Preeti Shenoy’s Tea for Two and A Piece of Cake is my favorite RHI title.
The story is simple but gripping about the life and struggles of a young woman called Nisha. There is romance, love, friendship and so much more. To be frank, I read it at one go because I couldn’t put it down once it started. In fact, when I shared this book with friends and colleagues, they said that while the story is simple and light, the emotions and experiences that it offers every Indian woman through the protagonist is remarkable in itself. It makes every reader revisit love, relationships and the quotient of trust that is the foundation of making all relationships grow and work for one’s happiness.
It is every Indian girl’s dream and nightmare come true kind of book. A plump, ordinary girl gets the attention and interest of a handsome rich business tycoon who is so loving, considerate and perfect. They have a fairy tale wedding, perfect dream home and romance. They have two lovely kids. And one fine day, the perfect husband calls her up and says the marriage is over. It doesnt immediately register in Nisha’s mind. But reality strikes hard. Her near-perfect marriage is over and the blame is squarely put on her. He didn’t want kids, but she did and the fact that her whole life and behavior was centered around the kids marked the beginning of the end of their marriage.
A heartbroken Nisha tells her best friend Chetana about it and she realizes a bitter truth. Her best friend is actually happy that this happened to her and she is even gloating about her own happy married life without offering any suggestions on how Nisha can pick up the threads of her life.
Nisha, in the process of looking after her kids so that they don’t suffer the impact of their father walking off happily, offers some invaluable tips to all women who have happy marriages:
- 1. Always be sure whether your spouse wants children as much as you do. There should be a clear dialogue of what to expect for both husband and wife. Later on, there should be no “”I didn’t want a kid”” walk out scene.
- 2. Many wives rely on their husbands when it comes to financial matters, especially if they are comfortably settled. But it is important to know how much your monthly expenses are, how you can save money from household expenses by knowing exactly what costs how much and how further you can bring it down and what other options are available.
- 3. No matter how comfortably settled and married you are, it is important to find your areas of talent or strength, train yourself to be better at it and make it a source of income for yourself. You never know when that little bit of effort will take you a long, long way in life when you expect it.
- 4. If you see a friend in distress, the most important thing to do is to act immediately to offer an effective, humane solution rather than gloat about your near perfect decisions and perfect life. A friend in trouble needs your love, understanding and care, not your expert analysis of what you could think he/she could have done better.
- 5. Always identify those who value you and those who don’t. Friends or anyone who don’t value you as a person – walk away from them because they are looking for opportunities to make you feel low about yourself. Be happy to weed them out of your life.
As for Nisha, her life was full of situations that she had to tackle on her own. But life handed her a fantastic surprise. It brought into her life a second chance for romance and this time, she knew it was right and just perfect for her and the kids.
Love is not about perfection. It is about being with some one who understands that perfection happens when two people understand and respect each other totally, without any terms and conditions.
As an avid reader, I must say this: Preeti Shenoy is a writer to watch out for. She understands a contemporary Indian woman’s world in a very simple, heart-warming way.
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