Author: Bhaavna Arora
Publisher: Penguin Books India Pvt. Ltd.
Cover Design: Tara
Cover : 3/5
Title : 4.5/5
Blurb : 3.5/5
Story : 4.5/5
Theme : 4.5/5
Characters : 4/5
Overall : 4.5/5
- Deepak Potnis- An army officer
- Parminder Singh Kaur or Pansy- Deepak’s wife
- Shamsher- Deepak’s beloved friend and right hand
- Rihana- Deepak & Pansy’s daughter
- Advik- An aspiring air force fighter pilot
- Kabir- Rihana’s soul brother and Advik’s best friend
A tale about passionate love and finding your soulmate . . . only to realize you will always come a close second.
When Potnis, a captain in the Indian Army, meets Pansy during Operation Blue Star, he knows he has found the love of his life. Their passionate romance leads them to the altar and blossoms into a beautiful child, Rihana.
History repeats itself when Advik, a wayward boy from a broken family, catapults into Rihana’s heart as smoothly as he conquers the skies as an Indian Air Force pilot. What follows is a night of unabashed love, transporting the couple to heavenly bliss. Where will their unbridled love lead them? Will Rihana remain a mistress to Advik, for whom the love for his country comes first, or will she be able to make a place in his heart that is second to none? This heartbreaking saga of love, courage and sacrifice will leave you asking for more.
After a long time I got hold of a book on soldiers, the previous one being Soldier & Spice: An Army Wife’s Life by Aditi Mathur Kumar, and also a book which I could read at a single go.
Mistress of Honour by Bhaavna Arora is completely based on life in the army, focusing majorly on the life of army men’s wives / girlfriends – the way they have to live with the fact that they are their husband’s / boyfriend’s second love and that one day they might be ditched because of their first love, the love for their motherland.
The story begins with Deepak, lovingly referred to as Potnis throughout the book, and Pansy’s daughter Rihana throwing a tantrum for wanting a younger brother. Giving in to his daughter’s demand, Deepak and Pansy plan their second child and soon enough Pansy gets pregnant. In the seventh month of her pregnancy, Potnis is called in for reporting at Madras for a crucial mission – Operation Blue Star. Before leaving, he has a reverie of his first encounter with Pansy and how he had fallen in love with her at first sight. She was a BBC reporter from London, stuck at a terrorist attack in Golden Temple during her visit to India with her parents. She loses both her parents in the attack but is herself saved by Potnis. With the help of his best friend and soul brother, Shamsher, Potnis manages to stay in contact with Pansy. Their intimacy grows and before realization, Pansy is pregnant with Potnis’s child grooming in her womb. Potnis marries Pansy and they have a beautiful daughter Rihana.
Potnis starts for his mission in Madras leaving behind Pansy and Rihana with his parents in Pune. One fine day they receive a call from the military base in Madras informing the family that Potnis couldn’t make it through the war. Hearing this, his father dies out of heart attack and Pansy’s unborn child dies in the womb. However one day Pansy hears Rihana talking on the phone, referring the person on the other side of the line as “papa”. It dawns upon her that Potnis is indeed alive and the news from the military base was a mistake. They happily move back to Srinagar after being successful in Operation Blue Star. During another such mission where Shamsher and Potnis are assigned to work with each other after a long time, the terrorists coup against Shamsher and he is dead in the blink of an eye.
Various other missions have been described in the book for the time that Rihana grows up to become a teenager and is sent for schooling away from home, where during a trip to one of the famous graveyards, she finds a guy having sex with the graveyard’s widow daughter-in-law. Kabir, the son of a man who had once tried to kill Shamsher just for a small amount of money and had decided against it when Shamsher promised to fund his son’s entire education, introduces Rihana and that guy – Advik. All three of them become fast friends. Post school, Advik and Kabir join the NDA academy in Pune while Rihana seeks admission in the very famous Ferguson College. Three years later, Advik is sent to Hyderabad to finish his learning on MIG planes while Kabir is sent to Dehradun for being a specialist in another category of fighter planes. Soon after, Advik proposes Rihana and they get engaged. On the eve of their engagement, Advik and Rihana have a intimate night and as a result Rihana gets pregnant. However before she could inform Advik about it, he is called for duty towards his country during the Kargil war turning everyone’s lives upside down. What happens in the end will surely make you think and retrospect on a lot of things in your own life and the way we conduct ourselves.
Amazingly scripted and narrated. Perfect grammar, perfect timing of incidences and a tinge of romance every now and then kept me hooked till the very end. It is a mere 188 page book which can be read in a single go. Bhaavna has crafted the characters beautifully and the script flows very smoothly. Simple vocabulary and sticking to the story-line make the book a definite hit amongst the readers.
The story of Potnis and Pansy is repeated again with Rihana and Advik, with just a slight change – which could have been modified by drafting a separate story-line for Rihana and Advik, making the book perfectly perfect.
A splendid mix of love and war. Strongly recommended (4.5/5)
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- Available at: Amazon
Paperback (Rs. 139); Kindle (Rs. 132.05)
Click here to read Author Bhaavna Arora’s interview by me.
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