I first got to know about ‘Lutyens Delhi’ some 5-6 years back as I was searching for information on Arnab Goswami for a particular write-up and ended up reading about this ‘Power Circle’ and how the rich and famous (that includes the media houses too) inevitably gravitate towards it! The curiosity to know more especially from an insider made me opt for this book ‘The Diary of a Lutyens’ Princess’ by ‘Bindu Dalmia’, when the publishers sent me the ‘Book list’ to choose from.
A sneak peek into the ‘Diary’
“Chronicling a middle-class girl’s tumultuous journey over five decades, The Diary of a Lutyens’ Princess is satirical yet inspirational, heartbreaking yet heart-warming.
Starry-eyed young Akshraa defies her parents to marry the man she loves, but soon realizes that youthful passion does not always translate into everlasting togetherness. Carving a professional niche for herself in her early thirties, she becomes one of a rare and successful breed of ‘intrapreneurs’. Her life takes another turn when she falls for and ties the knot with Suryaprakash, the scion of one of the first families of business India, a package that comes riddled with its own set of sorrows. But Akshraa retains her vivacity and spiritedness, penning witty observations on the superficially perfect lives of the elite, beautiful people in exotic locales, yet in a state of search and sufferance, undergoing the same travails as any one of us. While doing so, she discovers her own path to salvation, as she bravely resets the rules of femininity: To own up to ambition and a life-on-purpose is sexy!”
The above blurb more or less makes the reader ponder over the content of the book and sets the right tempo.
As the title suggests, the book is a narrative journal of real-life incidents and anecdotes. However the reader will discover that the book is sprayed with liberal doses of fiction being described by an intrepid narrator in first person.
The ‘Elite’ and ‘Lutyens Delhi’ are so synonymous with each other that they are inseparable. To prove this and to give the readers a glimpse into this world of ‘Power, Money and Parties’ , the writer skillfully describes the everyday working and activities of the Rich and Famous, the routine of the rich families, the business meetings amidst the constant juggling to stay afloat & to sustain one’s business in the ever evolving dynamics of the ‘Power Circle’ as part of the story. Caught amidst this cacophony is the protagonist ‘Akshraa’ who is married to a Business Tycoon yet is treated like the ‘Other’ woman by her in-laws! ‘Why is she meted such a treatment?’ , ‘Does Akshraa survive her ‘identity Crisis’ ?’ or ‘Does she succumb to the demands of her ‘affluent family’ – all these are for the readers to discover amidst the lines in the book.
The writer articulates her thoughts and experiences most of the time beautifully and in a language that is lucid. But many a times, the tone and the words used – become too complicated to understand her thoughts. Also , sometimes there seems to be no rationale behind certain decisions that the ‘protagonist’ takes! The liberal mention of ‘Brands’ be it in dresses, automobiles etc.,. throughout the book sometimes gave me the feeling that indeed ‘The Rich’ are obsessed with ‘Brands’ and that includes the writer too!
But then, it is commendable how ‘Akshraa’ tries to carve a niche for herself by blooming like a lotus and standing tall amidst the filthy rich! It is sad how the ladies belonging to the rich families crave for ‘Unconditional love’ amidst all the luxury and comfort at their disposal. This story indeed makes a reader ponder if ‘Power is really poison’? The writer has beautifully weaved real life events and quoted personalities like business-tycoons to politicians to film stars and as new as ‘Modi –era’ into the story very intricately, that they give a sense of authenticity to the journal!
Over-all , this book makes an interesting read with its twists and turns of ‘Aksharaa’s journey and makes sure a reader reflects upon what they term as ‘Happiness’ . Also, reaffirms what I always believed in: ‘Every strata of the society has its own troubles and comforts’!
I conclude this review with the below quote that I find very ambiguous
There’s nothing in the world like the devotion of a married woman.
It’s a thing no married man knows anything about
I give this book a rating of 3 / 5 !
Title of the book : The Diary of a Lutyens’ Princess
Total Pages : 227
Publishers : Rupa Publications
Genre : Fiction