Whoever said marriage is made in heaven clearly needs a rethink. If you ask me, relationships especially marriage is an applied science. Some might happen naturally while some are ‘made’ but however the relationship is forged, for it to work one has to apply various laws of applied science. Sorting Out Sid by Yashodhara lal deals with life and relationship of no surprise here, Sid aka Siddharth whose married life is clearly not made in heaven.
Yashodhara made her literary debut with Just Married, Please Excuse and Divya who read and reviewed it was very pleased about the book. In fact again it was she who read this book first and came out doubly pleased. So I began reading the book with a positive note unperturbed by the fact it ran 320 pages, a bit more of my liking for a casual light fictions.
In computing, we have WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) but at many instances in real life especially with people, what you see is not what you get. People wear various masks to conceal their original emotions. So does our protagonist of the novel, Sid who copes up with various masks before his colleagues, amidst friends, in social circuits to hide the weathering personal relationship with his wife, Mandira with whom he is married for 15 years. At the age of 36, he gets promoted as a VP of a ‘toilet-cleaner-product company’ but while he is being demoted in his married life, he comes across Neha, a vivacious single mom and a friend of his best buddy, Aditi. The story in fact begins with Sid landing himself at an awkward, embarrassing self-invited mess of a first encounter with Neha, at Aditi’s house during a birthday party.
An unexpected twist in the story leads Sid to hit an end of the road in his personal life and thickening the plot are his two best friends one who seemingly back-stabs and another over-stepping her limits. Typical of Sid, he ticks off Neha too with an obnoxious act, an act I find was an amateurish episode in the story which otherwise treads nicely. Yashodhara could have really come up with a better twist there, Oh I am not going to let the ‘brat’ out here, if you thought I am going to spill it out. While he drowns himself with beer and tries to sort of a new phase in life, comes an almost cinematic climax, leading to a new happy beginning.
If this sounds a weary story, trust me it is not. Yashodhara adds an undercurrent of well-measured humor that never allows for a dreary chapter. While Sid sorts out his life perpetually, it is always with a tinge of comedy throughout as the cover says of a ‘Man In Progress’.
To conclude, Sorting Out Sid makes for a good casual read. Thankfully the humor keeps it engaging and few assorted characters like his obnoxious boss, the seductive HR lady, Kippy the toddler adds to the masala flavour. Of course there are a few loose-ends and hurriedly forced twists but that can be discounted and forgiven. Sorting Out Sid makes for a good bed-time read or on a metro ride or to while away your weekend along with a good cup of, what else we would recommend but Ginger Chai of course!