Last week, I read Preeti Shenoy’s “The Secret Wish List” only because of her Gowda Saraswat Brahmin (GSB) name. Since I am familiar with the GSB community, I got curious about her style of writing. Since I had recently regained my hobby of reading books, I am not familiar with modern Indian writers. I still have to read Chetan Bhagat’s “Half Girlfriend,” a book that most Indians have finished reading years ago.
I was delighted to learn that Preeti Shenoy has a charming way of telling a tale. Her book, therefore, entertained me for several hours although I speed read the last few pages of it. I sympathized with Diksha, who was treated like a criminal by her family just because she was caught kissing her college boyfriend Ankit. For a variety of social, cultural, and religious reasons, conservative Indians believe that a kiss can cause the end of the world. As far as I am concerned, a kiss is a kiss is a kiss. Nothing more, nothing less!
I also felt that Diksha got out of her troubles too easily. Her cousin coaxes her into creating a secret wish list, and as soon as she creates it, things start getting better. She realizes that she definitely dislikes her husband of 15 years and wants out of her marriage. She immediately finds her lost college love Ankit, who rushes down to meet her. Eager to build a career, she learns salsa, masters it, and opens a salsa academy in partnership with her dance instructor. Ankit, who is now a stinking rich businessman, showers her with love and care, buys her expensive gifts, funds her salsa academy, and marries her as soon as she gets a divorce from her boring, insensitive husband. Fortunately for Diksha, her nine-year-old son is a genius who perfectly understands the situation.
Wow, I loved reading this story. Verily, a modern fairy tale! They suffer pain, separation, and unhappiness, but in the end, they lived happily ever after.
But the skeptic in me was unhappy and began asking a number of “what if” questions. What if Ankit was happily married to another woman and loved her like crazy? What if Ankit was not a successful businessman? What if his ships had sunk and he had gripped his head in despair? What if he was unable to purchase the iPhone and afford that expensive trip for his college sweetheart?
What if Diksha’s son had flatly refused to accept Ankit in his life? What if Diksha’s son loved his father and did not want his parents to get divorced? Finally tired of “what if” questions, the skeptic demanded to know if it is possible for two people to remain in love without meeting each other for nearly 18 years.
Oh well, the skeptic had a number of other questions too, but had no objection to the wish list.
And that’s why I took a pen and a piece of paper and wrote my own wish list.
- Start a naati koli (country chicken) farm on the outskirts of Kudla.
- Roam around the world with a backpack and a camera and take photos of all the beautiful scenes.
- Fund the education of some poor children.
There is a fourth wish, but it is too secret to be published here.
And now let us see …