17 April 2020

Domestic Abuse - Pandemic or No Pandemic by Shilpa Suraj

Love, Marriage, and Other Disasters 

by Shilpa Suraj

About the Book:

She believes in love, family and…squiggles!

Alisha Rana is not your typical single desi girl. For one, she is on the wrong side of 30.  For another, she is divorced. And last but definitely not least, she is still, gasp, a virgin!

Alisha doesn’t want much. But what she does want is that elusive thing all women search for – A man who gets her…but a man who gets her hot! She calls it “feeling the squiggle.”

Enter Dr. Vivaan Kapoor, cute, hot, squiggle-worthy. The younger brother of her cousin's prospective groom, he’s got the squiggle factor in spades. The only catch? He's never been married and is years younger than Alisha. Basically, completely off-limits.

And then there is Arjun. Widowed, older than her by the right number of years and a genuinely nice guy. He's Vivaan’s cousin and a so-called perfect match for Alisha. The problem is, Alisha’s squiggle-o-meter refuses to budge for him.

What will Alisha choose? A lifetime together with the 'right' man or a chance at happiness with the 'wrong' one?

Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon

Domestic Abuse - Pandemic or No Pandemic

“Do you know what it does to a person to be told day in and day out that they’re useless? Ugly, useless, fit-for-nothing. The words merge into each other until nothing is left in you. No confidence, no strength and certainly no fight. You start to question every thought, every decision. You start to question your very existence. Initially, I didn’t have the heart to tell my parents that the guy they’d chosen was a monster and as time went by, I didn’t have the courage. I was 23 years old and my life as I knew it was over.” – Alisha Rana; Love, Marriage, and Other Disasters

Abuse, physical, mental or emotional, is on the rise. In the midst of a pandemic, people are locked in with their abusers, seemingly for an indefinite period of time. To live in fear, to live with hurt, to live without peace…I cannot even fathom the strength and courage it takes for them to endure the proximity and escalation of abuse they’re exposed to.

News articles roll in from across the world about how crisis hotlines are working overtime to help people, to support them and to rescue them. And I wonder about what comes after.

What comes after the pandemic? What comes after the wreckage of a relationship that was meant to keep you safe? When your port in a storm, your safe habour, destroys you, where do you go?

Alisha Rana, my protagonist, leaves her abusive marriage and goes home to her supportive parents. She’s luckier than most. She has a home to go back to. For most abuse victims, there is nowhere to go. The location of abuse is ‘home.’

As we navigate life in these uncertain, unprecedented times, we find ourselves faced with a new normal. Please take a moment out of your own confusion and fear to check on people around you. On the ones who are silent, on the ones who are fearful, on the ones who ask for help and even the ones who look fine. Sometimes, it’s the ones who look fine who are hiding the deepest wounds.
Offer, ask, help, escalate and please, above all else, don’t judge.

As Vivaan the male protagonist of Love, Marriage, and Other Disasters says, “Scarred is a much better word than damaged. You get hurt, you get a scar….it doesn’t leave you damaged for life. A scar shows you’ve healed. A little different, maybe, from whom you were before but stronger. Alisha survived a dead marriage and built a strong, stable life for herself. I don’t see a damaged person when I look at her. I see a survivor. A little scarred, battered and bruised but magnificent.”

We’re all scarred by life in some way or the other, sometimes small, sometimes not so small. We should wear those scars, visible or otherwise, with pride.

We’ve lived. We’ve survived.

We’ll heal. We’ll triumph.

About Shilpa Suraj:

Shilpa Suraj wears many hats - corporate drone, homemaker, mother to a fabulous toddler and author.
An avid reader with an overactive imagination, Shilpa has weaved stories in her head since she was a child. Her previous stints at Google, in an ad agency and as an entrepreneur provide colour to her present day stories, both fiction and non-fiction.

Shilpa on the Web:
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