1. Earlier, until I read her and met during book reading session… I had shallow knowledge of OROP concern, she got related (Part amount of Rs 50,000 royalty earned by her goes to cause of OROP. Moreover Chetan Bhagat episode related to OROP was fresh in my mind).
Thought it as a publicity mantra… some sort of gimmicks as usual, few Writers may do (and they are free to do it and need to do it for promotion of their books or literatim creations).
2. But after listening her concerns and optimum success, she had in academic and professional life, I had to change my mindset that this book is much more to offer as compared to writings of her inspirational writer in terms of storyline and commitment to duty ..i.e. duty being ultimate dharma. Not this much only, its more than romance, love, drama, feelings and surprises too (trust guru must be proud of her pupil).
3. I was to review this book……. and it was after a long time, I really concentrated on this book, so engrossed I became that, I finished it in four to five sittings. It was captive and smooth flowing poetic river of story of all colours and credentials.
Hindi poem books criticism, I wrote many a times and wrote about few regional Garhwali books too.. recently wrote about “Lekhak ki Aatma” a book on 12 stories by Mrs Archana Thakur.
I can read and read “Panchkanya” by Mrs Manisha Kulshrestha ji and “Neela Scarf” by Mrs Anu Kohli ji again and again…. but this book was able to influence me in specific way as of now (reasons need not to be explained as people thinking from heart are similar in many ways…… problem is always with the people who thinks from mind always.) and that is why, I am penning down my thought process here now.
4. “Mistress of Honour” is the second book written by Ms Bhaavna Arora ( “The Deliberate Sinner’ book fame). Its an English fiction costing Rs 199.00 only, published from Penguin Books Ltd, in June 2015 ( ISBN 978-0143425281), having 191 pages and 16 chapters followed by epilogue.
5. Writing is good descriptive in nature. Clean and crisp poetic too sometimes. Psychological analysis of Adwik’s abnormal behavior of using sex as a means to escape his fears and insecurities is visible as I quote from book , “A man overcomes his fears with times, but a disturbed mind is like an impairment that prevents your world from healing,” unquote.
6. The author, who is fourth generation kid of Army fraternity herself…. dedicates this book to readers, soldiers and her inspiration Shobhaa De. The story spans over two generations and historical events from Operation Blue Star to Kargil war…..
The underlying theme of the book is love and patriotism in which love for one’s country always overrules the love for one’s near and dear ones. Pansy and Rehana (the main female characters) and Anamika alongwith Potnis, Shamsher, Advik, kabir and Arnav are the main male characters, who are loving, patriotic, incessant jovial, delightful and strong.
7. The book is inspired from real life stories stretching from NDA, IMA to all around formations and training establishments spread all along the countryside and.. seems very well researchred in terms of defence forces routine trainig activities and service ethos.
8. Her grip on political and historical developments taking place in India as well as on generic military customs and traditions is commendable.. may be the experiences of her father and uncle would have come in to play. Frankly speaking its a kaleidoscopic narration of defence life and love…. ethoes, feeling of a big fraternity.
9. Few sayings used in ibid book are worth mentioning here :-
(a) “If you don’t make mistakes, you don’t make anything.”
(b) “Miracles are hard to believe, but they happened anyway.”
(c) “No religion is sacred than your duty.”
(d) “Don’t shoot out without knowing who your ememy is .”
(e) “Being too early or too late for something means there is a chance you may never get what you want.”
(f) “The more you say, the more likely you are to say something wrong.”
(g) “The SSB interview is designed in such a way, that if you’re meant to be in defence, no one can stop you, but if you’are not , you are bound to fail.”
(h) “This is the biggest misconception about Military, they show the recruitment videos, wave the flags and play epic music, but they don’t show what war really is.”
10. Page 6, 46 and 174 not only reminds romantic style of writing of of Shobha De and Khushvant Singh or Harrold Robbins novels, but are become more and more essential part of the story in natural settings.
Certain pages like page 6, 46, 174 are natural one but few other pages like 79 , 81, 83, 84, 85, 86 106 and 110 breaks monotony of reading either by giving new meaning to words ( viz BB Canttonment and Dagshai APS) or compel you to think differently or agree/ disagree sometime on issues, facts/ story raised there. One word or jargon still trying to decipher……and that is …….
11. The only bothering thing has been the predictability of events and story being told by the writer rather than the unveiling of the incidents itself. But overall; a very good novel having love, grit, slogging, loyalty and trust of “two stars” getting unfolded in sixteen (16) chapters, showing firm resolve and greatness of characters like Pansy, Potnis, Shamsher, Kabir and Adwik including Rehana ..the favorite character of writer till now.
“Mistress of Honour” ; If anyone is looking for a light and different reading, one must read it …strongly recommended for readers , who like fiction based on some solid story.
13. Now I am desperate to read first book by same author.. searched in Doon. but alas all sold or not available at END.. WBD ..NATRAJ and others few. Hope lies on Amazon only now.
14. Kudos Ms Bhaavna Arora ! all the best too for coming novels.