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Written by: Kirti Tarang

Mistress of Honour by Bhaavna Arora

Mistress of Honour by Bhaavna Arora

“Yaar koi Metro mein padne waali book bata de?”

This is a common question posed to me by my Delhi friends. Till now, I never had an answer to it. Perhaps, because I never understood it.

Thanks to Bhaavna Arora, I do so now. ‘Mistress of Honor’ is the perfect book to read in metro-  An easy read  for a reluctant reader, who just wants to kill  time till the destination arrives, without investing much, without expecting much. And here are the REASONS WHY:


1. The first impression

Here the credit goes to the publishers, Penguin Books Ltd. The book is handy to commute with. Not too heavy, not too thick and even fits in a sling bag. Font & spacing between lines are designed to resist all the shakes of the ride.

2. Talk to me

It’s always easier to read conversations than long descriptions. The descriptions usually bore a non-committed reader, while dialogues create a sense of intimacy with the characters. I could visualize Rihanna talking in front of me, I felt that I was a part of her world.

3. Size Matters

I like how Bhaavna Arora, has managed to keep things crisp- the chapters, the scenes; always shifting the gear, keeping up the pace.

4. Pick me up, throw me down

The book has fair amount of sex. Does it grab attention? Yes. Does it make your toes curl or cheeks flush? No. So, it’s pretty much safe to read anywhere, knowing very well that it won’t make suggestive changes in your body language.

Just like the dialogues’ll never let you burst in giggles or break in tears, saving you from curious glances of fellow commuters.

It’s neither a nail biting thriller that you can’t keep the book down nor a soul touching romance that you stay up whole night pinning for the lovers to meet. So, it can be read with a sense of detachment, pick it up when you want, keep it aside when you like. It won’t linger on with you, worry for characters won’t haunt you, you can carry on with your life & at your ease, with no compulsion, return to the book. The best part is that the writer keeps reminding you about what’s going on, so even if you forget the plot & sub plots in the breaks, it keeps coming back to you.

5. It’s not a Chick lit

Many readers (particularly boys) hate to admit that they love chick-lits. Well, for them this book is a God’s gift. You can’t call it a chick-lit but it very much belongs to the genre. It has all the ingredients of being one, but since everything is happening in the backdrop of army, with wars & action scenes, the label doesn’t apply here. Don’t let the word ‘army’ misguide you, it’s not used as a character in the book, just as a setting. The Cantonment just provides an exotic flavor to it, otherwise the plot can easily be put in Wisteria Lane too.


I rate my books in categories:

1. Trunk dwellers: The books that always make me wonder, ‘what was I thinking?’. Books I know I will never read in my life again. They were left unfinished the first time too. I put them in a trunk in the store room or dump them in my mother’s place. (I love books too much to discard in ‘raddi’ & they’re too awful to be accepted by charity)

2. By the bar: A couple of books that I stack on my wine stand with Red, White & Sparkling. Something to flip while drinking. Something dreamy. Something I won’t cry after, if I spill wine on it. Mostly, coffee table books.

3. The library makers: Books that make my ‘collection’, I doubt if I will re-read them though. They make a good read for my guests. Usually, a place reserved by thrillers, romances, sci-fi et al.

4. In the study: They are the ones scattered all over the study, because I read & re-read them, I want an easy access to them at all times. Somehow, I find scavenging through piles of papers & books easier than going through an alphabetical library. Here you’ll find the likes of Oscar Wilde, Elif Shafak & Gone With The Wind.

5. My bed partners: I can’t keep these books out of my sight. I have to read a page or so of them daily, otherwise something inside me gets really sad. I always keep them on my bedside table- my Rumi, my Gibran.

These are my categories & for me ‘Mistress of Honor’ falls in the category no. 3- ‘The library makers’.