Review of “The Smitten Husband” by Sundari Venkatraman


The blurb: Marriages Made in India is a five-novella series that revolves around the characters of the book “ The Runaway Bridegroom”. The Smitten Husband is the story of Chanda’s elder brother Ram Maheshwari. Ram is a successful jewelry designer, residing in Jaipur with his parents and brothers. He is tall, handsome and a billionaire with a kind heart. After consistent pressure from his parents to get married, he agrees to arrange marriage and meets the girl chosen by his parents. His parents have chosen the beautiful girl called Sapna. She is the daughter of a Purohit and resides in Pushkar with her family. With great difficulty and hard work she was able to finish her school and makes a living by doing mehndi designs during weddings. She is beautiful, strong and independent and has always dreamt of a Prince on a white horse who would sweep her off her feet and would always love her.
For Ram it was love at first sight, however, Sapna is unable to see her Prince Charming in Ram. Being from a poor family, she has no choice but to go along with the tide when the Maheshwaris offer to bear all expenses of the wedding. But Sapna might have said yes to the marriage but she refused to accept Ram as her husband. Now will Ram be able to make her fall in love with him or not??

My views: Like all the other books of Sundari Venkatraman this book is also a beautiful love story with a social message. In this book a super-rich man marries a girl from a poor family. There is no dowry, no demands from the groom side, instead, the groom family went out of their way to make sure that money is not an issue. This book lets us have a peek into the marriage where girl family is not made feel ashamed for lack of money, where it’s the girl who is important rather than the false standards and demands of the society. Ram treats his in-laws as part of his family and make sure that they are comfortable and have all the happiness in the world. There is no male ego or arrogance here. Ram is a loving husband for whom it is important that his wife is a self-independent woman. He makes it his aim that money never becomes an issue between her and her dreams. He helps her in all the ways and encourages her whenever she seems to give up. I loved the fact that instead of getting angry he always adored how strong and independent his wife, Sapna is. He slowly but successfully made her fall in love with him and became her Prince Charming.
Sapna seemed to remind me of myself a bit. I could identify with her completely. Some would say that a girl who claims to be strong and independent should not wait for the Prince Charming. But then what is life without a little bit of dreams. It’s one thing to be strong and independent and other to dream of someone who would always love and take care of you and would make sure that you have all the happiness in the life. I don’t there is any harm in believing the fairy tales. Life is too harsh and sometimes you need these cheesy dreams to make it more fun and loving.
Like all the other books of Sundari, I loved this book also too much. But unfortunately, the book just ended out of nowhere. I was hoping to read a bit more about life after becoming husband and wife. The same thing happened with “The Runaway Bridegroom”. Thankfully I got to read more about Chanda and Veerendra in these two novellas: The Smitten Husband and His Drunken Wife. I really hope to read more about Ram and Sapna.

One of the other things I liked about the book was its Cover Page. Since her last book The Madras Affair, the cover pages have evolved a lot. They seem to have a story of their own which further adds to the beauty of the book.

I am eagerly waiting for some more books Marriages Made in India series.