Soma Basu releases his book “Frenny and Other Women You Have Met” in New Delhi
Soma Bose, a new author, is an imaginative wordsmith and a master of the visual narrative
New Delhi : The book launch event for Soma Bose’s “Frenny and Other Women You Have Met” took place recently in New Delhi, India, at the India Habitat Centre. At a programme attended by notable citizens of the capital, actors Mita Vasisht and Swastika Mukherjee unveiled the book to the public.
Soma Bose, a new author, is an imaginative wordsmith and a master of the visual narrative. Because of her love of tale-telling, she is driven to discover the fascinating backstories to even the most ordinary events. Her ability to create compelling narratives out of images inspired her to start the website www.somTales.com.
Soma Bose’s book “Frenny and Other Women You Have Met” delves into nuanced feelings in an effort to make her readers more appreciative of the many ways in which women’s lives and contributions are valued and celebrated. Soma’s upbringing in the Indian coal-mining town of Dhanbad inspired him to compose tales with a focus on people.
Actors Mita Vasisht and Swastika Mukherjee have both spoken highly of the novel, saying that readers would be able to identify to the book’s female protagonists since they are so realistic.
Each of the five main characters in “Frenny and Other Women You Have Met” lives in a different corner of the globe and has a unique story to tell.
Sucharita, rich and charming, is an award-winning writer and philanthropist. Her son and husband are her emotional mainstays. She has everything and yet she misses something. This missing link is aggravated when Sucharita’s son moves out to university. At about the same time, she runs into Frenny, an aged woman who works at a tiny, old stationery shop. The two strike an unlikely friendship. The story explores these two characters through their conversations, reveling in the richness that each brings to the other’s life.
Set in Shimla and New York, this story explores the vicissitudes of obsessive maternal love. After her husband leaves their family, Mrinalini brings up her son, Rohan, by herself with the help of her supportive mother-in-law. He grows up not just into a supportive son, but also as Mrinalini’s emotional anchor and her most precious possession. Unable to rationalize the mother-son bond, Mrinalini does not realize when her love for her son grows into an unremitting obsession.
In Calcutta, newly-married Shreyasi takes music lessons from a much-older David Sir. The lessons end soon but their bond endures through the ups and downs of life. When David Sir loses his music to dementia, he can only remember one name: Shreyasi. The role of teacher and student is reversed as Shreyasi helps him regain his lost melodies.
The story is about a Kashmiri shawl, that is lovingly embroidered by Amiran, for her grand-daughter Sarah. As the shawls nears its completion, it is sold off to a tourist by Sarah’s father Rashid for a hefty sum. Amiran and Sarah are extremely saddened by this. The entire story is narrated by the shawl, as it changes hands several times, to finally rest in the hands of Sarah, while she gets married.
Ananya is in a loveless marriage. She spends the largest part of her life fulfilling her marital responsibilities. Life seems like a sacrifice until she meets Alok. Blessed with supportive children and an understanding mother-in-law, Ananya faces no great obstacles to getting out of her marriage and starting a new life with the man she loves. However, even before she can make her choice, life takes an unexpected turn, making her reconsider all her plans.
As with all her creative work, in this book too, Soma explores subtle and intricate emotions, hoping that her readers appreciate women’s lives and contributions in all their richly varied forms. Soma says, “The motivation to write such human-centric stories comes from my experiences of growing up in the coal-mining town of Dhanbad in Jharkhand, India.” Soma has extended her flair for storytelling into the world of films as well. She has written scripts that have been appreciated by acclaimed filmmakers and luminaries like Shyam Benegal and Shonali Bose. Whether it is in films or literature, Soma tirelessly seeks new ways of conjuring powerful emotions through novel ideas.