To Hell With You Mitro (Mitro Marjani) is the story of Sumitravanti, the unstoppable middle daughter-in-law of the Gurudas household. Her courage is apparent not only in the audacity with which she taunts a closed society, but also in her ability to change her own attitude when she feels it necessary. Or perhaps it is the basic honesty of her nature that allows her to face herself and all she has believed in as unflinchingly as she faces her husband’s violent wrath and mother-in-law’s awed remonstrations. However that may be, the novel is not concerned with psychological debates. It races merrily to its somewhat surprising conclusion, telling the story in familiar, endearing images.” says Anjana Ranjan in The Hindu Literary Review. To read the complete review click on :

http://www.hindu.com/lr/2008/03/02/stories/2008030250060300.htm


“Krishna Sobti’s Mitro is no less than a gripping Bollywood film – with all masala elements to lure the reader” says Divya Kaeley Pahwa, Sahara Times . This book that celebrates “desire” of a woman, it’s a tribute to the femme fatale, giving her full freedom to transgress social boundaries. Sobti’s choice of characters is certainly unique – she’s picked them up from a raw rural setting. The setting is so Hindustani that an Indian reader finds no choice but relate with every aspect of it. The saas-bahu bickering, power politics between brothers, the helpless father and the covetous daughter-in-laws – are elements that can give Ekta Kapoor a run for money.

But the show-stealer, obviously, is Sumitravanti (or Mitro as she is fondly called). Sobti, through this character, blurs the boundaries between black and white. “Strange are the ways of the body. A drop leaves it as unquenched as a sea,” says Mitro in the book. There are grey shades in her, which is described quite objectively throughout the book. But the ultimate question is: if Sobti’s book is ‘feminist’, what is the definition of feminism in her opinion? On one hand there is Suhag, the jethani _ the quintessential good bahu _ and on the other Mitro, who’s ready to eye any man (even her jeth) for ‘quenching her thirst’. Sobti’s choice seems pretty unclear in the end. Mitro, in the last chapter, goes back to Sardari, the “king of my (her) heart”…So, no more philandering, dear bahu! Ironical, isn’t it?

(written by Divya Kaeley Pahwa, Sahara Times)

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