Book : Unsettled
Author : Neelima Vinod
This is a gripping story of a love thirsty Yakshi. Yes, you read it right. This yakshi is slightly different from the Yakshis that we grew up hearing stories about. The kind that attracts young men with their white sari and long beautiful hair and drank their blood in cold blood.
The image the word Yakshi beings into my mind is the reason I agreed to review this book. I am not afraid of Yakshis you see. They don’t want the blood of beautiful(ahem) young (ahem ahem) women somehow. Prejudice at its best. But then there is the story of Gandharvas. The ones who come to the earth to prey on the love of beautiful women. Here , giving into the Gandharvas desire, spells death for the young lady. But this death by love is not in cold blood.
Both these stories find a place in this folklore themed novella. The characters are well portrayed, the situations are well created, the narrative is good. But the story is a bit weak at some points. You keep flipping pages until you know what actually happened. Although deep down, you do know what is in store for you at the end of the book.
In this book, you will find a mixture of all the stories related to supernatural phenomenons that our grandmothers take pride in telling us about. The author says so herself at the beginning of the book. Being a Malayalee myself, I can relate to it completely.
Although well paced and well written, there are parts of the book that I wish wasn’t so well written. I love simplicity. Replacing simple sentences with complex literature doesn’t go down well with me. Especially if the narrative doesn’t call for it. The Big House with 101 rooms could have been given a better name in my opinion.
The story is about Raghav and Divya who are facing marital issues five years into their marriage. The reason is Raghav’s childhood friend Anu and Divya’s suspicious nature. When the issues between them go beyond control, they decide to get a doctor’s help. The doc, having heard both sides of the story, recommends that they go to Divya’s village Cherakad in Kerala, looking for the “scrolls of love” hidden in the The Big House opposite Divya’s ancestral home.
How they find each other’s love and how passion gets rekindled in the presence of the love thirsty Yakshi is what is described in this book. And yes of course, Thathri, the Yakshi has a story of her own to tell too.
It is a short read, which can be finished in one sitting. I would recommend the read to anyone who is interested in folklore and enjoys a good Yakshi story.
I would go with 3 out of 5 stars for the attempt at reviving the folklore form of story telling.
Happy Reading Folks!