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Updated: January 8, 2014 18:56 IST

Bitingly bizarre!

MADHUVANTI S. KRISHNAN
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Drama Queen by Suchitra Krishnamoorthi.
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Drama Queen by Suchitra Krishnamoorthi.

Achievements, love, heartbreaks and bouncing back with a zest for life, Suchitra Krishnamoorthi, in her book, talks about the roller-coaster ride that is her life.

Tears, recriminations, a life that’s falling apart, embittered feelings alternating between escalating levels of anger and spasms of self-pity, are some hackneyed images that come to mind when one envisions the quintessential divorced woman.

However, a peek into film star Suchitra Krishnamoorthi’s book Drama Queen is bound to ensure that readers stay off mundane stereotyping for a long time.

With unerring clarity, the author weaves back and forth between the past and present as she recalls her childhood in Mumbai and her middle-class upbringing. A demanding mother, a father who rarely voiced his views, a childhood full of moral sermons thrust upon her by old-fashioned relatives, a globe-trotting divorced husband, obnoxious gal-pals, and a shrink who is nothing more than a money-laundering charlatan, are all integral players in Suchitra’s tome.

While there are references to barbed comments on her marriage to a man much older than her, and jibes at her divorce, Suchitra handles them with élan. Interestingly enough, the book is not about her romance with Shekhar Kapur. Nor is it an acerbic rendering of post-divorce blues.

The book is about Suchitra the individual, and about the journey she chooses to undertake in a bid to exorcise the demons that hold her in their vice-like grip.

A book that could have turned out to be a cathartic outpouring of acrimony arising from a failed marriage, a pushy mother, and friends who flaunt rich husbands, successful marriages and top-notch careers, has in fact turned out into a humorous, tongue-in-cheek and bitingly honest expression of Suchitra’s life, five years post-divorce.

References to Suchitra’s debut with Shah Rukh Khan, her association with Ram Gopal Verma and the glamorous side of Bollywood are used sparingly. She does not incessantly brag about these laurels; rather, she prefers to show the de-glamourised side of her life — the reality that surrounds the seemingly mysterious aura of an acclaimed film star.

She is not disillusioned by marriage after her divorce, and this comes through very clearly as she expresses an earnest desire to find Prince Charming, settle down to marital bliss once again, and have more children like her daughter Kaveri.

The verdict

There’s nothing more thrilling than reading a tale that spills the beans about what happens behind the closed doors of a celebrity’s life. However, when the tale comes pouring out of the horse’s mouth, it becomes nothing less than a roller-coaster ride for readers. Drama Queen is exactly this.

Fast-paced with a racy style, the book is undoubtedly a page-turner and has the ability to keep the reader engrossed. The author is forthcoming, witty and candid, and has structured the narrative in a manner that keeps the reader in splits. Suchitra’s ability to laugh at herself, and the apt use of satire make the book an enjoyable read.

Title: Drama Queen

Author: Suchitra Krishnamoorthi

Publisher: Hachette

Price: Rs. 399

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