A Home for Urvashi is a very unusual story that poignantly depicts the bond of sisterhood. The author, Sanchali Bhattacharya, through her powerful writing, has shown that love is stronger than death. In this book, she has given two memorable characters to her readers. One is Ujjwala, a corporate professional who is strong, independent, resilient and compassionate. Another is Dulari, a spirit who loves her sister, Ujjwala so much that the only dream she harbors is being reborn as Ujjwala’s daughter even if that means waiting endlessly for years. The author has chosen Dulari as the narrator of the story. We see Ujjwala and all the people associated with her life through Dulari’s eyes.
Ujjwala and Dulari are twin sisters who get abandoned at the time of their birth. They are thrown into a garbage bin, where Ujjwala survives but Dulari dies. Dulari’s spirit makes the choice of being with Ujjwala as a powerless but constant companion with the intention of being reborn as Ujjwala’s daughter. The only thing that Dulari wants is to experience life with her sister, Ujjwala. She is ready to wait for that perfect moment even if it requires waiting for almost three decades. We get to see Ujjwala’s daily life through the eyes of Dulari who goes with her to the office every single day and watches her work. When she gets bored, she checks on Vir, Ujjwala’s three-year-old son or strolls around the streets of Kolkata. When she is confused, she meets her mother, Saturn who gives her the best advice. The character development of both Dulari and Ujjwala is praiseworthy.
The way the author has unveiled various layers of both these two characters are a treat to read. Things go according to Dulari’s plan until the day when Rituraj, a man from Ujjwala’s past walks into her life as her new boss. Dulari is compelled to make a difficult choice. She can either save Ujjwala’s life from getting ruined or she can fulfill her dream of being reborn as Ujjwala’s daughter. Her mother, Saturn and her spiritual sister, Beral guide her in making the ultimate choice.The most impressive thing about the book is the author’s powerful imagination that draws you within the book. The universe, the planets and the world of souls, Satatma and Duratma that the author has created makes this book a very interesting read. There is also an interesting subplot of Dulari falling in love with a human being. The author has given so much depth to Dulari’s character that readers cannot help falling in love with her, despite her confusing nature. There is an emotional scene in the book when the two sisters finally get to meet each other. It made my eyes moist. The narration is lucid and powerful.
Books like A Home for Urvashi grow on you gradually and make you think about the mystery of life after death. And once you reach the last page, you sulk and wonder why it ended so fast. If you are looking for a sensitively written book that will make you think on various levels, A Home for Urvashi is the book for you.
About the author:
An electrical engineer from Jadavpur University, Sanchali Bhattacharya is a director in her own engineering and manufacturing company. Sanchali’s short stories have featured in The Statesman. She is married and has a son. She lives in Kolkata.
Author(s): Sanchali Bhattacharya
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release: October 2017
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