Born in a conservative Sikh family, somewhere in the heart of Punjab, Rajjo was always a dreamer. Her family of six (three sisters, a brother and parents) had everything they needed, or so they thought...
With its plot set in India, The Dance of Durga appeals universally. It is a story that every Indian girl will relate to. It speaks volume about ‘first love’, struggles of living in a conservative family, and the most important... Struggles of being a woman!
The author, Kanika Dhillon has very beautifully described each and every detail of the protagonist’s life. Starting from her birth, to her teenage to the crucial adulthood. Dhillon’s use of vocabulary makes it very easy for the reader to understand exactly what the author wants to communicate.
Rajjo wishes to live a life on her own terms and conditions. She goes through the early pain of ‘puppy love’, heartbreaks and a dominant society who is constantly pushing to pull down her flight.
Rajjo was always different. Hauntingly beautiful and determined, her ability to predict the future marked her out as special even when she was a child growing up in rural Punjab. The story in her early years is all about how everyone cursed the charismatic face and hated her for a fact that she could ‘predict future’.
At her sister’s wedding, Rajjo fell in love with a young man from the groom’s party, who made her pregnant and never returned for their promise of marriage, leaving Rajjo heartbroken.
On finding out the truth, Rajjo’s family marry her off to an abusive-older man but she manages to run away from the bald-old man and her failed marriage to Rani Maa’s (a godwoman) ashram.
Here, Rajjo sets herselfup as a Godwoman- rich and powerful- in the surreal world of the ashram, where belief, sensation and commerce come together in a heady mix.
Even as she settles into her new role as Durga, she falls passionately in love with Harsh Vardhan, who is married to another woman. Now Durga must choose... And choose wisely.
Just like Rajjo herself, many characters from the book capture your attention and imprint their personality which becomes very difficult to forget later. Even when I moved about a few chapters further, my mind was busy thinking about Rajjo’s family and the friends she’d met on her journey. What happens to them? Do they continue living their lives exactly like they were before they had met Rajjo? Are they any different now?
This powerful drama about a woman’s jouney to find true love ponders around all possibilities... Desire, truth, faith, cheating and politics.
In todays world, it is very easy to blame a woman of an act she pulls off. No one dares to question the truth behind it. Same is the case with Rajjo. She went on to a path of soul searching but got off halfway because she wanted to and believed in something more divine that god himself. She believed in herself and trusted her instincts more than anyone in the entire world.
Will Rajjo fight for what is hers? Will she go on and be a godwoman all her life? Will she finally find solace in her loved ones and cherish all she has? The book will treat you with answers one by one.
The Dance of Durga is considered Dhillon’s best work till now and I couldn’t agree more. The book leaves you thinking about the characters and their fate for a time that is more than the usuals.
The author holds forth on her new book and contrasts her writing process for books and screenplays. She doesn’t like getting stagnated in a comfort zone which can be very easily observed in the book.