I have always been fascinated with the horror genre. And when I read Neil D’Silva’s Maya’s New Husband, it only enhanced my desire to read more of it. Hell, I have even been writing more of it. Not that I wasn’t before, but after MNH, I have started doing more. Before, I was a little skeptical of the genre faring well, considering the popularity of romance and mythology in the country. But now I know better.
However, MNH is a really good book, which I finished in a day. It is a book that cannot be put down. Today comes a review I should have done a long time ago. Well, better late than never, it is said.
In the suburbs of Mumbai, the atmosphere is grim. There is an evil shadow lurking around stealing and snatching able -bodied people. The hapless victims are never found again, their bodily traces lost forever in the unknown reaches of the city. In the midst of this is Maya Bhargava, a schoolteacher with a troublesome past. Her career looks promising though.She is learning to pick the broken pieces of her heart and move on. While still trying to cope, love comes her way. It comes most unexpectedly, from a man named Bhaskar Sadachari, who is despised and even feared for his weird ways. The sensible Maya has her head in the right place, but it is her heart that refuses to pay. She chooses the new husband. And the horror begins to unfold.
Neil D’Silva has crafted a magnificent horror story here. Oh, the courage of him! Especially when horror is such a rare genre in India. There are not many horror stories out there. And Neil has managed to write such eloquently a masterpiece of a horror.
It is not that kind of a horror that involves spirits and ghosts. It scares you in the way it creeps you out. Not to mention, it delves into the Aghoris and the less-known myths about them. And hey, cannibalism! You think Hannibal has got competition? Yes, Bhaskar Sadachari, yo! I wonder how scared Maya must have been once she found out. Lesson guys: Not everything is what it seems.
An apt title for what is a brilliant story. No wonder a movie is being made on this. Because yes, my dear readers, innovative and creativity is this author’s forte.
Yes, there are places (not many) where it can pace down, especially in the middle, but the story hooks you on. It is a page-turning material. So yes, my rating is 4.5/5 and justified.
Bhaskar Sadachari is a character that creeps me out. Oh, the perversion of the character! But then, personally, I love everything psychopath. So he stood out for me.
Maya as a protagonist is, well, brilliantly crafted. She is strong yet flawed. Such round characters should be written instead of those bland ones. Badassery doesn’t mean pow wow. Maya is the quintessential example of a strong feminine. She has her negatives, but then, who doesn’t.
Other characters are just there. They either offer support or play a small role somewhere. Especially Maya’s mother is also another example of a feminist nature.
The author writes well. He blends simple, understandable English with a rich vocabulary. Perfectly balanced and that suiting the Indian audience in particular. Show and tell is balanced too, that’s how it should be.
The pace is good, the writing manages to scare, and the storytelling draws the reader into the plot. Good exposition and an exciting climax to finish it all.
A must read if you are interested in horror. And with the news of a sequel being made, why not get your hands on it and read it before the sequel is out?? So, go on, what are you still doing here?
This is how Neil D’Silva describes himself:
“The writing bug bit me quite early in my life. It was when I was in my Standard VII that I wrote a book, initially on a writing pad and then on my father’s typewriter. As I bound those rough pages with a stapler, I saw a book taking shape; and as its pages unfolded I saw how a figment of my imagination had taken a concrete shape. There is rarely another joy that compares with seeing your creative thought taking a concrete shape. Some have likened this joy to what a mother experiences when she holds her firstborn for the first time. But, all I can say was that was one of my greatest pleasures, and it set me onto a path of no return.
“Life had other plans en route, and I found myself indulging myself with my other passion — teaching — for over two decades. I still teach, and with a similar passion as I began with, but I need to showcase my other side to the world as well. For a number of years, I dabbled with freelance writing as well. Though I won numerous accolades from my clients from all over the world, I found myself speaking someone else’s voice. At a point, the dam burst, and I could continue no longer as a freelance writer. I resolved that if I would ever write again, it would be only for myself.
“Having lived in this wonderful metropolis called Mumbai all my life, I have been fortunate to meet a huge variety of people, and partake of several experiences. The city is always on the move, and though that’s a cliché, it’s quite true. There’s never a silent moment when you are in Mumbai. Even in the dead of the night when I sometimes find myself writing, I sense things stirring outside. Stories are being made here at every instant, so many stories that will be lost for want of someone to give them a voice. I tried to create a blend here, a blend of my penchant for writing and my astute sense of observation of the things that go around me and weave my yarns.
“Do read my short stories, stories I feel that really need to be told. Stories just happen; I aspire to be their humble voice.”
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You can also visit http://neildsilva.com