Tuesday, November 20, 2018
Book Review: 'Rashmi's Story: The Story of a Girl's Pursuit of Freedom, Love and Happiness' by Indika Guruge
A poignant and fascinating look at the dark, disturbing, yet wonderful moments of Rashimi’s life.
Sri Lanka author Indika Guruge earned his Bachelor of Commerce in Business Management at Royal College and was an Honors graduate of the National University Singapore. The handsome young man now works in real estate and property development. He is a director of The Guruge Group of Companies, a prominent outfit of property development and amusement parks in Sri Lanka, winning awards for his talent and services. His published novels to date are KARMA NEMESIS, ORPHAN GIRL, HOUSE MAID, FOREVER YOUNG, and now RASHIMI’S STORY.
Indika steps in the world of world of romances and in doing so he gives evidence of a writer who hopefully will continue to explore this genre of writing further. His reader-friendly style of writing is evident from the opening chapter – ‘SOME CALL SUICIDE a crime. But what if one has no purpose left in one’s life anymore? What if I no longer have a reason to live in this world? I take the needle out of my vein as I feel a muscle pull in my hand. I wince at the sudden pain. “Is everything okay in there?” a voice says, making me turn my head suddenly. That’s the guard checking up on me. “I’m okay. Leave me alone,” I say, clenching my teeth as I try to suppress the pain, and not sound annoyed. I thought money and fame would bring me happiness, but instead, it has brought me disaster. I don't want to live in this world anymore, I sigh, shaking my head from the thought. I should find a way to put an end to this. There’s no reason to stay alive. I take out all the clothes in my wardrobe and pile them up on the bed. I tie their ends together and make a rope out of them. Satisfied by the length of the rope, I nod my head and carefully step up on the chair. I tie the rope to the fan, making sure there’s enough space on the rope to encircle my thin neck. “Goodbye, world. Lord Buddha, please forgive me. I know I’ve sinned.” I kick the chair, making it fall to the floor in the process. My body jerks. The air in the room seems not to be there anymore.’
The well-developed and paced plot is as follows – ‘For young Rashmi, a girl born into a middle-class family, this statement holds particularly true. She is beautiful, impetuous and courageous but most importantly, she is constantly in a fight with her childhood demons. However, her life is about to take a twist for the worst as she discovers her family’s well-kept secrets . . .Merely at the age of seventeen, Rashmi is forced to leave her home and pursue her dream of becoming a successful actress. Finally, when she manages to reach her dream, she finds out that her life is far from what she thought she wanted. She realizes that the people around her are not who she thought they were. All these realizations directly lead to her ending up kidnapped and trapped by a brutal psychopath . . .As she struggles to align her flaws and sufferings with her tragic childhood memories, she realizes her survival is limited and the only tool she has to survive is simply hustling. After an intense battle with those childhood traumas, she is compelled to overcome them and become the ultimate warrior she always knew she was, facing the most vicious antagonist in her life. She is forced to see her loved ones die one by one and to fight for the true meaning of life. After Rashmi wins her inner battle of self-realization, she finally knows what her true goal is: to help people and make sure all women are treated equally. With wisdom and courage as her weapons, Rashmi gives us a rare glimpse into what it’s like to be a truly courageous woman. This is a poignant and fascinating look at the dark, disturbing, yet wonderful moments of her life.’
A very fine novel, especially for the intended Young Adult audience. Indika Guruge is well on his way to becoming a substantially significant author. Recommended.
Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.