Darjeeling by Bharti Kirchner

Another book that I picked up, just by the blurb at the back.

The tale of two sisters. Two sisters who do not get along, who have their own set of insecurities which cloud their relationship. Aloka and Sujata have grown up in Darjeeling, with their father and loving Grandmother Nina. Aloka is the older, confident, accomplished sister who is the centre of attention everywhere. She has numerous suitors buzzing around her, while Sujata, the prickly, younger sister is ignored in the general scheme of things. Aloka falls in love with the tea taster and revolutionary Pranab, and the two get engaged. In the meanwhile, Pranab meets Sujata and they fall in love with each other. Pranab ends up marrying Aloka(let me not divulge too many details). They emigrate to New York, and have finally get divorced. Pranab is keen to re-kindle his romance with Sujata, who has been living in Victoria, Canada.

Grandmother Nina, invites all of them to come and celebrate her birthday with her in Darjeeling to try and get them to reconcile. I can’t write any more without giving away the whole story. It is an interesting story, but in a lot of places, I felt it was quite cliched. In some places, I found it difficult to understand what motivated the protagonists to behave the way they did.. I mean, some of the choices seem quite inane – at least to me. Pranab’s character especially felt quite lame.

What I did like about the book was the descriptions, and the way she brings out the feel of the places. It transports you to tea plantations of Darjeeling, New York or Victoria. She did make me drool with the food that she describes. I actually feel like making Channer Payesh, just to have a taste of it.

I would give it a 2.5/5. An easy read -but not exactly something I would buy – I would much rather pick it up from the library.