Her Bohemian Husband by Sundari Venkatraman is a hot romance novella, last in the series of Matches Made In India, but my first. The story follows Avi, a dancer, and Shatru, a bohemian traveler, as they fall head over heels in love and they try to find a future for themselves together.
Avi sees Shatru at his twin’s wedding to her bestie, and needless to say, falls for him immediately. Shatru too fancies her but has his own restraints of not being able to commit due to his vagabond lifestyle. As he rebuffs Avi, she makes it a point to pursue him, and lands up in Melbourne, where he is currently staying, after arranging to have her troupe perform there. As fate would have had it, they come together and fall in love. While Shatru can’t leave his life, and neither can Avi, both decide to have a long-distance relationship, with Avi jet setting to meet him whenever possible. Their love blossoms and Shatru realizes that he can’t live without Avi. he proposes, and she accepts, happily. But there’s a hurdle that they have to cross, Avi’ father is adamant on not allowing her to marry a man without a proper career and who is always on the move.
Will they be able to convince her father? Or will they have to part ways?
Narrated in the third person, the use of language is simple and easy. The plot is an overexploited one – girl meets boy, boy meets girl, fall in love but doesn’t get together for a reason, eventually get together, parents agree/disagree, and a happily ever after. I found nothing new in the story, rather than different protagonists and maybe, a different backdrop (part Melbourne, part Mumbai, part Bengaluru). Being a hot romance, of course, there are a few intimate scenes, and frankly, I enjoyed them. This novella is one of those with characters who have a forward-thinking, no qualms about inter-caste marriages, premarital sex, freedom to children, but one thing I don’t understand is why does the girl have to be a pious virgin until she meets her right man, while the right man could have/had several physical relationships in past? Such a chauvinistic approach is not justified. A little past for the girl as well would have balanced the scenario, and made feminists like me a bit happier. I know this is a work of fiction, and it’s main aim is to show a fairy-tale romance between the leads, but there could have been a little realism in terms of their relationship, because a whole lotta generation, who will be reading this, would probably be looking up to it, and it must be in their interest to give out the right message. The leads asking about each other’s past, if they are so much in love, shouldn’t hamper their relationship in any way. How come Avi’s parents didn’t know how much she earned, when she seemed to be traveling around the world so much, doing shows and holidaying with Shatru? Vidyut had traveled on a minute’s notice to India, and the tickets from the US would have cost a bomb. So, why his father, who is portrayed as a hard-working middle-class man, doesn’t object to this? Being a read for the younger lot, I was expecting a bit of realistic approach, not preaching, no, but just to give a more “could happen in real life” background of the hunky-dory. Having said the above, I also need to justify it, why the dash of reality in an otherwise perfect dish? Because, we have a generation (and a lot of people from two-tier, or three-tier metro cities, aiming for that life in the big metro), which is more inclined towards following blindly, and not thinking of the repercussions of their actions, which may leave them scarred for life. Again, having said that, there might be people too, who will realize that this is just a novella, and is meant to be enjoyed and make you happy, which it does in a very fine manner, and not to be taken seriously or be copied in real life.