ILLUSION OF COMPATIBILITY WITHIN AND BEYOND THE MARRIAGE IN SHOBHA DE'S SECOND THOUGHTS. IJELLH International journal of English. Second Thoughts book. Read 19 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. Maya is pretty, young and eager to escape her middleclass home. Ran. Kamala Das and Shobhaa de consider art as a major source of inspiration to pave the way Second Thoughts, her seventh novel, set aside these allegations.
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Abstract. Shobha De, in her novel Second Thoughts reflects through her protagonist Maya, the acute marginalization and displacement. In Second Thoughts, Shobha De comes up with the story of Maya, a article, “ Second Thoughts: A Slice of Urban Life” extends her opinion as: Second. PDF | Where the hand goes, the gaze follows. Second Thoughts (), another classy novel by Shobha De has depicted the feelings of.
To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. As a reader, one only thinks of two things; either her husband is gay or impotent. However, in the story De does not spell any of this out, she only hints that there is no joy in their relationship. Remember me on this computer. The insensitive attitude of her husband, constant subjugation and suffering made her a frustrated person. But at the same time, she tried to console herself by saying that it is not at all a sin to go out and breathe fresh air.
Get A Copy. Paperback , pages. Published December 31st by Penguin Books first published More Details Original Title. Other Editions 7. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Second Thoughts , please sign up.
Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. Sort order. Mar 24, Khush rated it really liked it. De is known for her 'sensational writings' and she sells.
I read some of her work and sometimes I feel struck by the sort of 'naming' that is imposed on the body of her work. She is often portrayed as a frivolous writer but I guess so many times in her novels, I find very like-like portrayals of Indian life.
The story is of a young woman Maya, who gets married to an upper-middle-class banker from South Bombay.
Since the marriage is an arranged one, she only De is known for her 'sensational writings' and she sells. Since the marriage is an arranged one, she only gets to know her husband after marriage. It is an amazing story, and difficult too as the issues it deals with are not easy ones to pin down, more so when the setting is Indian.
As the story unfolds, one doesn't really find much fault with her husband, he is busy and often working hard, inviting people over for dinners and wanting his wife to be a good host and so forth.
Just a regular suburban guy. Maya feels stifled in her marriage, even though there is nothing violent or alarming in it. But the marriage just drains her slowly by its mundanity, but she cannot really locate, or at least talk about her elusive, 'unnameable' problem. Besides this, she has been adamant about being a good wife.
She starts her life like a regular Indian girl, all set to make a success of her married life, but she keeps failing. She cannot ignore the indifferent nature of her husband. He is there, but not really there. Though De leaves it to our imagination the reasons for her husband's indifference.
She only makes very subtle suggestions. He is not someone who is chasing other women, or who is disloyal to in any way. Since Maya cannot place the reason herself, she feels 'less' about herself. As a reader, one only thinks of two things; either her husband is gay or impotent. However, in the story De does not spell any of this out, she only hints that there is no joy in their relationship. In bed, he often turns his back on her.
And this gnaws her. This makes her lonely housewife with a lot of time at her disposal. Her neighbor's college-going son Nikhil starts flirting with her and she responds to him.
At one instance, Nikhil tells her that he is always hungry. It is funny that culturally married women in India are called aunties, no matter what their ages are, by young men like Nikhil.
In this case, Maya is just a few years older than him, and in no way can be his aunty. Of course, these are subtle ways to desexualize female bodies. I guess the whole story, in a very nuanced way, tells us what is rotten with the Indian society, and how it stifles women by ignoring her sexual needs, and somehow imposing on her 'unspoken' restrictions not to articulate such needs at any cost.
Obviously, such codes not only harm women, it infects the entire society, though, in different ways. Jul 05, VijayaRaghavan S N rated it liked it. This book is good for a light read. If you have got a lot of spare time, then reading this book won't hurt. The language is easy to the eyes. You can flow through the book in no time.
This book is aimed at a particular set of audience. To be exact, at housewives who are having a lonely married life because of the crammed work schedule of their husband. Only this particular set of audience would find the book worth their time.
They would be able to relate to it.
They might even see themselves in t This book is good for a light read. They might even see themselves in the shoes of protagonist.
Rest of the readers would be pondering how on earth would this be possible. They would be scratching their heads. The author tries to bring out the whole set of emotions of the lady. At least for me, she failed miserably at that. She couldn't express the right emotion for the right amount of time.
She keeps on bombarding the reader with barrage of emotions that, after some time, you would feel sorry for yourself for picking up this book. The only highlight that I could find in the book was the last couple of sentences.
The sentence the author used to end the story was real heart touching. It would remain with me for some time. All in all, this book would help you to see how complex a woman is. It gives an insight into her mind. It gives you a piece of her mind. And you can get to know ladies in real life much more better especially if you are married. And that's why I give this book a three star.
View 1 comment. Sep 21, Pranav rated it liked it. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Shobha De narrates quite aptly the boring life of housewife.
Especially the girl, who is confined to house. Lady whose husband is too boorish, authoritative, conservative and orthodox.
It highlights what all can go wrong for new 'hopeful' bride in alien city, married to comparatively boring person. I realise importance of compatibility of couples and more importantly open dialogue.
Protaganist fantasized and even successful realised immoral act. Which somehow, author is able to justify in her ful Shobha De narrates quite aptly the boring life of housewife. Which somehow, author is able to justify in her full vigor building strong case against Ranjan, her husband. I have second thoughts about what really it takes for a marriage to be successful esp.
Jun 23, Bhavya Bhatia rated it really liked it. It is a pleasure to read De. This one is about the nightmarish marriage you could land up in and how people will try to use you without caring about your expectations.
I found the ending sad but this is what happens in life. Rarely, you end up with someone who cares. Read it to know how Maya, an ambitious woman, struggles each day to find sparks in life.
Jan 20, Nanou Gurung rated it really liked it. One great book based on a strong female character that invites a reader to the world of a male dominating,hindu society A realistic story from a female perspective that shakes the literary world of Asia Dec 21, Nayanika Dey rated it did not like it Shelves: Don't get me wrong, I'm not biased or anything. I love her other books, I love reading her newspaper columns but I hated this one.
Yes, she subtly manages to bring out a lot of minute details about life in a metropolitian city and how outsiders can feel oatrasized in Mumbai - a city obsessed with itself. The story ia written from a Calcutta girl Maya's point of view. She marries a bengali settled in Mumbai - Ranjan and thus begins the tale of their arranged marriage which bored me to death.
The constant looming fear of adultery due to the upstairs guy - Nikhil does nothing to alleivate the boredom. Ranjan is an obnoxious, pompous ass, Maya is a wilting daisy with no spine. I thought she would probably emerge as a strong woman in the end but the book heralds no character development. When she begins to experience great loneliness, she strikes up a friendship with Nikhil, her charming, college going neighbour leading to love and betrayal. The novel focuses on the hollowness of Indian marriage.
De explores the female psyche against the male ego, the dutiful wife and overbearing mother-in-law, the social pretence and public facades in Second Thoughts. It represents psychic cum social complexities of middle class society. Maya, a textile designer with a dream of becoming a journalist came to Bombay to meet Ranjan Malik with a marriage proposal. Maya was more fascinating and in love with Bombay. When she met Ranjan, she was more exited at the prospects of settling in Bombay, the city of her dreams.
As for Maya, marrying Ranjan was like marrying Bombay. Malik and Ranjan did not approve of the working women. Everything else follows. She is not free to take any decisions of her life. After marriage whether she should pursue education, do job or be a home-maker is completely decided by her husband. Ranjan was never comfortable with any woman. He was sexually impotent. He never appreciated her, behaved like a dictator.
He did not allow her even to mix with the company of women of her age, he did not give money to her and prohibited her to use STD phone, TV and air conditioner. He was totally insensitive towards Maya. Mummy is a very good house keeper and home maker. She is amazing may be you should train with her instead of doodling away your time at a drawing board. He selected Maya because she was Mrs.
He provided Maya nothing more than financial support, a decent house to live in and four square meals a day. And surprisingly, at the same time, he used to forget his duties towards her. He never missed a single chance to criticize her, he was never aware of the presence, instead of discussing the domestic matters to Maya, Ranjan used to discuss them with his mother. Ranjan, a dutiful and loving son failed to be a dutiful and loving husband. Maya, far away from her parents, experienced a total communication gap driving her to alienation and lack of identity.
She had nobody to talk to. It was not a home for her. It was never home, My home, our Home. Home continued to be Calcutta, my parental home. The insensitive attitude of her husband, constant subjugation and suffering made her a frustrated person.
My parents no longer thought I belong to them; my husband belonged to his mother. It was unlikely that I would bear children who would belong to me and I did not have a single true friend to call my own.
Nikhil was completely contrastive to Ranjan. Egoistic Ranjan always criticized Maya where as talkative and impressive Nikhil flattered her even for smaller things with the arrival of Nikhil in her life, she began to enjoy life once again, along with Nikhil, she explored the real Bombay, and she felt a kind of freedom which she had never experienced before.
She shared smaller things with him. For the first time Maya went on bike with Nikhil to see Bombay and her joys was limitless. She poured out her emotion. I looked at the sky and felt happy. While enjoying life with Nikhil, she also felt a kind of guilt that she was betraying Ranjan. She realized that it was wrong for a married woman to go out with a man and deceive her husband.
But at the same time, she tried to console herself by saying that it is not at all a sin to go out and breathe fresh air. Nikhil was full of life. He asked her to live life happily instead of suffering silently. But Nikhil was never an option to Ranjan. Now she had choice but to operate in a stifling atmosphere of her arranged marriage.
Two totally detached people have to live in the bond of matrimony. The ending of the novel is abrupt, no doubt, but Shobha De has successfully depicted the tension arising out of the failures of the Indian women and also men by properly negotiating the conflicting situations emerging from a clash between conservatism and liberalism.
Through Maya, the novelist wants to show that the suffering, the agony of marriage and the long silence that will remain forever. The lives of so many Indian women who accept marriage as a fate traditionally sanctioned to them suffer helplessly distancing themselves from the possibilities of life in its naturalness.
Maya is a representative character.