Book Review: The Dance of Durga by Kanika Dhillon

  • ISIN: 978-9351777106
  • Genre: Fiction
  • Publishers: Harper Collins
  • Price: Rs. 399/- (I got this book from the author for a review)

The hauntingly beautiful and determined Rajjo has always been different. As a child in a village in rural Punjab, her gifts mark her as special. Married young and abused, she flees home to discover her path: to use her talents to become a Godwoman, rich and powerful, in the ambiguous world of belief, sensationalism and commerce in the ashram. But when she falls in love, she must once again choose who she wants to be. Will she have the courage to walk the path of love and change her destiny?

The Dance of Durga is the story of an unforgettable heroine who rises to command a religious order. It is a powerful drama about human desires, faith, and a woman's journey to find true love.

Behind the book

About the author

Kanika Dhillon is a screenwriter and author of the bestselling novel Bombay Duck is a Fish (2011). An alumna of the London School of Economics and St Stephens College, Kanika divides her time between writing films and books. 

Me thinks

One morning I received an email from the author requesting for a review. As is my habit I would have googled about it, but her mail contained all that I need. From the cover page to the synopsis, she had sent it all along. The moment I opened the cover page, my reaction had gone from curiosity to bewilderment. I mouthed a huge WOW. Having heard a lot about Bhavi Mehta's work, I now knew what wonders she could create. The cover page captures the magic of the book very aptly enticing a reader to read it further.  And then I proceeded to read the blurb.

I fell in love with Rajjo. She is fire, she is water, she is the sky and she is earth. She is everything and she is nothing.... She is every woman in this world and she is nobody. Her fierceness and her daintiness both are a deadly combo making it a thrill to read her story. And till the end I was in tenterhooks as I wanted to know what she did, why she did and how she did it.

As the main character of the novel, Rajjo moves around effortlessly in your imagination. Just when you think you know her well and can gauge her next move she surprises you with her actions. Author Kanika Dhillon won my heart with this portrayal. I laughed with her. I cried with her and in the end a piece of me stayed with Rajjo. The narration is immensely powerful and the character is a firecracker in every sense.

Starting from a remote village in Amritsar the story travels to difference place all the while taking you along the rustic charms of villages, the warmth of loved ones, the joy of following your dreams and the strength to listen to your heart's calling. She has retained the local flavours beautifully in her words by involving cultures and customs in her descriptions. As you turn the last page you feel special to have witnessed something so grand.

Take a bow Ms. Dhillon you have not only managed to transport a reader to those narrow lanes but also managed to leave a reader teary eyed with a huge smile on face. That is truly commendable a thing to be done!

A love of this grandeur, a madness that is beyond description and dreams that are as big as the sky - that is how I would want to describe this book.  A must read for one and all purely for the beauty of the story, the naked truth of life laid bare before you and yet in its ugliness the author brings out its beauty. This one for me is a masterpiece in a long while and I am now looking out for more from this author.

Foodie Verdict

This book is like Innocent Devil Tiramisu Ball - a million flavours hidden inside that hard looking exterior with softness that melts in your mouth (read: heart) inside!