Secrets, Sins & Struggles by Kamini Kusum is a mind boggling book that would surely change your perspective towards life. The book is a collection of five stories based on five women. This book can be called feminist book as it has stories that revolves around the lifestyle of women including their hardships, sins, secrets and many more such elements.
Cover- The cover of the book has four women posinf in different ways alogn with different expressions. It gives us an idea that the book highlights about women.
Title- The title is crystal clear and successfully delineates the motive of the book. The whole set of stories revolve around this.
Sneak Peak-“This collection of tales about the lives and loves of five women traces their long, eventful journeys. Meet Pooja, a teenager forced into the flesh trade but determined to escape and get justice. Shrawani who dreams of becoming a bureaucrat despite all the trials life throws her way. Avni who is torn between her childhood friend and her brand-new boyfriend. Harsha who is trapped in a loveless arranged marriage while still being haunted by thoughts of her forsaken lover. Geshna who falls head over heels for a high school sweetheart only to find her own life shrinking to accommodate his. These stories are about the odds stacked against these women in their paths to love and success, and their hope that the next turn that they make will be the one that leads them to the happiness they are longing for. ”
Stories at a glance:
Brothel to Assembly– This story has all sort of emotions that are required in a perfect story like action, drama, thrill, struggle and many more. The protagonist is Pooja who belongs to a low class family and suddenly one day she is dragged in flesh trade which changes her life forever and how she overcame her miseries is the rest of the story. This story teaches us that no matter what happens, strong determination and will to achieve something will surely make the things happen.
Love, Corporate and Custody– This story revolves around Geshna, an amibitious and intelligent teenager who falls for Nihal, an equally intelligent guy. It is believed that often love comes with loads of struggles and sacrifices. This story also had sacrifices but on Geshna’s plate. She did every possible thing to keep her love and remained loyal throughout, little she did she know the secrets of her Nihal. This story has romance, betrayal, dreams. The way Geshna sacrifices her dreams surely makes you respect her.
Madam Bureaucrat– This tale has a prime focus on Sharawani who belongs to a low caste family and desires to clear IAS Exam. In this course, she comes across a guy whom she admires a lot and considers him as her confidante, little did she know his attentions. This story is about her strong will to achieve her dreams. It teaches us, no matter what all situations come up, we should not lose hopes at any point. It really inspires you.
Sin-This saga revolves around Harsha who gets married to Snehil but is in love with Anish. This story is about the true love of a husband and unfaithfulness of a wife who becomes a victim and ends up in an illicit relationship. I feel this story has Snehil as the main hero who proves out to be an ideal who looks after his wife. I feel a husband should be like Snehil but a wife should never be like Harsha.
That Rave Party Night– This story is about Avni, who is torn between her childhood friend Soumya and her boyfriend, Jeevak. This is tale of romance, betrayal, lifestyle. Life takes a drastic turn when Avni finds out that her friend, Soumya has told her something true and it is hard for her to believe this naked truth. The story has a revenge motive as its second part. Sometimes one should not blindly trust our partner. Even if you are in love, you should be alert always.
These five stories are so powerful and has a long lasting impact on the minds of the readers. I could never imagine that five stories could be life changing as well could end up in 211 pages.
Style- The style of writing is simple, clear and lucid. The themes of the stories have vigour in it. The way the author has used point of views is superlicious. Furthermore, these are not short stories, structurally speaking, they are novellas that are beautifully delineated. The characters are portrayed artistically.
About the Author
Kamini Kusum is a management professional working in an MNC. In her eleven years of professional experience, she has worked in top IT companies such as TCS and HCL, where she has won numerous awards for her skill as a meaningful, gripping story teller. She is a movie buff, while writing is her passion. She lives in Delhi with her husband and two daughters.