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Climbing Shoes

The sequel to Paro is a racy read and wonderful to carry on a summer vacation. And personally, I’d love another sequel

Climbing Shoes
Priya: In Incredible Indyaa
By Namita Gokhale
Penguin/Viking | Pages: 208 | Rs. 350

Twenty-four years after her sexy debut novella, Paro: Dreams of Passion, Namita Gokhale writes a sequel featuring Paro’s beloved friend, Priya, now married to a powerful minister. Unlike Paro, who dreamt of passion, Priya is all about power. In the form of entries in a journal, it’s meant to be a voyeuristic peep into the internal workings of a woman on the fringes of Delhi’s power coteries. Which is a great idea.

But it slips in and out of this mode. Sometimes it reads like a novel with very short chapterlets, but at other times you keep wondering what happened next as the journal turns a page and goes into the next episode.

But it does maintain its internal journey as Priya jots down her observations as the wife of a self-absorbed politician and mother of a pair of twin sons returning home, one to be an artist and the other to step into his father’s political shoes. As she struggles to climb the ladder of power and stay there, Priya makes difficult choices and compromises—coming out stronger and more likeable because of them, even if you don’t agree with her all the time. The author’s observations of the p3ps who colour Priya’s life are acutely felt and painfully familiar to everyone who has tried to feel the pulse of Delhi.

It’s a racy read and wonderful to carry on a summer vacation. And personally, I’d love another sequel, this time around the bitchy, bountiful Pooonam.

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