Dr. Ratan Bhattacharjee

Hide & Seek is creating more waves than ripples. An eminent novelist of our time Supriya Parulekar comes out with a big statement on marriage. Supriya correctly shows that love is not enough to keep two people together. It needs adjustments, compromises, resilience, and a tremendous amount of luck to make the marriage work.

Radhika’s marriage had begun with a love- story but she had to fight all her life and was not ready to give up. Hide & Seek appears to be beautiful; a fabulous fictional tapestry woven out of relationship, trustworthiness and compromise, on a canvas lived by a set of amazing characters. I had earlier gotten the opportunity to read the works of Supriya Parulekar and I know she writes with a golden pen. An author of eight books including Into the Woods, BFF: Best Friends for Ever, Diabolical, The Gangster’s Muse, Dream catcher, One Tequila Two Tequilas and still adding to the list, she carves out her creative niche so brilliantly that one-two reviews of her books by critics cannot improve much her reputation.

It has been a long journey of imagination, the creation of the world that only existed in the far corners of her mind, an urge to tell a story and transform it into a book. She wrote, “Many a time, people around inspire me to write a story, I am more of a person who prefers to write fast, rac –pacy thrillers and adventures but with ‘Dream catcher’ I experimented  with Romance as a genre and feel it’s very much my forte.” 

But in this book  Hide and Seek she treads on the path of reality and observes more minutely more critically what happens in love marriage and explores the disillusionment after the illusion something that Keats faced in ‘Ode to a Nightingale’, the realization of reality after the romantic sojourn to the romantic world of the nightingale. Supriya has worked as a Script Editor for TV18 History Channel and associated herself with Xena World and wrote for Yuva magazine for the youth.

The thought–jerking novel Hide and Seek – the latest offering from talented Mumbai-based author Supriya Parulekar is surely like her earlier five books a coruscating read about a stormy relationship presented from the viewpoint of each character.

The story narrates through the married life of Abhishek and Radhika where everything was going on well between them until Radhika discovers those flirtatious texts on Abhishek’s mobile. Their relationship takes a different turn and the pain, unspeakable agony and challenges faced in between their relationships are thoroughly expressed.

Most of the incidents happen also in many individuals’ life, and this makes the book an interesting read. This book rides but never haunts us. It thrills but never goes awry or eerie.  One cannot but like Radhika as in reading Jane Austen, one cannot but love Elizabeth Bennet and the way she tried to carve out a balance in life while also fighting between her relationship, friendship and family. This was what fascinated me from the first to the last page of the book.

The two characters are depicted as what E M Forster called ‘Round Character’ as they are studied from multiple perspectives of life. The novel ends with these lines: “Not all love stories have a happy ending. Some love stories are meant to be re-written and re-lived” and they make the novel insightful and profound.

Life is unplanned role-playing and life seems to be a stage where action-packed thriller-like events occur. Each moment one May go with the tide or against it. Unlike Macbeth’s inability to go back because of the dullness of moving tediously forward or backward it is challenging here to go backward.

Is there any retreat possible, a way to repair or readjust things or is it all just finished – all these are a part of our musings after reading the novel in one sitting from first to the last page. It is a tug of war in thinking and deciding the right course of action.

This could be the story of anyone’s life.  While Jane Austen wrote about money and marriage theme, Supriya writes about the Marriage and Love theme. The overall impression is, that it’s excellent writing and Hide & Seek is that kind of book which has come to stay for a long time in the world of fiction. The one that makes you feel the reality around you.  The readers unknowingly have vicarious experiences which affect the catharsis of emotions. The readers will be bemused by the little twists they will find in the plot at regular intervals. 

Supriya Parulekar whom I knew as a poet for her book of poems Malhar Essence of Life, shifted wonderfully to prose fiction with her extraordinary creative funda. She is Mumbai based writer but she writes with a global consciousness and her experiences of life have a rainbow hue.

We will expect her to move on with her creative ecstasy and the woods are lovely and dark. She will go forward for more and more laurels and will love to   have miles to go as readers are ready to give her their loving company as their favourite writer when the name is Supriya Parulekar

What is more, she artistically arranges them and in a fictionally orchestrated form presents them to the readers in her books that she wrote so far. Any reader will feel intensely thrilled in this Alice’s wonderland of brilliant books from Supriya Parulekar. For Hide and Seek’, she did her job wonderfully and I bet one cannot leave reading in one sitting because of the magnetic ink of her magic pen.

Dr. Ratan Bhattacharjee is an eminent writer and senior academician. He can be reached at profratanbhattacharjee@gmail.com

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