Another lovely day when one of my favourite authors has revisited my blog. Her books always strike a chord with the reader and entertain. Sundari Venkaraman writes with passion and panache. Today I ask her about the women she has made famous. Welcome to my blog Sundari.
Oppressed, abused and humiliated yet your heroines stand out?
Thank you so much for hosting me on your blog today. You are the right person to ask this question since you have read all my books. 😀
I think every woman has her share of problems, at various levels. But how she deals with it, how she overcomes it and how she fares against the tide is what makes her a heroine.
Sunita from “The Malhotra Bride” fights tooth and nail against an arranged wedding, especially at that point in life where she’s keen to study further and create a career for herself. She achieves what she sets out to do when she and Akshay fall in love. Akshay and his family are encouraging when it comes to a woman’s occupation unlike Sunita’s own father. One might argue that in the end Sunita took the help of a guy to achieve what she wants. But then, she had exactly what she wanted. The saying goes, “be clear in your goals while working towards it relentlessly and the whole universe conspires to give you what you want”.
Sunita is “audacious” that way; doing her best to drive Akshay away in the beginning. She “dares” to fight with her father later, once she realises that she’s in love with her fiancé.
What I want to mention here is that it need not necessarily be a contest between “man” and “woman” or one-upmanship. Let’s be clear that one cannot replace the other and each has a role to play. So becoming a “heroine” with the help of a “hero” doesn’t necessarily make a woman less than what she is.
Then there are my heroines from “Matches Made In Heaven”. Some of the stories are about women protagonists who rise from the ashes like a phoenix.
· Simran is the dark skinned protagonist from the story “Beauty Is But Skin Deep”.
· Jahnavi, a famous actress is stalked by an erstwhile classmate in “Chahti Hoon Tumhe”.
· Soumya elopes with the love of her life in “Soul Mates”.
· Meenu incarnates as Rahat to get together with the man she loves in “Rahat Mili”.
· Nikita marries her best friend only on her own conditions in “The Reluctant Bride”.
Sangita from “The Madras Affair” has a terrible experience with her first marriage. It puts her off men. But then, God had given her a “son”. Now she cannot say that the whole race is bad.
“What about Sandeep? He’s also a male. Do you think he’ll give his wife a better deal?”
“You bet. I’ll ensure that he grows up differently.”
“So being born a male is not the issue. The trick is in the way he grows up, right?” Rithika sounded triumphant.
The above is a quote from my book; a dialogue between Sangita and her friend Rithika. Sangita doesn’t openly fight anything. She’s smart enough to realise that she cannot get away with it, having the kind of parents she does. She’s an average woman; similar to a lot of people we might come across in our lives; accepting mediocre living; unable to find a way out.
Luckily, when fate intervenes, Sangita dares to accept the challenge and works towards crossing her parents’ will. Not an easy task, but she’s determined once she’s convinced that she’d find happiness with Gautam.
So, we can say that Sangita is “indomitable” despite what life has thrown her way and is “undaunted” by her fear of her parents once she knows a way out of her humdrum existence.
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The Madras Affair
Sangita Sinclair was not always this successful & passionate lady, heading the NGO “Penn Urimai” for downtrodden, abused and homeless women….
When Sangita catches the eye of Gautam Sinclair she is a simple, homely girl; utterly unaware of her charms & capabilities. She has the devil’s own time in overcoming her inhibitions, hesitation, and her family’s orthodox and outdated rules before recognising her love for Gautam.
Will Gautam be able to solve Sangita’s Dilemma or will she be forever trapped in her past?
Gautam has an Indian mother and American father. Built like a giant, he has brown hair and brilliant blue eyes.
Gautam lives with his maternal grandparents in Besant Nagar, Madras. He used to run a business with his father in Washington DC. Giving up his high-flying career, he chooses to teach at Loyola College in Madras. Yeah, Gautam had fallen in love with the city in Tamil Nadu during his visits to his grandparents.
Despite his American upbringing, he’s comfortable living in the same house as his grandparents. And does he love teaching!
He’s attracted to Sangita at first sight and pursues her relentlessly.
Read The Madras Affair to find out if he’s able to get together with the love of his life.
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What Reviewers Say
Growing up on a heavy dose of fairy tales and comic books, Sundari fell in love with the ‘lived happily ever after’ syndrome. It was always about good triumphing over evil and a happy end.
Soon, into her teens, Sundari graduated to Mills & Boon romances. And that got her thinking – how about such breezy romances in Indian settings? Her imagination took flight and she always lived in a rosy cocoon of romance over the years.
Then came the writing – a true bolt out of the blue! Sundari had just quit her job as a school admin and was taking a break. She was saturated with reading books. That’s when she returned home one evening after her walk, took some sheets of paper and began writing. It was like watching a movie that was running in her head – all those years of visualising a perfect Indian romance had to be put into words. The dormant romantic storyteller in her finally found its calling and The Malhotra Bride was born. While she felt disheartened when publishing didn’t happen, it was her husband who encouraged her to keep writing.
In the meanwhile, she landed a job as copy editor with Mumbai Mirror. After working there for two years, she moved to the Network 18 Group and worked with two of their websites over the next six years, as content editor.
Despite her work schedule, she continued writing novels and short stories and had them published in her blogs. She also started blogging voraciously, writing on many different topics – travel, book reviews, film reviews, restaurant reviews, spirituality, alternative health and more.
Her first eBook Double Jeopardy – a romance novella – was published by Indireads and has been very well received by readers of romance.
In 2014, Sundari published The Malhotra Bride (2nd Edition); Meghna; The Runaway Bridegroom; Flaming Sun Collection 1: Happily Ever Afters From India (Box Set) and Matches Made In Heaven (a collection of romantic short stories) in form of ebooks.
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