114th Blog Post
3rd Book Review
I have finished reading ‘HIDDEN HUSBAND’- the debut novel by authoress Shikha Khanduja Kaul on 28th August.
Front Cover of Hidden Husband
‘HIDDEN HUSBAND’ is the debut fiction novel by debutant authoress Shikha Kaul. Book’s cover is designed by Amol Karambe which looks very pretty and indicates something hidden inside the briefcase which is holded in a girl’s hands. Book’s amazing cover and mysterious title ‘HIDDEN HUSBAND’ carried with subtitle ‘Some Secrets Never Leave You..’ attracts you to pick up the book. The book is published by Pulkit Gupta’s Gargi Publishers.
Photo of Authoress Shikha Kaul
Shikha Khanduja Kaul is an Indian author who was born in Amritsar, Punjab. Her family moved to Gurgaon in 1992 and she has seen the city grow from a small town to being the Millennium City of India. She completed her schooling from Gurgaon and later graduated with Honours in Physics from Sri Venkateswara College, Delhi University, She holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Business Administration (HR) from Symbiosis Center for Distance Learning.
She found her passion for writing not too long ago. Her debut fiction novel is a love-story with a touch of realities prevailing in the Indian society that form the foundation of the biases against women for centuries. She hopes to come up with at least one novel every year for as many years as she can. With the plethora of ideas that the authoress in her is eager to offer, she wishes her readers‘Happy Reading’.
Back & Front Cover of Hidden Husband
Aisha is trapped in her own secret which makes her life hell. Her love for Raghav is true. But hailing from two very different cultures is the basis of their continued friction. Aisha is a Punjabi girl from Gurgaon and Raghav a Bihari from Ranchi. Raghav’s family will certainly nort accept a girl from outside their community. And yet, he continues giving her false hopes through his efforts and promises.
And then they take a step which entangles her life further.
Will she manage to come out of this quandary or must she continue to live in her self-created web? Explore her journey that makes her realize the atrocities being committed on women in the Indian society and the tough decisions she must take, keeping her most loved ones oblivious to everything happening in her life.
Authoress has introduced characters of Aisha and Sameer very beautifully in the prologue. Prologue seems like a filmy scene.
The book is divided into 6 parts. I would like to name every part i.e. Prologue- Like A Filmy Scene, Part I- Love, Part II- Break up & Knowledge, Part III- Hidden Marriage, Hidden Husband & Tragedies, Part IV-Suspense/Mysteries & Truth, Part V- Hidden Surprises, Part VI- Happy Wedding and Epilogue- Hope for Sequel.Let’s come to the review now:-
PURE LOVE & ROMANCE
Prologue and the first part have lots of love and romance. Actually I avoid reading love stories as many authors try to include unnecessary intimate scenes to present the novel HOT. But the HIDDEN HUSBAND is about PURE LOVE. There are few pure romantic scenes described gracefully by the authoress. HIDDEN HUSBAND too has few intimate scenes but those neither seem unnecessary nor vulgar. If any pleasure loving reader picks up the book to please himself, he will be despaired. There are also few kiss scenes in HIDDEN HUSBAND, but authoress scribbled them elegantly. I liked HIDDEN HUSBAND because this novel is not about love! Yes! You are reading right! Definition of Love is being tainted now a days. People consider Love is equal to Sex, and I don’t want to disrespect authoress’ efforts to make this novel PLATONIC. Yes! HIDDEN HUSBAND is about PLATONIC LOVE. If you are searching for incentive adult love, this book is not for you. HIDDEN HUSBAND is for only those who love to read pure romance with platonic mind.
I graduated in B.A. (English Literature) from Yashvantrao Chavan Maharashtra Open University (YCMOU), Nashik, and I am a student of Post Graduation in an M.A. (English Literature) in Natwarlal Maniklal Dalal (NMD) College, Gondia fromRashtrasant Tukdoji Maharaj Nagpur University (RTMNU), Nagpur. But my English is not so good as you may notice in this blog post. I am a bookworm. I like to read English books, but I never dared before to spend money on English books; I always preferred translated version of English books. However I have a big collection of English ebooks in my laptop.
Hidden Husband is the first novel I have ever finished in English. But I rarely needed dictionary while reading Hidden Husband. I am very impressed on very simple language used in this book by its authoress. When I could understand full book without referring dictionary, you can imagine how simple language that would be. After complete reading of Hidden Husband, I started to purchase original English books. This book gave me confidence. There is a proper use of italic fonts to identify regional (Hindi/Punjabi) words easily.
TRUTH OF RANCHI (JHARKHAND) & BIHAR
Authoress informed about Ranchi (Jharkhand) and Biharis’ efforts and aims towards their career in IAS, IPS and IFS etcetera which is really appreciable. We get to know the lifestyle of women in Bihar and Jharkhand. But at the same time we can know the horrible conservative tendency of old age peoples towards love in Bihar. Authoress described that narrow mind tendency very well, but I think she had to comment on horrible fatwas about love in northern states in India.
QUOTES From HIDDEN HUSBAND
I would like to mention few quotes by Shikha Kaul from Hidden Husband.
- "When a guy says, “Don’t worry,” it’s a direct warning signal that you must start worrying."
- "Mother’s touch is a blessing to every child in the world. Not just to humans, but all animals and creatures too. There is no replacement or a substitute for a mother."
- "They say you should never hide anything from your doctors and lawyers. Hiding from a doctor could lead your way to heaven (or hell). Hiding from a lawyer could land you behind bars. Doctors give you the right direction to your present and lawyers give a picture to your future. They need to know more than what you could share with your best of friends."
- "Sometimes, it’s better to spend your life with someone who loves you rather than forcing yourself upon someone whom you love."
- "A life-mate is supposed to fulfill the basic standards of a life cycle and a soul-mate is the one purely connected to your heart."
- "Committing suicide is a crime. In fact, it’s an evil sin! If suicide was the only option, everyone in the world would do it. You need to move on in life. The world is a beautiful place and time is the biggest healer."
- "You can’t change your past; neither can you foresee the future. But the present is all yours."
- "If something doesn’t work out, it’s just that it’s not meant to be. Something else could be destined for us. Giving up is a cowardly act."
- "If they slap you on one cheek, offer them the other two.- M.K. Gandhi
QUOTES on HUMANITY from HIDDEN HUSBAND
- "If the world could come up with one religion called ‘HUMAN’, the world would be a much better place to live in."
- "Can we expect to come up with one culture for all called ‘HUMAN’, where no one would be Hindu or a Muslim or a Sikh or any other name belonging to any religion or community? Just ‘HUMAN’ for the sake of humans."
- "Instead of asking ‘Are you a Hindu’ or ‘Are you a Muslim’, let’s ask ‘Are you a ‘HUMAN’’"
- "When God could create every human with the same organs, mind and feelings, who are we to divide them on the basis of religion?"
- "To make a United India, we need to have a ‘HUMAN’ India."
- "Deep inside, I was proud to be a Hindu. They could call me a hypocrite or a dissembler if they wished, but not terrorist."
- "A Hindu could fear God, but not become a source of fear. We laughed when people made fun of us; not killed them."
MY QUOTES on HUMANITY
I would like to share my quotes on HUMANITY which I have noted in my unpublished Marathi autobiography Maazi Tai : Ek Athvan in 2010.
- "There all religions are same. There exists only one religion in the universe, and that is ‘HUMANITY’! But HUMAN has divided this religion into ‘HINDU, MUSLIM, SIKH, ISAI, BAUDDHA, JAIN, PARSI’; and divided only GOD into ‘BHAGWAN, ALLAH, ESA (Yeshu Christ)’; and named universe made EARTH as‘BHARAT (India), PAK (Pakistan), IRAN’; only one holy scripture as ‘RAMAYANA, MAHABHARATA,QURAN; then only shrine place as ‘MANDIR (Temple),MASJID (Mosque), GURUDWARA."- Rajesh D. Hajare (RDH)
- "Every human has same blood, same body structure."-Rajesh D. Hajare (RDH)
- "I ask- When the creator did not discriminate, who did entitle human to do discrimination?- Rajesh D. Hajare (RDH)"
- "Actually there should be no objection to consider‘Hindu’ and ‘Muslim’ same as only one; because Muslims’ most important festival ‘RAMAZAN EID’starts with the name of Hindu’s Lord ‘RAMA’ and Hindu’s biggest festival ‘DIWALI’ ends with the name of Muslim prophet ALI. When RAMAZAN EID is incomplete without Lord RAMA and DIWALI is incomplete without ALI, I question myself that how can we imagine about Hindus without Muslims and Muslims without Hindus."- Rajesh D. Hajare (RDH)
I liked the way authoress used to narrate few emotions like happy teasing, frustration, love and hate between Aisha & her best friend Piyali; and Aisha & Raghav on phone.
SOURCE OF KNOWLEDGE AND INFORMATATION
I think authoress would read, studied, referred books or researched a lot before penning down the book which worked very well. HIDDEN HUSBAND gives you proper knowledge or information about Hindu brides, work of Endocrinologists, step by step procedure of registered marriages, meaning ofMARRIAGE- 'Most Amazing Response from Relatives In A Grand Event', meaning of 7 vows groom & bride take in witness of sacred fire in Hindu marriage and how Raghav and Aisha fulfill and violate those vows. I have mucked almost every page of book with underlines and square brackets as my favourite part of book.
OUTSTANDING CONVERSATION WITH GOD
I liked to read the conversations between Aisha and God which held in her dreams. Authoress used a unique way to comment on God’s existence and what God would have said about religion if he would visible. Authoress comment on religion from God’s point of view is true. Really, she has tackled a very serious and sensitive topic in simple language. This is a time everyone should think seriously instead of debating on religions.
SOCIAL ISSUES & AUTHORESS’ COMMENT
Authoress described so many social issues like slow working speed in government offices, corruption, inter-state marriages, rapes, females’ molestation, girl fetuses’ feticides, facts of dowry and Biharis’ tendency about dowry rates according to designation of a groom, overuse of abbreviations, horrible figures of crimes against children, superstition, authoress’ indirect massage to donate for the charity for the sake of good cause, bomb blasts, terror attacks, Aisha’s emotional relation with her car and so on…
TOUCH OF THE REALITIES
Authoress tried to connect Aisha’s life with realities like unfortunate Kedarnath deluge tragedy in Uttarakhand, 16/12 Delhi Gang Rape Case in 2013 , Terror Attack in Army School in Pakistan on 16/12/2014 and general Loksabha Elections 2014. At the beginning, readers feel this connection unnecessary and I thought author did stretched the story; but authoress interweaved Aisha’s life to those realities beautifully.
Two letters are scribbled in a book. First is a billet-doux (love letter) to Aisha from her friend Sameer and another one is to thePrime Minister of India from a bomb blast victim Aisha. In first letter, Sameer expresses his feelings for Aisha. I don’t know, Aisha (I mean authoress) sent the second letter to the Prime Minister Office (PMO) or not; but yeah! I think authoress should send this fiction novel or at least that fictitious letter to the PMO, and honorable Prime Minister must read the feelings of common bomb blast / terror attack victim through the character of Aisha. Authoress has raised very serious questions of common victim of religions through Aisha’s character.
Authoress mentioned a unique idea about a group on social networking sites/messengers apps. The idea is about ‘Today’s Quiz’ I like the concept of that group too much, and I would like to create my own group on WhatsApp/Facebook with same concept but little changes in rules in future.
OK! Anyway I have mentioned so many positive points. Now let me tell you minor drawbacks of HIDDEN HUSBAND.
Trailer of Hidden Husband on Youtube
- Relation with other books:- Few scenes like love, cricket and politics reminded me The 3 Mistakes Of My Life. HIDDEN HUSBAND’s main plot/story is based on inter-state marriage in different cultures which remind you 2 States by Chetan Bhagat. I know that authoress’ intentions would not have been to co-relate with Chetan Bhagat’s writing style for sure, but I noted because I felt it from the beginning. Anyway this relation may just be a co-incidence and nothing more so we can ignore this.
- Use of Future Tense: Authoress has used future dates like 8th December 2015, year 2017 etc. I think a writer should avoid post published dates/period of 1st publication of a book. Future period is expected in novels written on theme of adventures only.
- Weak Binding: I know, you wont tolerate me if I said binding of HIDDEN HUSBAND is weak, but yeah; binding would have been better than present one, publishers have to work on book’s binding.
- Rakshabandhan:- We read that Aisha married to a guy who was trying save himself from embarrassment onRakshabandhan in standard eighth. Though Sameer was loving Aisha, she didn’t know but the described picture in school on holy Rakshabandhan is still not changed. Even today, so many schools celebrates Rakshabandhan. I am not against of this festival, but as Aisha tells in a book, ‘most of the guys were saving themselves from embarrassment.” No! I will correct the sentence on Aisha’s behalf “most of the guys have been saving themselves from embarrassment.” Second paragraph from page no. 224 hearted me too much, really! And the co-incidence was I was reading the page and finished the book on 28th August, just a day before Rakshabandhan. I ask, why girls tierakhis to the guys who embarrass? If any guy agreed to tierakhi from a school friend, does she fulfill the ritual by tying/sending rakhi to that school friend every year after leaving school? No, rarely any girl continues to tie rakhi to a school friend every year after leaving school. Ok! What happened next? Same Aisha married to a guy whom she was trying to tie rakhi a day in school. Then I ask, why girls tie rakhis to the guys who embarrass? What do they want to prove by tying rakhis to classmates? For just to change mindset of guys towards girls? Does that happen by just a thread of silk? NO and NEVER! A thread of silk can never change guys’ lustful mindset towards girls, and if guys’ mindset would be pure, there would not even a need/force to tie rakhis from girls. I think writers should despair this kind of customs from literature in this generation.
- Epilogue:- In the epilogue, we get a surprise about Aisha’s son Shreyas’ girlfriend Priya’s father; I wont reveal what a surprise actually is! But I felt that surprise sad but that kind of relation should be limited till novel.
- To Make Sequel/Film:- Though many have suggested the same to the authoress I too would suggest her to bring sequel of HIDDEN HUSBAND soon. I would like if any producer/director shoot a film on the script/story of HIDDEN HUSBAND with the permission of authoress and publishers.
- Importantant Note:-When I was sharing my thoughts on twitter while reading HIDDEN HUSBAND; my friends thought, I have been paid to promote this book; but let me tell you that I am not get paid even a penny by the authoress or publishers or anyone for this review. I wrote what I felt about a book. Believe me, I tried to share my honest review or honest analysis of HIDDEN HUSBAND.
- Rating:- Generally I don’t like to rate a books as I am not a book reviewer or book critic by profession. If I would, I will give 4.5* out of 5 stars to the HIDDEN HUSBANDby Shikha Khanduja Kaul under Gargi Publishers.
- Note:- This is my individual analysis of HIDDEN HUSBAND and your reading experience may be different.
Landscape coverTitle: HIDDEN HUSBAND Subtitle: SOME SECRETS NEVER LEAVE YOU.. Authoress: SHIKHA KHANDUJA KAUL Edited By: Gargi Sarkhel Bagchi Publisher: Pulkit Gupta First Published By: GARGI PUBLISHERS (in June 2015) Cover Design By: Amol Karambe Copyright: © Shikha Kaul Genre: FICTION ISBN-13: 9789384382070 No. of Pages: 242 (with cover) MRP: Rs.195/- (Incl. all taxes) Rating: 4.5* out of 5 (4½/5) Reviewer: RAJESH D. HAJARE (RDH)
So what are you waiting for just go and grab your copy of HIDDEN HUSBAND below
- HIDDEN HUSBAND (a book) was sent to me by it’s authoress Shikha Khanduja Kaul for Review.
- Reviewer of this book is the President of Gondia District at Akhil Bhartiya Marathi Sahitya Parishad, Pune.
Thanks for reading the review! I would like to know your valuable feedback on this blog in via comment, message, call, SMS, mail, tweet, WhatsApp or any other media.
P.S.: You may connect with Authoress, Publishers & Reviewer via following links:
- Authoress Shikha Khanduja Kaul: Facebook | Twitter@shikhakaul10
- Gargi Publishers: Facebook | Twitter @GargiPublishers |Website
- Reviewer RDH Sir: Facebook Profile | Facebook Page | Twitter @RDHSir | 07588887401 on WhatsApp
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