Radha Venuprasad's maiden book, 'Shifting Sands', is a sensory treat encompassing all the ingredients set deep in a sense of freedom and love.
Her book is a collection of seven short stories, with familiar people and emotions, realistically set and artfully narrated.
Through her setting in aristocratic nair 'tharavads', filled with intrigue, love and politics, Radha brings forth a bunch of characters who are very closely identifiable.
The author's wild-spirited mother-daughter duo, Renu and Malini, who redefines motherhood and love, and her Ammu are people whom we've met somewhere, people whom we all must have wished we could be, at least, at those times when we've had to forego the choices we so badly wanted.
Bound by the thread of a sense of absolute abandon and boundless, churning passion, Radha's characters paint a portrait of unbridled love, often problematic, but perfectly in place and real to the core.
Her characters explore hard choices and make improbable decisions, often to the level of 'anarchy' in the traditional setting where they are placed.
Radha's characters have their own designs of happiness and chase them unashamed, with child-like curiosity. Here, age takes a back seat and she draws us to something we seldom address, the possibility of finding innocent, feather-light joy in the midst of a world that is so eager to judge you.
The best part of the book is that she gives us a bunch of adorable men, of different ages, equally caught in the web of decisions and consequences as the women. The camaraderie and loneliness of those who stay true to themselves is a binding force throughout the book.
The tall and elderly Gopala Menon and the irresistible Markadey are two of them bound together by the silent promise to privilege life over rules and hapless unhappiness.
Unni, the doctor who chose to live with his partner in his ancestral home without a marriage and the restless, helpless love that prevails despite all odds are a mirror to reality.
Above all, Radha's book gives us one very special message, and that too a strong and rare one, life just doesn't end with a full stop. All those blank ends we've stared at with empty eyes are pauses, take a deep breath and walk ahead, life awaits those who dare to look for it.