And as a woman, you grow with her through her years.
The book is divided into years of Meera's life: Childhood and Challenges, Marraiges and Mistakes, Reasons and Realities. Each chapter is a first person account of the characters whose name is mentioned in the title. You feel as though you are reading a chapter out out their journals and get a peek into their lives, thoughts and perspectives. I felt this was an interesting way to make the reader aware of story from the point of view of the secondary characters and not just the main protagonist.
Mehta Patel, an Indian born, US based author, beautifully captures the journey of the innumerable Indian girls settled in the US after marraige. A practicing psychotherapist, 'Meera' is Mehta Patel's first book, which was published by The Write Place and released in 2017. Her writing is very simple, uncomplicated and free flowing. Very 'Indian', I felt. Many a times, I could feel that I was reading Indian fiction. I cannot help, but point out that while reading one of the chapters, all I could think of was the movie 'Monsoon Wedding' :) I liked that movie... and I liked this book.
With 317 pages, a quick page turner, 'Meera' definitely has a story to tell !
My take: Pick this up while at the airport, waiting for a long flight, or if you want to read a quick book over the weekend. This would be an ideal gift to give your dear friend, whom you have lost touch with or to just reminisce about the good old days.