Piali Roy has run away from home and the two stubborn men who love her. One is her beloved Baba; a rigid traditionalist, he refuses to accept anyone from outside her caste and community. And then there is Sathya, the unsuitable outsider. He loves her truly, madly, deeply and has even called off his marriage for her sake. Neither man will budge, and the small town of Jampot, where everyone knows everything, is not big enough for the two of them.
Away from their unreasonable demands, Piali strives to find peace in the mountains. But within six months, her lover tracks her down. Once again, she betrays the one by trusting the other.
Will her labor in the name of love be in vain, or will love transcend all differences?
The Book Club Presents Andy Paula's Love's Labour
Andy Paula - slideshow
The most impressive thing about this novella is its simplicity. The story of a simple, Bengali school teacher falling in love with the chairman’s son. As with the other stories of Indireads, I found that this simple tale too has a moral behind it. It is not about just sex or love. It is about values and respect.
When Piali falls in love with Sathya they find many hurdles in their path. Piali is from a staunch Bengali family and Sathya is from a Malayali family. The former is a simple, middle class family while the other belongs to the elite society.
And to top it up, Sathya was engaged to the Principal's daughter. But despite all the obstructions in their love affair, they still fell in love. But what proved to be the strongest opposition in their path is Mr. Roy, Piali’s father. It was something he believed in and his staunchness was deep rooted which even his love for his daughter could not reject. So how would the two star crossed lovers meet? Will they elope or is it the end of their love affair? As I have told you earlier, it is the morality and the purity of the story that attracted me most. This story might restore your faith in true love, where the guy would go to any length to get his girl even to the extent of ..........[find out:)]
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Both Piali and Sathya’s characters are beautifully portrayed. Piali as a teacher is very likable and Sathya as the Chairman’s son, who is supposed to take up the reins from his parents, has a very dashing personality. I also liked the way Andy Paula has chosen the hard way for the lovers, making their love more pure and relatable. [I can hear many clicking of tongues and I am sure some of you might throw a stone or two. Bring it on!!!] My argument would be in India it is still a marriage between two families, so pleasing everyone is a bit tough J
The shortness of the story was a bit disappointing. [And this is meant as a compliment!!]. There were some social issues raised in this novella which caught my eye. It had nothing to do with the story, but a comment regarding the teacher’s profession. To quote…..
“She’d seen enough of life to know that most who came for interviews were teachers by chance. They opted to teach when they could not find their dream jobs or if they had time to kill. But this girl was a teacher by choice.”
A bit of a generalization, but it cannot be argued that many housewives in India who have free time, become teachers. And the end result can affect our future generation, if properly trained teachers are not recruited.
Another issue which holds dear to my heart, is the questions raised regarding intercaste marriages.Being a Bengali married to a Tamilian myself, I know the difficulties such alliances face before the knot is tied. Why are such marriages still questioned in modern India? Will a day ever come when we Indians seek out a groom or a bride for our kids based on the merits of the person and not on the basis of his stars and language or religion?
Would I recommend this book to my readers… Definitely. How can I not? Such a short novella and packed with so many social issues.You will want to finish this novella at one go. I can guarantee you that. Happy reading!!!
Andy Paula is a corporate trainer by profession and a writer by vocation. After the innumerable essays, poems, articles, editorials, congratulations & condolence letters she wrote for herself and others refused to satiate her writer's Self, she finally put herself seriously to the task and wrote Love's Labor,a romance novella that is now on Goodreads.
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