Aashi is the debut work of Maitabi Banerjee. It is not just the story of Ashima Lahiri (Aashi); it is the story of every other young woman striving to balance ambition, job and marriage. A story of life, love and belonging!!
Filled with subtle nuances of the Bangla favour, I loved reading this book. The characters are as close to real as possible. The narration is effortless and left me craving for more, and totally unexpected and shocking ending is the cherry on the top.
The saga begins with a high-profile trafficking case investigated by Aashi, a bold and unorthodox young journalist. To her help comes Joseph, an informer. Joseph is an unassuming kind hearted man who passes on key information which helps the police in nabbing the criminals. This case gives her career an impetus. Amidst all this action, there’s a parallel setting of her marriage.
The other major characters in this book are Abir Ganguly and Kaushik Sanyal. Abir Ganguly is Aashi’s friend and lover. A college senior who becomes her biggest pillar of support.. As a friend, he is supportive and encouraging. His presence itself is more than enough to quell Aashi’s anxieties. “Empower yourself. That’s the only way you can elevate.” As a lover, he is mushy and romantic, treating Aashi with utmost respect.
Kaushik Sanyal is the fiercely independent NRI husband, who values his space and gives ample space to his wife. In no time Aashi realises there is nothing common between them, for their tastes are a world apart. While New Jersey is sort of homecoming for him, for Aashi it’s the beginning and end of miseries. Aashi is an ambitious girl who dreams of reaching the stars, and yet when stepping on the foothold of marriage, compromises more often than not; agreeing more when she actually wants to disagree – be it a cold coffee or the choice of honeymoon destination. Or even when her husband decides to move to the USA without consulting her, she relents and fulfills his wishes to save the relationship.
Minor characters like Joseph, Bashir Alam (her taxi driver friend in the USA), and Aashi’s parents are well sketched and form a deep connection with the readers.
Narrated in a simple and lucid manner; the author leaves a long-lasting impression on the reader. The beautiful cover picture warmed my heart as I could visualize the protagonist.
These are my favorite lines from this book –
Sometimes, the gruffest voices have the kindest hearts.
Time is a big leveler.
Wordsopedia Rating 4/5
|Title: Aashi||Author: Maitabi Banerjee|
|Publisher: Writer’s Collective||Publication date: October 9, 2020|
|Genre: Non-fiction (Memoir)||Format: Paperback, Ebook|
|ASIN: B08HJLG6M3||No. of Pages: 153|
About the Author
Maitabi Banerjee is an avid reader, a blogger, a book reviewer, a freelance writer and an author. She is also the co-founder of Writer’s Collective.