Review of 'My Favourite Mistake Ever' Authored by Maya Khandelwal
Updated: Oct 1, 2019
Maya Khandelwal is a freelancer and a language teacher. She is a mother of two and can be their best pal when the fun cap is on. She is a passionate lover of nature and can commune with flowers, trees and the moon for hours at a stretch. She loves rains and can’t really resist the sacred drops drench her entire being. She is swept off her feet by the catchy fragrance of Jasmines and henna. Whenever she is in a pensive mood, nature solaces her best. It teaches her how to dust herself up and climb back into the saddle of life again. She pours her heart into her writings and is almost oblivious of her surroundings while reading a book that makes her heart throb faster. She is a hard core romantic at heart and loves soft soothing numbers. If she gets a chance she would love to learn flute as it really casts a spell over her soul. She doesn’t hold God in awe. She rather loves Him as she loves her Dad.
Maya’s debut romance ‘My Favourite Mistake Ever’ is an autobiographical fiction as I would like to call it because the story has all the elements of being a fiction and it unabashedly portrays her own love story. And it can also be called a ‘feel good story’ as it’s her earnest attempt to bring her love life and the most candid moments related to it, both in nostalgia and in present, in the most enthralling way. The story begins with the first scene showing a regular young couple much in love, but Mansi, the protagonist, day in and day out, chases certain dreams and wishes the love of her life to let her live those. His love for her is pure and all pervading but he doesn’t want her to jeopardize the family interests in pursuit of her dream. He assures that he would take care of all her wants and needs so she need not go out to catch her wayward dreams. The much affluent husband ends up the argument and leaves her soul cracked.
The story then soon shifts into the past where Mansi the female protagonist of the story is introduced in the third chapter ‘Reminiscences’ and it depicts how she dials up a randomly picked number while playing a prank along with the children of her next door neighbours who are quite attached to her. This wrong number actually becomes the most right number where she gets to talk to a guy named Aditya and they both get fond of each other’s voice and with time grow close to each other. Gradually talking to each other day in and out, they actually fall in love and desperately want to marry each other. But the only trouble in their love saga is that they both belong to different castes and also belonging to middle class families where love marriages are still considered a taboo, the question arises whether they would be able to break the news to their respective families and convince them?
The story has various characters that have been depicted lucidly through various chapters that mostly show how Mansi’s life revolves around and within her family. Mansi, daddy’s good girl finds herself torn between love for Aditya and the family esteem. But she is also not able to live without Aditya as love is too strong to be resisted and gradually we see her in turmoil, being pulled in two opposite directions i.e. one that leads to Aditya and the other, to her family’s respect. A long period of uncertainty and self doubt leads both to introspect. At times; Mansi feels insecure as to what their future might be? Will they be able to actually unite as a couple? With myriad promises made to her lover and her lover being the most sober and responsible bachelor she could have ever dreamt of, she is still not able to break free from the patriarchal confines that were quite rampant in those times.
During the course of incidents, a number of other characters are introduced and dealt at length with their respective strengths and incongruities. Her typical aunt for example has been shown much stereotypically who finds a great interest in leg pulling and is always on look out to belittle others. Also the most acutely observed and depicted are the appearances of girls and boys of her age, their way of styling, dressing up, talking and more. Mansi seems to be a character that is an acute observer and defines people the way they look which makes it more vivid to understand the whole spectrum of her narration. Her irks, her choices, her dressing sense, her dreams, her desires, her qualms, everything has been portrayed with utmost simplicity and easy flowing words.
Social Issues Reflected: This book talks about the period of nineties when love marriages were raising head subtly, yet girls were expected to stick to the familial rules, patterns and code of conduct. Particularly the middle class that the author has chosen to portray, the girls belonging to this class were not supposed to cross the margins decided by the head of the family.
Another issue that gets reflected very seriously is the suicide of Neha’s elder brother. She is Mansi’s best friend and her brother commits suicide because of not being able to unite with his lady love. Something that clearly brings forth as how a youth can actually go berserk over love issues and fall into the trap towards self annihilation.
An intellectual woman who aspires to leave an imprint behind by virtue of the gifts she has, her thirst for recognition is the core of the plot. Deeply in LOVE with the man she fought the world for and her DREAM, both tear her soft mould to shreds until she slips into the introspective mode, weighing both love and ambition on the weighing scales of her heart. Love wins. Aditya introspects too and realizing what worth does Mansi have in his life, eventually accommodating to her dream. Here lies the beauty of love!
Critical Analysis: The chapters are well divided into titles but could have been more crescending and made interesting with some twists and turns as far as an autobiographical plot could permit.
Plethora’s Verdict: As the Chief Editor of Plethora Blogazine I would recommend this book to everyone especially to those in love, as it is one of the most beautiful love tales with all its highs and lows, pangs and joys. This might be a great learning experience for all the lovers out there as how patience and face-to-face talks within the family can be beneficial. I would like to give this book 4 stars rating and am glad to tell you that “My Favourite Mistake Ever” is now gracing my bookshelf.
Writer, Author & Poet: Maya Khandelwal
Happily married to writing for years, Maya Khandelwal is a poetess par-excellence. Living her fairy-tale love in real life, she is a happy person beautifully at peace with life.
She is also the member of the editorial team of an eminent women’s magazine named Pinkishe.
A BEAUTIFUL MISTAKE is Maya’s first book, an unabashed portrayal of her own Random Call Love with her emerald eyed dream guy.
JUST ZINDAGI is her second book, a collection of short stories where she, as a writer, slips into the skin of her characters, faithfully painting the canvas of life with colours of emotions varied.
A wanderer at heart and with poetry running in her blood, her words strike a chord in the hearts of her readers to echo for long. WORLD UNION OF POETS has conferred the honour of being the PRESIDENT of the VIRTUAL GALLERY of the STATE of RAJASTHAN upon her.
The latest feather to her cap is FIREFLIES, a teenopedia and a complete guide to parenting, in the present scenario.
Maya has also co-authored I AM A WOMAN – a fervent tribute to KAMALA DAS , SHETHESHAKTI and MERI KAHANI by LABACADEMIA. She’s also been picked as one of the most esteemed women writers of India by INCREDIBLE WOMEN WRITERS OF INDIA 2016.
She’s been touching human nerve as a motivational speaker through her videos available on YOUTUBE under the title HAPPY EVERYDAY.