I like the stories that make me read between the lines. Also, I respect the writers who refrain from steamy writing to lure readers, even though the story gives them a liberal scope to do so. That shows the author's belief in his story.While writing a story of a man and two women, one tends to draw comparison between the two claimants and unintentionally announces his predilection. Koral Dasgupta makes no such attempts and leaves it for readers to decide.
Having said that I read a lot between the lines, this book beautifully portrays husband-wife relationship.Submitting herself to her husband, the wife empowers herself and also becomes the strength of her man whereas the seductress doesn't succeed in beguiling the husband with all her charm."With me, he could have experienced the pleasure of living with many women, each of whom is different from the other..." says the seductress.What a vague notion and poor judgement of men it is!Real men don't want a body. They want a soul.On the other hand, the wife gives the space that the seductress demands going against her husband to make her realise that she worships a wrong god. That's the power of her love, devotion, trust and submission that does not allow her husband to lapse into infidelity.
RASIA- The Dance Of Desire is the story of a rags-to-riches-epitome and yet, a man with bottomless ambition Raj Shekhar Subramanyam, his obsessed follower Vatsala and an ideal wife Manasi.Relationships thrive on emotions which are so irrational and obscure. When love is adulterated with vested interests, it will surely not survive for long. The story highlights this fact with remarkable aplomb.RASIA advances in small chapters with different narrators. The advantage of such narrative over author's solo and squint point of view is that it gains dimensions and extends the premises for characterisation. Still, it demands discipline and clarity which only a few can handle and the author has done it with authority.
I find author's characterisation of Shekhar flawless because though he is the protagonist and a man of many virtues, he doesn't impresses as a person. He cherishes that people love him unconditionally however his love and bonhomie towards them is solely guided by ambition. Manasi's devotion as a wife is inspiring. She is instrumental in her husband's success.The churlish Vatsala with her stubborn determination will make you hate her so much that you will anxiously wait for her exit from the lives of Shekhar and Manasi.
Shekhar chooses Manasi as a part of his ambition which successfully bears fruits. Vatsala desired him. But, can a seductress be a lifelong companion? When the glorious and illustrious Bharatnatyam is a prominent part of your plot, you can't make it play a second fiddle. Bharatnatyam is a character in RASIA. However, if you don't like or don't know a thing about this dance form, don't worry, because it will not interfere with your relationship with this book. Koral Dasgupta deserves an applause as she has cautiously and conscientiously disallowed the dominance of Bharatnatyam over the story. Some lines in the book are so profound and relatable that they may become epic literary quotes.The book is a treat for the lovers of literature and it is a story every husband and every wife must read.