Book Review

The Tattoo on My Breast

Review of the debut novel by Ravi Rai, an Indian TV director

‘The Tattoo on My Breast’ is the love story of a Sindhi girl Sadhna whose father was a grain merchant

Sindh Courier

‘The Tattoo on My Breast’ is the debut novel by acclaimed Indian television director and writer Ravi Rai. The story is a mixture of an epic tale of love, passion, emotion, drama and romance set in the times of partition through the eyes of our protagonist women.

The story is set in the 1940’s era, around the time of the Quit India Movement and Independence. A Spanish aid worker named Abella Alejandro had come with the International Red Cross to Nepal after the 2015 earthquake and there she learns about Sadhana’s story, the childish granddaughter of a rich Sindhi grain merchant who was getting married to Prakash, when Rehman, the meek, poor boy living next to Sadhana’s house and was Sadhana’s childhood friend realizes his love for her.

On the other hand, Jinnah and Nehru started displaying their influence on the young and the restless of the yet undivided India, where the several Gurdwara’s Sikh flags are replaced with the green flag of Islam and Prakash becomes a fatality in one such crossfire.

Barely 15 days into her marriage and Sadhana is a widow. And Rehman is back in her life. But little does she know that her radical Hindu father has fixed her marriage to Sunil, a Sindhi millionaire running his looms in Dhaka, which is soon to become East Pakistan.

Story describes the sorrow of separation and make you realize the importance of your loved ones in your life

Sadhana and Rehman plan an escape, but destiny plays a cruel role with the breakout of riots and Rehman is once again late in claiming his love. The Radcliffe line has been drawn and has divided India. The lovers had parted painfully.

Sadhana, now a nurse, is attending to the injured when she meets Sunil, the man she was slated to marry. His brother, Anil is a doctor at the hospital and has fallen in love with the young nurse. But Sadhana’s heart only beats for Rehman. In this hour of difficulty, Sadhana’s grandfather plans a sinister conspiracy and poisons Sadhana’s mind against Rehman; causing her to marry Anil.

And just when connubial happiness begins to set in and Sadhana gets pregnant, Rehman returns for her causing her heart to beat for him once again.

The story is well researched and beautifully executed. The plot and some of the imagery make it evident that the writer used to write dramatic shows, which explains the dramatic plot and graphic visualization. The book gives readers a deep look at the hardship and inequality of suffering around the turbulent times in Indian history. Despite the backdrop, the story is predominantly a love story, and this book is a great gift to romantic book readers. It describes the sorrow of separation and make you realize the importance of your loved ones in your life.

Sunita Shah, an entrepreneur by career and a voracious reader and writer, in her comments on the novel says, “It’s a kaleidoscope of human relations between generations, gender, religion, politics and above all driven by Love. The cultural background of Sindhis, in Sindh. Story is so passionately woven like a spider’s web where every character entangles you till you reach the climax of the story.”

The beauty of Sindhi words used, at various points of conversation with the food, is so nostalgic!

“Sadhana’s confused heart is so relatable….Dada’s leadership and respect in the family. Rehman and Anil’s true love for Sadhana….each and every family member of Sadhana has relatable character for keeping up the scale of story…but what broke my heart was Nilofer’s destiny, no woman deserves this!

“Being a Sindhi and having heard my pre-Independence stories from my grandfather (who was a migrant from Sindh in 1947), the plot connected so well with me. The beauty of Sindhi words used, at various points of conversation with the food, is so nostalgic!”

What will Dr. Anil, who till now was unaware of their undying love, do when he comes to know of Rehman’s presence? Will Sadhana follow her heart or will she bind herself in chains that have always distanced her from her true love? Will Rehman accept a pregnant Sadhana as his soulmate or leave her at the crossroads once again? To know these answers read the beautifully written book by Ravi Rai ‘The Tattoo on My Breast’ which is easily available on offline and online as well.


Source: The Credible History, Edu Index, Amazon

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