Book launch of ‘All and Nothing’

Raksha Bharadia, writer, editor – and a new friend – is launching her book ‘All and Nothing’ at Crossword Residency Road, Bangalore on the 23rd of Feb ’11. Thought I would spread the good word – so please come, as it promises to be interesting. All the best Raksha 🙂

Event: Book Launch ‘All and Nothing’- A book on relationships in urban India

Venue: Crossword, Residency Road, Bangalore

Chief Guest Mrs. Shobhana Verghese

Date: 23rd February, Wednesday

Time: 6.30pm

All and Nothing- Synopsis

Tina, a talented artist, is desperately in love with the successful careerist Aditya. But he cannot let go of his past… their marriage sours and Tina teeters on the edge.

Through her we meet the others. Kriya is a fashion designer, chic and successful with a sordid secret. Poorvi is a rich man’s wife, a feminist, yet deeply troubled by having mothered just daughters. Upasna is a willing victim of domestic violence. Manas is a struggling copy writer, besotted with Gayathri – but plagued.

Each beneath the façade of harmony walks a tightrope as their sense of self disintegrates a little each day.

Then Tina summons her friends…

Speak, my friends. Tell it from the beginning. And listen.

All and Nothing journeys with the five of them where they are and can be what they want ‘Nothing’ or ‘All’…

An excerpt

Antara was having a massage. She grimaced as the masseur pressed a nerve in her thigh. Used as she was to the finest spas of Europe she had found the stout middle-aged woman to be a poorly trained exponent of the art of massage. The uneducated woman had little knowledge of the human anatomy, knew nothing of its intricate working. Her hands were rough and she was tardy in trimming her nails.

Before beginning a massage, Antara always insisted the woman wash her hands thoroughly with soap and water, later discarding the used towel with the tips of her fingers in a small bin she kept specifically for the purpose (her maid was instructed to wash it separately from Antara’s own soiled clothes). But Antara had not retained the woman for her ability to give a satisfactory massage. Initially that had been the reason but Antara had been quick to realize that in the garrulous woman she had a valuable source of information.

The woman, having worked in the area for years, knew most of the menials working in the apartments. Over the years she had built-up an impressive network of sources for the gossip that was as much her stock-in-trade as her massages. With native cleverness she had discerned Antara’s specific interest in Tina, another occupant of the same building.

‘Tina madam has had another fight with her man. Another bilayati bottle emptied. Kantabai, her maid, has become a regular supplier of them to the raddiwallah. They screamed at each other so loud that Premabai two floors down could hear them. It has become an almost daily feature. They fight. He storms out of the house. And Madam picks up her bottle. She drinks like a fish. A bottle in her hand has to be emptied. The liquor shop owner at the corner says his sales to the household have seen a huge jump. He’s had to increase his order of supply for the bilayati maal. . . .’

After the woman had left, relaxing in her warm bath, sipping her wine (she had switched to plainer stuff as Henry’s gift had run out), Antara ruminated over the matter that had exercised her exclusive interest these past weeks in Mumbai.

They are doing fabulously well! Without my help, too! I think I can safely leave them to it while I make a trip to London. I need fresh lingerie. And Henry can replenish my cellar.

It’s time to settle accounts with him. He thinks I don’t know about his little slut, the old fart! Let us see how much she is worth . . . Divorce time, Henry!

The next day Antara flew to London, telling her maid she would be back soon.

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