There are some books which are breezy read; the kind that you read on the beach during your summer holidays and then there are others which make you stop and think, revisit the pages and give you a new perspective on your own life. Where does Ramona by Manoj V Jain fall in this spectrum? First, let’s get to know the book better.
About the book
Sitting on an armchair near the window, Ramona-separated, mother of a son and a cookery teacher—muses on the events that have happened in her life in the recent past. A letter from her husband, not even nearly justifying his mysterious disappearance, shocks her and topples her world upside down. Bombarded by a thousand questions, accusations, a tumult of emotions and confusion, she begins to untie the knots one at a time with help from her family. But what she wasn’t able to do over months, a stranger does within a matter of minutes.
In the author’s words, Ramona was not intended to be a complete novel but her story was so compelling that the book can stand alone even if you haven’t read Balraj, the author’s previous book. The book starts off with Ramona and her family travelling to Varanasi to immerse the ashes of her father in law in the holy waters.
Little by little, through Ramona’s flashbacks we begin to understand what has transpired. We journey with Ramona as she is hopeful, numb with pain and then angry at her plight. She decides to start a new life for herself only to be bound by the evergreen ‘log kya kahenge?’ Ramona’s story is the story of every other woman in India.
An interesting concept ABCDE is introduced in this noevel; Activating an event, Beliefs about things, situtations or ourselves, C is for the Consequence or our reactions to the situations based on our beliefs, D is for disputing where one should try to examine the belief from a different view point and finally E is for effects where you replace your belief with effective beliefs which will help you rather than cause harm. It is ABCDE that makes Ramona look at her life from a different lens and sets her free before she travels to the Holy City.
The end I quite abrupt and I wanted a little more build up to the story. How did Vinod realize that his family was travelling to Varanasi? How did he manage to locate them? Why did Ramona forgive in a matter of minutes? I wish the book was a few pages longer to satisfy all the questions buzzing in my head. The concepts that are woven into the story make a fascinating read but should have been researched a little better. Overall, Ramona by Manoj V. Jain is a light and easy read. 🙂