Saturday, July 7, 2018

3 Reasons You Would Like 'A Cage Of Desires' by Shuchi Kalra Even Though You Don't Like Erotica

Frankly speaking, I am not fond of Erotica. I had read one, and decided not to go for this genre again. But there are several reasons why I picked 'A Cage Of Desires' by Shuchi Kalra (Penguin India) that falls under the category of Erotica.

First of all, I didn't know it was Erotica until it finally released. I had read the short story 'Maya' by Shuchi that was kind of excerpt of this book and really liked the idea! Plus, I have read and liked Shuchi Kalra's previous books so I was looking forward to her next.

So was it a disappointing read? No, not at all!

A Cage Of Desires tells the story of Renu, an ordinary home maker whose life revolves around her family. But she is living in a love-less marriage and that obviously suffocates her. And then there's Maya. Bold and irresistible who is famous, rather infamous, for her erotic novels but nobody knows who is she. 

How Maya's and Renu's lives are connected? Would Renu find real love and solace? Read this novel to know the answer. Apprehensive about the genre? Don't be! Here's why ---

1. The most important thing --- it's a quick and engrossing read. Something you would like to finish in a single sitting. Even though the story is predictable and the premise is not-so-uncommon, it keeps you hooked. The setting and routine of Kumar household seem quite believable. 

2. Intimate scenes are not vulgar. The book has been categorized as erotica, so yes there are some intimate scenes but they have been written nicely that they don't seem vulgar or even unnecessary. As they say, 'It's the demand of the story'. And this is the best thing about this book. There's a proper plot, a thoughtful reflection of a woman's life who is living in a love-less marriage. 

3. Writing. 
Writing is neat, emotions are beautifully expressed. There are some beautiful/insightful quotes like 'There's a kind of love that makes you go down on one knee, and there's the kind that brings you down on both. You don't need the latter because no matter what you do, you cannot make anyone love you back.'

Or 'Truth an lies are like oil and water. You can shake them all you want, but they will never mix.'

What didn't work for me?

Character of Arjun: When creating Renu's husband's character, the author plays safe. There's nothing you would like about him. And it's okay. But, Arjun's character is disappointing. As a reader, it was important to like this character but he didn't seem likeable, from the very first appearance. No matter how many times his charm/handsome-ness/caring nature has been mentioned. The letters to Arjun seem like an overdose of emotions (However it's written beautifully).

My biggest problem with this book is the prologue. It's absolutely unnecessary, and it makes the story totally predictable. Also, I didn't like the end. Again, unnecessary and stretched. Could have been used as epilogue if it was too necessary. It somehow marred the impact of actual ending. 

Overall it was a nice and engrossing read. Pick it up if you like reading women centric stories or romance or family drama. And, don't be apprehensive about the term 'erotica'. It's nothing like that. You can find such scenes in many books, not even categorized as 'erotica'.

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