The Poison of Love by K.R. Meera is a short novel, originally published as Meera-saadhu in Malayalam and later translated to English by Ministhy S. This novella has recently gained quite a fame after it was translated. After reading a lot of positive reviews and recommendations from friends, I finally decided to read it.
I don’t know how to begin this, I have so much to say about this short piece of literature yet nothing to utter. May be I’m out of words or perhaps I’m overloaded with my thoughts on the novel that I don’t know what to say! (side-effects of reading a poignant tale, late at night). There are times when you read a book and it touches your heart so gravely that you question your inner conscience, things you never pondered upon. And then, there are books which are so profoundly overwritten that you start loathing it and you wish to have had been with the author at the time of the writing process, so that you could have saved some absurd scenes in the writing from getting published. This novella has to be among the latter ones.
Tulsi, an IIT graduate, falls in love (or mere infatuation) with Madhav, a handsome and charming journalist who met her during an interview at their college campus. Aroused by his charming deeds and acute behaviour towards her, she couldn’t help it, but end up eloping and getting married to him, ditching her family and even rejecting a prospective boy, Vinay whom she was arranged to get married. Soon she had children and their lives began to evolve. As time passed, she finds out that Madhav hadn’t given up philandering with young women. Things gets so crucial that Tulsi even gets to see unwelcome women, visiting Madhav at their place and claiming him to be their’s and Madhav’s constant apologies and lies would calm the moment. When things went out of control, Tulsi leaves behind her life only to end up being one among the Meera-saadhus at Vrindavan in search of solace.
Sounds like a poignant tale with a undeserved ending, right? But I had some issues with some points described in the novel. When I read a novel, I look for an unambiguous plot, good-story telling, logical descriptions, and non-stereotypical scenes. This novella had all the elements which repel me. Also, I found a few paragraphs in the novella to be overwritten, trying to make it sound good but ended up being cringy.
“My mind became fickle.When I tried to desire Vinay, it ran like a monkey towards Madhav.”
Such comparison….uh.. -_-
“In that mood, I might even have loved the beggar who approached from the opposite side. If only he had looked at me the way Madhav used to, if he had smiled at me like Madhav had, uttered even a single word as softly as Madhav had.”
(I would have stopped reading the book, only if Madhav had)
“While typing the next day’s scoop on the computer with his left hand, he would tickle me with the right.”
Ummm….. -_- (No comments)
Coming to the characters, I hated all of them apparently. Madhav for being an asshole, Tulsi’s parents for being so medieval and ignorant that they married off their other daughters fearing that they too would elope like their sister, and Tulsi for being such a dumb-fuck that she being such a bright IIT graduate, wasted her life in the name of LOVE & SACRIFICE. Even after she left Madhav and walk out with her children, instead of working herself, she chose to be dependent on her father. Being an IITan, she would probably gotten a job with much ease, but NO, She had her father to back her, so why worry? Was it because she was so grieve-stricken that she was off-track, unable to get on her feet? Or was it her sacrifice?
Love & Sacrifice…these words itself didn’t fit with the prose anywhere in the novella, which the cover read. Love? it was more of lust, the words which described all the lovey-dovey scenes only portrayed both of them desperately wanting to fulfill their carnal desires. Okay, Madhav was a fuck-boy, agreed, but our very own protagonist, Tulsi was no lesser. I mean you are aroused by the guy so much that you never even thought a second about your family, about the boy who loved you, and left everything behind, even after knowing what kind of a serpent he was. Let’s call it amateur love, but the climax did blew my mind and made me loathe Tulsi’s character even more. She kills her children by poisoning only to have sex with Madhav later on, him mistaking the children for sleeping, later to find out they were dead when ants start crawling to their bodies. That was to teach Madhav a lesson or rather make him regret of the things he did to them. But why kill children??? On top of that there is no police investigation! Noone gets caught for the crime? Nothing described or mentioned about it! Well, may be because it was done out of SACRIFICE??? I don’t know!
Also, this novel went from sad to sadder to saddest that I was like, enough already!! Well… Well.. I have read much heart-wrenching novels, but this was out of the league. Instead of keeping it simple, the author stretched it too far that it didn’t make sense in the end. I couldn’t relate to the characters and they felt too unrealistic to me. This novel couldn’t have been written precisely without any plot holes or logical errors, improvising the prose that would even make it an inspirational read. But NO, the author just wants the readers to feel sad about the protagonist and her so-called SACRIFICE!
I think I’ll just end this here.
My rating: * * /5
Note: This is my personal opinion about the novella, you may differ from my opinion since no two readers are the same! 🙂