The Edge of Desire
Parul Thakur from the Adroits…. talks about why ‘The Edge of Desire’ is a well written, concise, straight forward, powerful, deep, a bit controversial but a wonderful piece worth a read.
 A girl, betrayed after being loyal to a 5-year relationship, married to an unknown guy, gets brutally raped in a politically sick world. Shattered in all her senses and depth of soul, she rises up to fight the injustice and raises her voice against all odds. Yes, it’s ‘The Edge of Desire’ by Tuhin A. Sinha.
 “A well written, concise, straight forward, powerful, deep, a bit controversial but a wonderful piece worth a read.”
A woman-centric novel that would make you travel, through loads of emotions of love, life, betrayal, anguish, loyalty, strength, dedication and what not so…!!! After a bunch of novels on Love Stories and Campus/College Life, this book is sure the change needed. It reveals the the darker side of life and the pain of the protagonist can be felt in every turn of page.
  •        Still women are treated with ‘drive in’ attitude…
  •        The darker and dirty side of politics would let you end-up nowhere…
  •        Chained dreams of a broken heart cries for justice and all are turned deaf ears…
  •        There’s much more to life than living in a well built home and leading a protected one…
Curtaining-up of these painful and bitter truths of life is dealt in a very powerful and appealing manner.Writing style gives an incredible strength to the protagonist Shruti’s (an ex-journalist) voice for her justice. In every step, she has an unexpected and more difficult challenge to face. Clear and pin-pointed framing of sentences leaves a non-erasable mark on the readers.
The Edge of Desire
From the ages of Mahabharata and Ramayana, politics has been a sinful and gritty part of our lives. Author has dealt with this side of politics, which is an appreciable effort. The common thread between the central character of novel and ‘Draupadi’ from Mahabharata has proved effective to me. Use of quotes from the epic gives a deep and somewhat unique touch.
The most inspiring part to me remains the self-discovery of a woman, who, from being a rape victim becomes a known face of politics and shows the infinitive strength that a woman can hold within herself. It’s been said in Hindi ‘Doobte ko tinke ka sahara kaafi hota hai’. This support is shown by a political leader (Sharad Malviya).The undefined but special relation between Shruti and Sharad is one if its kind and a very different aspect of relationships in life.With this, another aspect of life unfolds that there always are people as gods in the world of devils. That’s life. Though highly connective, but I did face a bit of distraction and loss in connection somewhere after reading 60% of the book. The appeal is regained soon from chapter 12 and from thereon I was fully engrossed in every pain and changing situations.
If you are a person to visualize a society free from social evils this book is a Must Read for you.
Have it and feel it…soon you’ll have a new strength and zeal towards life.

The Edge of Desire

Vibina Venugopal, who calls herself a person with a zest for life; and has the time of her life while reading, scribbling, and dreaming; describes why ‘The Edge of Desire’ was a good read and how she enjoyed its delve into politics.

Its a tale of Shruthi Ranjan who leaves Delhi  resigning her job as a journalist discovering her boy friend with a common friend.. She is utterly devasted at the indifference of her boyfriend’s attitude..Living with her parents she is subjected to constant pressure of marriage ,enters Rohit Verma, Deputy commissoner of Kishanganj in Bihar..Lawless is in every aspect of life in Kishanganj..Her life turns upside down when she is raped and justice is denied ..When justice is nearly denied she grabs the oppurtunity provided by Sharad Malviya Charismatic politician to become an elected member of Lok sabha to fight her case..What follows is the roller coaster ride of Shruthi life  where is a constant subject of mockery that even earns her the name Draupadi..

The subject  and the treatment of the story-line is so good that the you start to admire the protagonist Shruthi..Shruthi is a strong, straight-forward and a girl next door whose fate gives little choice to remain so making her shrewd, ambitious and politically correct personality..This novel explores every aspect of Indian politics and the so called democracy that is at stake..The kind of experience that shruthi goes through is an everyday news that we come across in new paper  so often that nobody is surprised by them .Its as though they have all  become a part of life ..In spite of all these reading the book one can feel the emotional trauma that Shruthi is subjected to.. At one point life itself turns unfair to her not letting her do what she desires but life itself takes her in its flow..She is all by herself to deal with things with no backup from her family or her friends…She finds strength in herself and from enigmatic Sharad Malviya..

The Edge of Desire

Time and again as per plot characters are put in reference to the characters in epic of Mahabharata, Ramayana and other famous personalities of India like Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru..When Shruthi is being dragged into every newspaper portraying as a girl with no moral values rather than sympathizing with her situation , anger , anger and more anger is what I felt at the media judiciary and the people of society.. Every time she had go through this and her family too not sparing her I felt she was raped more than what she had to undergo during her physical abuse …

The book is  fast paced that blows on to a  full toss as it ends..Overdose of politics is the best part of it..The apt portrayal of a woman’s struggle in all man’s territory couldn’t have been better told..I shared my part of surprise and wonder with Shruthi, when she was offered a seat to contest election.. I wondered  Lok sabha ticket for being raped!!!

Tuhin Sinha is quiet different from other Indian writer and thats the best and refreshing part of his writing ..He has indeed niche a mark for himself..The topic is boiling and explosive and  justice has been done to it..The honestly of the state of the country and people where a relationship between a man and woman is most often  blown out of proportion for wrong reasons is highlighted well…Yes of course you may not read it over and over but its worth for that single read leaving Shruthi in you mind for sometime…

Did Nehru’s romanticism make him a more pragmatic politician? And romanticism here; refers, not to the artistic movement that flourished in Europe in the eighteenth century; but to Nehru’s nature of being open in heart and mind; choosing not to stop his philandering ways and indulging in relationships that were definitely not within the framework of acceptable social norms during the times he lived in.

To claim that his philandering nature made Nehru more pragmatic, might seem a bit far-fetched; but Tuhin Sinha, author with a keen interest and insight in politics and its dynamics, believes it is true beyond doubt.

When questioned about the same he says, “Yes. I do believe that what you are as a person also affects what you are as a politician. Be it in accepting new ideas, exploring romantic relationships that went beyond norms or moving on with times, Nehru was a very open-minded person; whereas Gandhi on the other hand was closed and also rigid about his decisions and opinions. And this difference clearly reflected itself in the manner with which Nehru readily accepted new policies but Gandhi was apprehensive.”

The Edge of Desire

Some historical instances like forming a socialist party within the Congress party,  forming linguistic states though being personally opposed to the idea, etc. prove that Nehru yielded to majority even if it went against his views; while Gandhi on the other hand is known to have gone on fasts and protests in order to get things done in a manner he envisaged to be right and appropriate.

These facts give credence to Tuhin’s opinion about the personal disposition of an individual affecting his political inclinations and decision; but to attribute Nehru’s pragmatism to his philandering ways is something Nehru’s followers are not going to take very kindly to.

Tuhin though, has chosen to stand by his views. And has even dedicated a section of his recent novel, ‘The Edge of Desire’ to a very insightful comparison of the difference in Gandhi and Nehru’s attitudes towards women and their impact on the way they approached life, relationships and politics. Here is an excerpt:

Gandhi, with a view to re-integrate our virtuous past into the present and future used the symbol of Sita to motivate Indian women during our freedom struggle. Sita stood for chastity, sacrifice and her selflessness towards her husband Rama. As a firm believer in a woman’s homemaking abilities, Gandhi encouraged their participation in politics with certain parameters. By inference, thus, Gandhi expected a strong woman to support her husband and provide him the strength to rise up and perform greater deeds for his country.

By contrast, Nehru’s idea of a woman was inspired by Tagore’s Chitrangada, the intrepid Manipuri princess who fought convention and epitomized equality. Talking about his deceased wife Kamala, Nehru wrote in his book, Discovery of India, ‘Like Chitra in Tagore’s plays she (Kamala) seemed to say to me: I am Chitra. No goddess to be worshipped, nor yet the object of common pity to be brushed aside. If you design to keep me by your side in the path of danger and daring, if you allow me to share the great duties of your life, then you will know my self…’

The Edge of Desire

People have already started reacting to the book. While some laud Tuhin for his uncommon perspective and courage to express it; some of Nehru’s followers trash his claims and vehemently continue to deny that Nehru was a philanderer; claiming his relationship with Edwina Mountbatten was purely platonic irrespective of what historians and biographers have to say about it. Whether you choose to agree with Tuhin, or disagree, it’s definitely a good idea to read what he says before you take a stand! Buy a copy of ‘The Edge of Desire’.

 The Edge of Desire
Shriya Garg; author, reviewer, and web-designer; currently managing ‘The-Vault’, one of the biggest book reviewing websites; expresses why she couldn’t relate to Tuhin’s protagonist inspite of the book being really good and Tuhin being one of the better Indian authors.

This is perhaps the bestselling novelist’s most anticipated release. We have seen him steadily trying his hand at radically different – and difficult – plots, from That Thing Called Love to The Captain and later, Of Love and Politics. Naturally, I too was undeniably eager for this one, and the blurb proved fodder to my imagination.

Shruti Ranjan is a gutsy journalist in Delhi who has been dumped by her boyfriend of five years. Shaken and in need of security, she flees Delhi to return to her parents’ home. Her parents, like most other parents, try to warm her up towards the idea of arranged marriages. Almost despite herself, she agrees and finds herself the wife of Rohit, an IAS officer from Patna. They like each other but still don’t know enough to develop trust, or fall in love. Circumstances improve a little then. She becomes pregnant and a tentative bond begins developing between the husband and wife. However, on one fateful night, she is raped brutally in Kishanganj by a politically-sheltered local goon and loses her baby. The media casts aspersions on her character, plays it into a scandal, and the goon who performed the deed remains untouched. Even her husband begins doubting her integrity. Just when it looks like her life has come to another impasse, a leading member of the Opposition party offers her an unlikely solution: the ticket to contest the Lok Sabha elections and get justice meted out.

Shruti agrees, but only to see to it that her rapist is put behind the bars and justice is delivered. However, fate has other plans and when it looks like her initial purpose is complete, she is offered the post of the chairperson of the National Commission of Women. Under the tutelage of her charismatic mentor, Sharad Malviya, she is almost immediately elevated to the post of Deputy Home Minister. Rohit, who is having trouble bridging the geographical gap between Kishanganj and Delhi, wants her to resign and come back home. She chooses being MP over being a wife, and finds herself increasingly attracted to the brilliant Home Minister, Sharad Malviya – an attraction which is certainly reciprocated.

The Edge of Desire

Tuhin Sinha is certainly one of the better writers we have. His writing style is easy and to the point. The author also knows his politics, and often makes liberal use of mythology and history to drive home his point, an aspect I found very interesting. It is also commendable that he explored some different topics with The Edge of Desire through a woman’s point of view and succeeded, to a certain extent.

My main problem was Shruti Ranjan. I couldn’t warm up to her, I just could not. Not only her rapid ascent in politics left me aghast, I also couldn’t understand what Sharad – or for that matter other readers who loved her – saw in her. Most of her displays of “guts” were off-stage, and we never got to see exactly what was in her that made her deserving of everything she got. She is not a public speaker, her mind is indecisive and cluttered, and I failed to see one iota of leadership in her. Everything that she got was because Sharad had a soft spot for her.

The author perhaps noted this and has shown Shruti to ask herself the very same question: do I deserve it? The answer is no, but does she do anything about it? No, she continues just as she was and eventually starts coming across as an excessively passive woman who was incapable of taking charge of her life.

“The man who basically made me an MP insulted me? Fine, I won’t go to office for the next three days. Because that is the sort of faithful government employee I am.”  

“My husband is upset because he thinks I am having an affair with my boss? Such an idiot. After all, I have only stayed away from him for ninety percent of the duration of our marriage and spend just the entire day and evening with my boss…every day. He doesn’t trust me, so I wouldn’t bother with him or his family either.”

Am I nitpicking? Yes, because believe me, the book isn’t that bad. My friend read it and the thoughts I just mentioned never entered her head. She thought that the author had portrayed her wonderfully, and has shown all the sides of a woman. I am sorry but I couldn’t swallow it. The scene of the rape, which moved many readers, also failed to evoke much of a response. I regularly read Women’s Fiction and have scene much better narration. It was so much more telling than showing and read like a news report.

Overall, I would accept that the book’s good and will certainly please the Indian public but nit-pickers like me will be disappointed. Perhaps my hope with the author were too high…I guess we’ll never know.

P.S. The trailer is excellent!

Story-telling at its best!

Posted: June 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

The Edge of Desire

Madhav Ajgaonkar, a music composer from Mumbai talks about what works and what doesn’t work for ‘The Edge of Desire’

The very first thing that gripped me was the language of the book. It is indeed impressive the way Tuhin has developed as a writer. Here, by language, I do not mean the class of grammar or the choice of words. Here, plain and simple, I mean the way a writer connects with the reader. I think Tuhin has acquired that rare quality which eludes many authors for years…the power of conversing with the reader. Talking to him! Taking him to the innermost thoughts…not of the author, but of the character. You actually start thinking like the protagonist…in this case, Shruti Ranjan.

Again, it is amazing the way Tuhin, in spite of being a man, writes in the first person narrative from a woman’s point of view. What is even more commendable is the way he takes the reader on a journey in Shruti’s mind when she is a young journalist with rebelling thoughts, to when she becomes the wife of a dignified but a bit conservative IAS officer in a remote Bihar village, to the helpless rape victim of a local goon, to a lady who sets out to take her own revenge by being a part of the system, to being in a position where she actually decides about the nation and its issues. The span, as one can see is phenomenal, and Tuhin scores at every stage. The journey spanning the thoughts of a bubbly young journalist to a matured deputy home minister of India is something which gradually shows her growing into a strong lady who refuses to break down in the worst of adversities and takes life head on under the guidance of her mentor Sharad Malviya. Identifying with the innermost thoughts of Shruti Ranjan makes it very naturally believable when she effortlessly shifts her role from a student to a guide when her mentor is in need of a solid support in his hour of crisis.

Tuhin A Sinha intelligently weaves the plot without making the reader realize that Shruti is changing in her thinking as she matures. That is a point that very few writers can achieve – what I did call “story-telling at its best”.

The Edge of Desire

Again, while making us aware of the stand of Shruti Ranjan, the author also succeeds in establishing the characters of the men in her life. Her first love Abhay comes forth as a selfish person who believes in personal gains, but does have a wee bit amount of conscience in his heart. Her husband, Rohit evolves as a person with a strong male ego, who, though basically a hard worker and a principled man, finds it hard to come to terms with life after his wife’s meteoric rise from a hapless rape victim to the home minister of the country. By and far, the most suave and impressive remains without doubt the third man in her life, Sharad Malviya, who gives her a chance to shape her own destiny and helps her in all the challenges without actually interfering. His character, though fantastic by Indian political standards, is definitely something a common educated Indian would love to see out of the pages of the book! A person who believes in taking fearless steps for the betterment of the country, at times even stepping out of the legal boundaries so as to achieve his goals. He is an ambitious politician who thankfully does not believe in selfish gains over the nation. As a mentor, he comes forward as a guide and a friend whenever Shruti needs him, without actually acting like God! He gives her her own space, and influences her thoughts rather than her decisions.

Characters done, that brings us to the plot! The plot, as is evident from the review till now, is the life story of Shruti Ranjan, who puts it in a story form while awaiting her verdict in the prison, for using her position as the deputy home minister to stage a fake encounter of alleged terrorists. In the book, she actually confesses her role in the drama, but in the process, leaves it to the reader to decide the rights and wrongs of it! When the story starts with a young journalist who has typical dreams of a girl her age, it is difficult to guess that it will take the reader through a series of emotions and political dramas. The story covers a range of topics, right from Kashmir to Kerala, from the Naxalites to the Dalit atrocities, right from the local criminals of Bihar to the high power games in the capital. It is an interesting tale of tragedies and triumphs of a simple girl who believes in the concept of Karma. The way the author has used references from the Mahabharat, especially the Krishna-Draupadi angle, to explain the relation between Sharad and Shruti, is remarkable. After passing through rigmarole of emotions, the book leaves you thinking as you turn the last page!

Having said all things, now for the most important part of a review – the cons! Honestly, there were very few. Some relationships were not very believable, especially between Shruti and Sharad’s daughter Rhea. It started off on a very promising note when they meet in trying circumstances in the hospital where Sharad is being operated for bullet wounds. Rhea’s attitude towards Shruti seems very convincing, as she very naturally blames Shruti for being a kind of wall between her and her father. What does not seem believable is the way Shruti readily agrees to talk to Rhea on Sharad’s request, especially when she knows the kind of cold vibes that exist between the two. It is very surprising, and more so, when Rhea suddenly forgets all her animosity and actually talks of Shruti and Sharad getting together. That part seemed really non-realistic. Ideally a person in Rhea’s position would be very non receptive towards Shruti’s advances and would not leave a single chance of insulting her, leave aside thinking of accepting her in the family.

Secondly, Shruti does not seem like a person who would completely ignore her parents which seems to be the case in the latter half of the story, even if that is not what the author intended.

Lastly, the political scenario seems too fantastic. It seems as if Sharad Malviya is the whole and soul of the party and the PM does not seem to have any strong characteristics which need to be there in a person to reach that position. He seems too timid. It also seems unbelievable that any politicians of India would think of living in at the time of elections, when a major part of their vote bank stays in an orthodox rural India. I would have loved to see them talking and deciding to stay apart for the sake of elections, which would show them as being progressive in their thoughts but being sensible enough to plan their campaigning as per the voters’ psyche.

But all said and done, the book is definitely worth a read, it is a book which invariably makes one strong declaration – Tuhin A Sinha is here to stay!

In a fervent speech made on the floor of the House, Shruti Ranjan, Member of Parliament elected from the Kishanganj district of Bihar, yesterday, drew attention to some bitter home truths through her speech in the House of Parliament. Neither the members of the ruling party, nor those of the opposition, dared to refute or disregard her powerful oratory and passionate appeal for stricter and more victim-sensitive rape laws in the country.

The Edge of Desire

Her angst truly seemed to echo the voice of the innumerable rape victims in the country; many of whom do not even report their rape for fear of being ostracized by society and disowned by their families. Amidst a pandemonium of loud thumping of desks in support of the points made in Shruti’s speech, the Parliament took a unanimous decision to relook at the rape laws in the country and make them relevant to the current times and lifestyles. Increasing the age for consensual sex, making rape laws gender neutral by bringing sexual assault of boys under the purview of the law, changing the narrow definition of what legally constitutes ‘rape’ and broadening it to include all forms of sexual assault and violence, were some of the issues raised and discussed as a consequence of Shruti’s powerful address to the House.  Being an unfortunate victim of rape herself, Shruti threw light on the hardships that victims faced and unabashedly described a first-hand account of the insensitive treatment meted out to a victim who shows the courage to report the crime against her and seek justice against its perpetrators.

The session ended with the Home Minister stepping in and assuring the house that the culprit would be meted the severest possible punishment.

A CBI enquiry has been ordered into the matter with a demand to complete the investigation on a priority basis and submit a report within 90 days.

Here is an excerpt from the speech that moved the Parliament into taking the almost instantaneous decision that rape laws in India needed serious reconsideration.

‘Honourable Speaker, Ma’am, we need to initiate a massive campaign to ensure that rape cases are reported. Police officials, especially in rural areas, who hush up these cases, ought to be sacked. The police is a protector. If it becomes the broker, then it abets such crimes with its complicity. Police officials who have shielded rapists or not lodged an FIR should be made co-accused.

Ma’am, my rape has proved that anybody can become a victim of this heinous crime. I would think I am reasonably well-educated. As the wife of an IAS officer, as much as I may not have acknowledged it, I think I enjoy a reasonable clout. Yet I met a fate that was no different from what thousands of women, especially in our rural regions suffer in silence.

Ma’am, as a victim and sufferer I know what it means to be a rape victim. I can thus feel the physical and emotional trauma of every woman who has suffered the crime. I find it absolutely despicable that men who worship a Durga or a Lakshmi at home do not blink before subjecting the embodiments of the same goddesses to this act of ultimate cruelty. Since our society has failed to fix the problem, honourable sir, I would hereby propose a radical legal solution.

Ma’am, India today needs fast-track or tatkaal courts specifically and solely to deal with crimes against women. Each of the 626 districts of the country ought to have a tatkaal court that clears cases pertaining to crime against women. These courts should settle each case not later than six months from the date of start of the trial. That, to the best of my opinion and knowledge, sir, is the only way India can change her unsavoury reputation of being the most unsafe country in the world for the girl-child.’ 

For further details about the result of the case against Salim Yadav and the course of Shruti’s life-altering journey into the world of politics, you can read Tuhin’s latest novel ‘The Edge of Desire.’ Buy a copy now.

The Edge of Desire
Aruna Shankar, a zesty professional juggling work, family, and fun; reviews Tuhin’s latest book, ‘The Edge of Desire.’
The EDGE OF DESIRE by TUHIN , in all is a package for the Indian Politics in a narrative way.It gives us an insight into the atrocities that women get victimized to in the current scenario. Politics, the concept, the rules and games of it is enthralling and always kept people, common man as well as people who run the system, very much fascianted.This marvellous book revolves around 2 characters, SHRUTI RANJAN and SHARAD MALVIYA. The mentor-protégée, relationship portrayed between them is quite commendable.However, I feel it would have been nice if the character of Sharad emerged as clear winner and had seen the twilight of the story by swearing in as the Prime Minsiter.:-)
The Edge of Desire

The novel also portrays the many facets of woman,especially post marriage. How she gets victimized and fights with the humiliation, how she battles to get justice, how she gets stuck and juggles between marriage and politics, how she congregates courage and fights back and emerges victorious.

Tuhin’s writing style is awesome and he has truly carved niche amongst the breed of indian writers. The novel is absolutely gripping because, Tuhin has thoroughly researched the politics and weaved the story, beautifully plotted the blend of human emotions, relations with politics.

Keep Up the Great work Tuhin! Waiting for your next venture !

 The Edge of DesireA group of MLAs in Bihar, owing allegiance to Pappu Yadav are up in arms against author Tuhin A. Sinha, even demanding that his new book, The Edge of Desire be banned in the state. The main grouse of these MLAs is that one of the characters in the book, Salim Yadav, portrayed as a criminal turned politician bears an unmistakable resemblance to former MLA, MP, politician Pappu Yadav.

Though in the murder of Communist Party of India (Marxist) legislator Ajit Sarkar and sentenced to life, Pappu Yadav and his family still enjoy significant clout in some of the districts of the state.

“Not only will we get this book banned in Bihar, but we will demand its ban all over the country!” claims a former fellow party-member and associate, on conditions of anonymity.  Surprisingly, Sadhu Yadav, brother-in-law of former CM, Laloo Yadav has apparently supported this demand.

When asked to respond to the allegations, Tuhin replied, “When you choose to write about politics, it is obvious that you are going to ruffle a few feathers. Such incidents do not perturb me. As far as the issues people seem to have with my book go, I wish to clarify that Salim Yadav has nothing to do with Pappu Yadav. Apart from the shared last name, and the fact that they both happen to be politicians of notorious repute in Bihar, I see no resemblance to Pappu Yadav..”

The repercussions of this public outcry and outrage against the book in Bihar; and the extent of its influence in other parts of the country wait to be seen. The book meanwhile has been reporting steady sales and positive reviews from readers and critics alike. The author’s website and the Facebook page for ‘The Edge of Desire’ have been seeing a steadily rising graph of conversations and reactions to the book.

Here’s an excerpt of what Salim yadav is all about, leaving it for our readers to decide if the character is indeed inspired from Pappu Yadav.

Salim actually barged in carrying a huge bouquet of roses and ignoring the protests of the guards. I gathered from his name that he was the same person of whose exploits I had heard from Harish, the driver.
Salim was bearded and big built. Both his eyes and his smile had something distinctly lecherous about them. He sported a white khadi kurta-pyjama with a dark green gamcha thrown rakishly around his neck. From the reactions of the other guests, I could make tell he was detested by them all.
Salim swaggered up to Rohit. ‘Collector sahib, it’s a happy moment for you. Even though I was not invited I couldn’t resist coming and wishing you. That’s how happy I am for you and your beautiful wife.’
I admired Rohit for the restraint he showed. He acknowledged the remark with a curt nod and then turned to talk to someone else.The Edge of Desire
‘Won’t you introduce me to my beautiful Bhabhiji?’ Salim persisted brazenly. He came and stood in front of me. I must say that every time he called me beautiful, my skin crawled.
‘Namaste, Bhabhiji. Myself Salim Yadav, social worker.’ He introduced himself in his rustic insult of the English language and added, ‘Both of you look so nice together. I pray to God to keep you both happy forever.’
Even as Salim uttered these supposedly well-intentioned words there was something evil about his expression that shadowed everything else. I could not decipher what it was. He left soon after, leaving us all bewildered by his abrupt entry and exit. 

You can get hold of a copy of The Edge of Desire and read on to find out what happens next. It will help you take the right decision of whether to side the people of Purnea or express solidarity with Tuhin! Buy a copy now.


Dr Shamenaz – Assistant Professor Deptt of Humanities AIET, Allahabad, describes this book that the author has dedicated to every woman who has been a victim of gender crimes in this country; a tribute to womanhood. Read on to find out what more she has to say about ‘The Edge of Desire.’

The Edge of Desire is the fourth novel by Tuhin A. Sinha, who is a best selling author, a columnist and the scriptwriter of several popular T.V. shows. It is a great tribute to the womanhood that the novelist has dedicated his book, ‘to every woman who has been a victim of gender crimes in this country that defies umpteen goddesses. India has the tradition of worshipping women in the form of Devis or Goddesses but still women have not been given equal status with their male-counterparts. And whenever there is injustice meted out for them, it is the women who always suffer. Sinha seems to be moved by this inequality present in the society and he has responded by writing this novel.

 The novel can be termed as a feminist novel because it is based on a woman’s story, who was a victim of rape. Being humiliated badly, she wanted to avenge her rape, and this burning need gave her so much strength that she herself didn’t know, she had. The novel opens with a prologue by the author describing a scene of VIP Cell of Tihar jail where Shruti Ranjan, the protagonist who is aged 33 is sitting inside the confinement. And on the other side in the bookstores of Connaught Place, her image is clearly visible on the cover page of her memoir, which is named as The Edge of Desire. The book is selling like hot cakes because people want to peep into the life of Shruti Ranjan. They want to know about her tumultuous life and struggle of rise and fall from power.

So, it is the story of Shruti Ranjan, who is a journalist by profession and is being deceived in a five years long love-affair by her boyfriend, Abhay and was married to Deputy Commisioner of Kishanganj. But her ill-fate continues and she was brutally raped by politically sheltered local goo, Salim Yadav. It is saga of her crusade against the lawless, criminal-bound situation of Bihar in 90’s.

Although, Shruti Ranjan joins politics to gain justice by letting Salim yadav to be convicted but after coming to power her focus of interest completely changes in just one year. From solely fighting for personal justice for her rape, she became a champion of working for feminist cause and then to taking care of the country’s security. Her role changed so quickly from personal to country’s security. But in this battle she looses her family. Her husband, Rohit Verma, who stood at her side when she starts her battle, also forsakes her, leaving her lonely and solitude. But still she did not lose heart and tried to work not only for feminine causes but also for the security of her country.

In her long drawn struggle, it was Sharad Malviya, who was truly a messiah for her. He acted as a true friend, guide, mentor and companion in her political as well as personal life and made her fully dependent on her through his support. This was what lagging in her husband, Rohit.

The novelist has portrayed the struggle against the commodification of women in the society. Women in the patriarchal constructs are considered as a commodity for the men to enjoy with but Shruti Ranjan, the protagonist of the novel proved it wrong by her deeds. She has set an example for all the women to follow, who keeps silence and does not fight against men if any wrong is done to them.


It is a novel, which has politics in his background as the writer throws lights on the political condition of Bihar in the 90’s. It is a portrayal of Shruti Ranjan’s life, her emotions, her sensitivity, her failure in love-affair, marriage to an unknown person, her adjustments from metro city to a small town, her fear, anger, trust, hopelessness, and after all her courage to fight against the male-dominated society and finally her triumph. He has used some Muslim characters in the story to show the multi-ethnic and multi-religious structure of the Indian society. He has highlighted the caste-based politics of Bihar of that period. He has also highlighted the role of media in handling any incident happening in the country.

Sinha has used simple, clear and lucid language which is easily understood by the readers. He has made an allusion to Hindu religious texts by quoting a shoklya, “Yada yada hi dharmasya, glanir bhavati bharata, abhyutthanam adharmasya, tadatmanam srjmy aham. Mata cha pita twamaev, twamaev bandhu cha sakha twamaev.” By using it, he has shown his belief that God always punishes the evil deeds and this is what the character of Shruti Ranjan signifies that it is good who always win.

It is the story of a solitary woman’s crusade against the age-old customs and norms which holds women to be responsible for all the injustice and inhuman inflicted on her by the men. It was not an easy for Shruti Ranjan to fight against such hierarchy but still she showed the courage to fight and finally by winning against it, she has become a role-model for several women to follow, who likes to keep quite and does not raise their voice against the atrocities done towards them.

Tuhin was depressed by the increasing gender crime against women in India and the death of political leadership in the country so he wrote the novel. He himself has said this in an interview to ibnlive that he has woven these two issues within the format of a commercial fiction novel. He was also inspired by the basic idea of Mahabharata: Can a woman’s humiliation impact the destiny of the nation? And interestingly the bond between his protagonists, Shruti Ranjan and Sharad Malviya, is in a many ways similar to the bond between Draupadi and Krishna. By writing this novel, the novelist wants to give a social message to the society that women are no more a poor mean creature and fight against all odds if injustice is inflicted towards them.

The Edge of Desire

Young, modern book lover Anjana Vasan reviews it in the first of a series of reviews

Anyone who knows me would know that I don’t read much of Indian writing, not because I have something against it (which obviously, I don’t) but more because I can’t relate to the writing style. However, after reading the synopsis, I started reading The Edge Of Desire, not just with an open mind but also with a lot of interest because the plot seemed to be deep and powerful.

Let me begin with this – Tuhin Sinha’s writing is nothing like the stuff I’ve read before by Indian writers. It’s simple and concise and sometimes, that makes for the best kind of story telling, like it does this book. His to-the-point writing style gave the protagonist – ShrutiRanjan – ‘s voice an added strength that leads you to both understand and admire her.

Shruti is an ex-journalist from Delhi who, after finding her boyfriend in bed with her best friend, moves back to her hometown to live with her parents. Due constant pressure from her parents, Shruti caves in and agrees to an arranged marriage to Rohit, Deputy Commissioner of Kishanganj; a town in Bihar that’s not ruled by the Government but instead thugs, with the local government authorities helping them. This marriage and move leads to the most traumatic event of Shruti’s life, one that eventually ends in her taking a completely different direction/journey than the one she imagined.

The Edge of Desire is a book that explores almost every form of sin and corruption that exists in India and it’s legal system. I’m from India and I’ve lived in my own protected bubble but even I know that politics can get down right dirty in my country and it’s best to stay clear of it.

I can’t put my thoughts completely in words about this book.

The Edge of Desire I felt a whole range of emotions – sadness, anger, frustration, more anger, betrayal and anger again. The sad thing is, you read about things like this in the paper all the time and you feel sorry for the girl – someone you don’t know -and that’s it. That’s as far as you feel about these issues but when you read a book, it’s a completely different experience. You get to know the character, understand her and feel a sense of loyalty. That makes reading/hearing/seeing the things happen from her point of view somuch harder to deal with. Well, at least, it’s what happened to me while reading this.

With The Edge Of Desire, Tuhin Sinha has created vivid characters and a violet, powerful plot that will definitely affect all its readers. I should warn you, it’s not for the faint of heart because the author isn’t afraid to get to the dark and gritty places and that’s what makes it literally un-put-downable. I actually felt pained when I read about what was happening to Shruti. There were characters I absolutely hated but I have to hand it to the author for evoking such strong emotions in me just through his words.

If you think you can handle it, get yourself a copy of The Edge of Desire right away!

Image  —  Posted: May 30, 2012 in Uncategorized
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