Just completed “I don’t wear sunscreen” by Kavipriya Moorthy. It took only three hours though. To know how I feel about it, read on.
The novel (can be called novella) is written with dates and also is divided into many chapters. I think any one of them would do just fine. These are mere technicalities. Let’s move on to the main story.
So our story is about mainly ups and downs of two childhood friends and how it turns out to be a totally unexpected journey. For the first fifty pages (half of the book) it seemed a simple story about complication due to distance in a childhood friendship. I was thinking it would end in catching up with the ruined relation and some philosophical lectures on life and so. But it totally slapped me and pointed what it was hiding underneath its simple story.
While I was mulling over why Laksha had disappeared, then suddenly a revelation! What makes this book interesting is simply this:
1. The author casually describes everything like it’ll go on forever and then suddenly unveils her hidden plot twists.
2. Every word written here will convince you that she’s written it from her heart. After every 2-3 pages you will find some thought provoking lines like:
If a past relationship hurts you now, it means you matured over time, but what was it can never be replaced by any other memory. To fall in love is human, to betray is also human if you take a closer look at it.
And another thing, this is probably the first book where epilogue seemed more interesting than the complete book. At epilogue, our betrayer or antagonist (somewhat) reveals why she did what she did. It was pretty understandable provided some other socio-economic conditions. Still in my opinion, I’d never forgive Pallavi for what she did, no matter how many reasons she showed, how much pain she suffered. It felt very fresh when the first person narration was suddenly changed from Laksha to Pallavi.
What could have been better:
Laksha’s mother was an extremely complex and interesting character which could have been depicted better. It’s a wasted opportunity. She was raped in her adolescence, she once forced Laksha to keep trying to swim even up to the verge of drowning, and she totally ignored her daughter’s problems initially knowing everything (though later she handled the situation with maturity and thus shedding some light on her strong character.). Such a character could have been described more.
At the core, this book is all about how uncertain life can be and how we should not lose hope in any moment in our life. Relationships are expertly analyzed, human psychology is closely examined and finally a nice and slow story is greatly converted into a nail biting mystery. Kudos to the author for her achievement in her debut work itself. Wish her all the best for her upcoming projects.