100 shades of white - Preethi Nair

"If you love something, set it free...If it comes back to you, its yours... otherwise it never was".

Not sure where I first came across those lines, but it was at a reckless age when the essence of the same didn't exactly grab my attention.... But as in some cases the lines just found a place at the back of my mind..Those lines best explain this book in a gist.

Ammamma lets go of her daughter (Nalini) to join her husband Raul, in London. As Nalini was struggling to adapt to the new environment with her kids, Raul disappears leaving behind debts and deceit. Just as you chuckle and think this is one of those woman fighting against all odds story, let me tell you its got more than that.

Maya (daughter of Nalini) never realises the worth of what she has in hand. She's often in the pursuit of love and care, and ends up trusting someone just to distract herself from things that hurt her. So how does one deal with the guilt that only surfaces when you can't quite alter the repercussions?

Just as her mother lets her go, Nalini lets Maya move away from her... Bur Nalini was a person with the determination of a rock, and so success embraced her with hard work and matter of time; while Maya's fear of rejection, cowardice, irresolute & unforgiving nature shadows all her activities. So how would Success recognise such a person?

Without sounding preachy the book emphasises the power of truth, forgiveness and belief. The prose is simple, straight and flawless. Though a tad bit predictable, the reader is sure to empathise with the characters. The book is not hard-hitting yet, the message slowly sinks in.

Nalini overcomes her problems (financial and otherwise) by preparing pickles and savouries. So there is frequent reference to the various spices and their benefits towards ailments (both physical and mind-related uncertainties). I couldn't help getting reminded of Mistress of Spices (by CBD) and Serving Crazy with Curry ( by Amulya Malladi).

We may have strived to get something in the grand scheme of life, but that something may have been elusive all along. But when it stares at you at the most inopportune moment, you come to realise that its absence hasn't mattered that much... that its only been a distraction from what you really needed... but how easy has it been, realising this ?

rating : 4/5