Skip to main content

The Secret Wishlist by Preeti Shenoy


Have you ever been banished from your parents' good books because of a secret kiss when you were just sixteen?

Did you spend nearly all your life trying to win back the trust and approval of your parents for that one mistake you made?

Have you regretted your marriage that your parents rushed you into and you agreed out of sheer guilt? 

Have you ever made a secret wishlist with something like "have sex with someone other than husband" on it? 

Yes or no, don't miss reading Preeti Shenoy's recently released novel titled 'The Secret Wishlist.' 




From page one, you are bound to get pulled into Diksha's loveless marriage, her constant adjustments to Sandeep, a husband who expects everything to be done to suit his preference at all times and her need to feel valued as a person. There are so many instances when you would simply grit your teeth and wish that her boor of a husband would do something, anything, to just appreciate his wife. But no, that doesn't happen.  

While reading this, I thought of another book that I had read titled 'The One and a Half Wife' by Meghna Pant about an Indian girl whose parents arranged her marriage to a rich and handsome NRI but he is constantly judging her and finding fault with her than appreciating her and yes, they end up divorcing. 

The protagonist Diksha in 'The Secret Wishlist'  goes through and how she finds her character becoming more defined and sharpened when she makes the choices for her own happiness. I was also reminded of 'Custody' by Manju Kapurwhen Diksha meets Abhay her old school crush and they begin to meet secretly. (Correction from a reader called @Anonymous: It is not Abhay, it is Ankit whom Diksha meets secret....) A big thanks to Anonymous for pointing this out.  

I liked the character of Vibha who helps Diksha to put together a wishlist. But the same Vibha  distances herself from Diksha when she finds out about her leaving her husband for Ankit, her old school crush. Hard, tough questions are bound to come up in a society that is conservative about other people's choices, particularly that of married women. But once Diksha makes up her mind, she steels herself to face what lies ahead, even the reproach and anger of her parents and brother. 
   
There are some aspects of the story where as a reader, I wished to know more about. 

For instance, while Diksha and her husband are obviously locked in a loveless marriage, it would have been good to know his side of the story too. I wanted to know more on how Diksha's husband perceives her or what is his back story for the way he behaves to her, something on those lines.

Just as a coin has two sides, every character has a good and bad side. Diksha does try to communicate with her husband but I felt that she gives up too easily on him. Or is that she fears to confront him? Ultimately, the marriage breakdown is also because the couple did not communicate to each other clearly enough.  

Abhay's feelings about his mother's relationship with Ankit is another aspect of the story that would have been interesting to know about in greater detail. 

Secretly, I had liked the character of Gaurav, the salsa teacher, so much that I had hoped that Gaurav and Diksha would fall in love with each other and make a life together. They seemed to have 'chemistry' sizzling right from the time they meet. So it feels slightly like an anti-climax that it is Ankit who boomerangs back into Diksha's life again and somehow Ankit's character at the beginning wasn't one that you'd feel impressed with as a reader but then there is the issue of age - he was probably playing his age at the time. Gaurav, on the other hand, seemed to be perfect hero material for Diksha.

 In her writing, Preeti Shenoy deftly grasps a reader's need to be encouraged to live, to love and to be of significant value in the lives of loved ones.

Liked this book review? Then check out these too:
♥♥  I thank you with all my heart for reading my post. I dedicate this post with love and gratitude to all those who enjoy reading books by Indian writers. REQUEST: Please SHARE this article on your favorite social networks. Every share, like or tweet makes me reach out to more people who love reading books by Indian writers. I am grateful and I appreciate you for doing so. ♥♥

Comments

Mélange said…
You know what ? Just after completing this book two days back,I had the vibes that you are going to scribble on this..Lol..that's here.

In fact,I loved this story telling better than her other two books.Though this loveless marriage is where she anchors both her (piece of cake and tea for two) stories,this one I know several of such real life characters.And to the genuine question you have asked there on why Diksha gives up easily,that's just natural Swapna.A girl who has nothing to hold on,an education to relax,who opted for an earlier submission,how can she talk ? Then yes,I too believe this Abhay or the kids in her 'piece of cake... reacted is little bit boring.Of course what she trying to say is evident.If a father been so self obsessed,the kids are tend to go away as well.But Preethi,as an author has to think it over.Cliches won't work for any writer.She has to come up with innovative ideas to be with the audience.
Thanks Swapna.(vibha is okay but loved Tanu more for being the real non-judgmental support)
Shilpa Garg said…
Wow!! Looks very promising!! Will definitely check it out! :)
eTokari said…
Visit www.etokari.com to get best deals when buying old/new books for yourselves or for your loved ones.

we are in process of uploading our inventory, In case you donn't find your book, email on support@etokari.com and we will source it for you!


Happy shopping. Don't forget to send a feedback if you have one!

P.S. In case you are an Author, write to us on support@etokari.com and we will host your book on the portal.
R. Ramesh said…
interesting..how u doing ji? spl hi to fmly...waiting to c u all guys in dxb..wishes always
Mom with a Dot said…
Very interesting review Swapna! Seems like I would like reading this one.
Was thinking of you as I posted a spiritual post last night!
Ha ha, Melange, it seems like our minds and thoughts are connected and whoa, the post manifested your thoughts. :)

About the characterization, yes, I got your point about why it may have been difficult for Diksha to have put forth a strong confrontation with her husband.
You are right about kids turning away from self-obsessed father. That makes sense.
Hey Shilpa, do let me know your thoughts on it.
All's going well RameshJI. Hope to see you and family in Delhi too. Sanand conveys his regards and Adi sends a big hug to you :)
Do let me know your thoughts on this book. Nice to know you thought of me while posting something spiritual - that means a lot to me personally. A BIG THANK YOU.
Anonymous said…
Hi swapna, i have read the book "The Secret Wish List" and also your review on it. im very impressed by your writing skills :)i would like to see you as a author too. and i would like to make you aware that you have written "when Diksha meets Abhay her old school crush and they begin to meet secretly", it is ankith there and not abhay that she meets :)
This comment has been removed by the author.
@Anonymous: Thank you so much for the encouraging words and warm feedback. Hope to hit the book stands some day as an author too:) And you know what, that correction was a very good one coz I had missed that altogether. What a blooper! Hey, its really good to get such honest feedback, many thanks once again!
Anonymous said…
your welcome :) and thank you for the reply. please do let me know if you publish a book. Because i will be the first to read it :)
Ann Hamilton said…
I am from Illinois US & visit India quite often. 20 years back when I started visiting India, I would never have found a statement such as this in Indian media, much less in a public book review -

"Have you ever made a secret wishlist with something like "have sex with someone other than husband" on it?"

An increasing number of Indian writers nowadays are focusing on the female adultery theme in their writings. Noticed this first while at my friend home in south Delhi where I occasionally stay when I visit Northern India. Her daughter had a collection of these books on her shelf. Both Mom & daughter share these books. Another friend of mine in Southern India tells me of the private book club which she recently hosted at her home, where the members (all female) read their personal writings (in the same genre).

These are considered natural in the west. But what is the driving force behind the trend in a country where sex is a huge taboo? This will have difficulty coexisting with the lofty traditional values Indian women follow (and find pride in doing so), but what concerns me is: won't the subtle/indirect sexual cues from married & single women be picked up by male members of society leading to undesirable consequences?
Amit Agarwal said…
An engrossing tale of an Indian Women who as a young girl has ambitions and her own identity. Yet, she succumbs to parental pressures and ends up getting married to someone she doesn't look up. She has an independent house, a smart kid, high earning husband and supposedly everything that typical conservative Indian Parents would call for in a perfect Married life. But there's definitely more to life. An identity for oneself, a relationship with your better half that gives you space to breathe and be yourself, a friend in a husband. These are the traits Diksha never finds in her husband. A sequence of events that lead her to realizing what she wants our of life and that gives birth to her "Secret Wishlist".
The narration is beautiful and only an Author of the Caliber of Preeti Shenoy can put forth her ideas so flawlessly that you build an instant connect. Her style of writing hits you gently yet deep within, that you would want to get up and take charge of your life, married or unmarried, young or old, the novel will push you to pause and think if you are what you wanted in life. If not, it's time to get up and get going. Preeti Shenoy has a clear and lucid style of writing that keeps you gripped to the novel. I finished it in 3 hours straight and I am all charged up to take ownership of my life.

Most Popular Posts

The Ugly Truth about Caste in Kerala

Many years ago, when I wrote this post on Kerala's caste system, I had not considered the possibility that my thoughts and my personal journey would receive such online abuse or that I would be seen as some one who was trying to insult other castes. The intention of writing is always to share an experience and not to insult others. My experience of motherhood and marriage would be different from yours. When I write about my experience, it is illogical to shout that as being insulting to your experience because our journeys are entirely different narratives. 

My question is - why do you ABUSE any caste or person here? You are free to disagree but why do you ABUSE? How does that reflect on YOU?

In my article, I shared what trials I went through, without any intention to insult any community.The intention of my article is to question - why are we even exchanging insults over an issue called caste? 

Should we not be aspiring to be above caste considerations instead of abusing each other …

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra: Meaning, Benefit of Chanting and Who can Chant the Mantra

There are very few mantras that are as powerful as the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra. [ALSO READ: How to NEVER EVER GIVE UP on the spiritual path]

Mahamrityunjaya Mantra: Benefit of chanting this mantra
This mantra is believed to have the power to remove all sufferings, diseases and bestow the one who chants it with good health and long life. It is also believed that constant contemplation of the Maha Mrityunjaya Mantra can help spiritual aspirants to overcome the cycle of birth and death.
What got me fascinated about this mantra is something personal.  I learned this mantra from my father but it is my maternal grandmother who chanted it all the time and repeatedly told me of its tremendous power to protect. However, I did not chant this mantra regularly. [ Do READ: THE POWER OF LOVE]
But at the age of two, my son was taught some mantras by my mother who explained what it means to him and he became very enthusiastic about chanting the mantras. Following this, my mother taught him the Maha Mrity…

Amazing Signs You are an Earth Angel

Doreen Virtue’s book, “Assertiveness for Earth Angels” brings to life the reality of Earth Angels in very easy way. It’s an exciting must-read! 

[DO READ: The POWER OF LOVE]

Earth Angels have amazing superpowers in: MusicArtsWriting HealingManifesting miracles for others such as controlling weather conditions and  becoming invisible at will.[MUST READ: A Dad's Advice to the Daughter He loves]
http://petalsfromtheheart.blogspot.in/2017/09/a-dads-advice-to-daughter-he-loves-be.html


DO READ: ASK MORE, FEAR LESS.

How to Identify Earth Angels by their Traits
To know whether you are an Earth Angel, take a look at their known traits that are explained in this book:


You have a graceful and compassionate aura that inspires people.Your presence “lifts” everyone to happier spirits – it is proof of who you really are.You don’t judge others but you overdo the “acceptance” bit. So, you tolerate even those who show no respect for boundaries.You cannot stand anyone suffering or being in pain. You are co…

A Dad's advice to the daughter he loves: Be yourself, remember you are special and treasure your strengths

Just a week ago, Dad gave me a very emotional pep talk at the Bangalore airport. The good thing is that whenever I feel emotionally vulnerable or stressed out, I replay Dad's conversation. It lifts me up and instantly brings a huge smile to my face. That's my Dad - yeah! 




As a teenager, Bangalore used to be one of my favorite cities though the garden city was not as ''global'' and ''vibrant'' as it is today. It was a pretty cool place to go shopping for stylish accessories, not that I could splurge and go crazy with shopping but I could do so on a limited budget. So, I used to look forward to our summer trips to Bangalore, from where we would head out to Whitefield. 

The busy, broad streets, the scent of street food and the vibrant atmosphere had always perked me up every time I reached Bangalore. Be it heading to Puttaparthi or Whitefield, my parents and I have traveled to Bangalore so many times that it became a kind of ''routine'…

Five ways to take charge of your anger

“It is wise to direct your anger towards problems -- not people; to focus your energies on answers -- not excuses.” ― William Arthur Ward
Every day, the newspaper headlines are full of scary stories of people killing each other over trivial things - mostly these incidents happen when individuals lose their temper and turn violent. In traffic jams across Noida in the evenings, people don't hesitate to walk out and hit each other. No one stops anyone. Everyone likes a big, bad fight. It's great to vent. After all, what's the big deal about getting angry? After all, if you cannot express what pisses you off, how can you call yourself human? 

[Source: Pixabay] Here's what I think: Anger is an egoistic projection of our own minds.  It also stems from an expectation that has not been fulfilled.

People who get angry easily do not respond to situations rationally.  It destroys them first before it goes out and delivers blows to others around. That is why spiritual masters ask peopl…

Top 10 Skincare tips for Summer

Come summer, and we women worry a lot about how the sun lashes out on our skin. True, skincare tips for the summer are plenty but what about the hushed secrets - yes, those tried and tested family secrets that are passed on from mother to daughters? [ALSO READ: How to NEVER EVER GIVE UP on the spiritual path]




Here are some that are totally easy to do. Best of all, these are effective and bring on a feel-good factor in the peak of summer.

1. Replace water with rosewater. It keeps your skin luminous and fragrant throughout the day. It's a good toner too.

2. Cleanse your skin by combining these ingredients - honey, milk, rosewater/rosepetals and turmeric. Add a dash of olive oil and yes, it feels wonderful.

3. Almond oil body baths are a must-have! You will smell delicious all day. This summer, skip all those body lotions & moisturizers! You will love the way almond oil pampers your skin all day!

4. Use a mixture of almond oil and olive oil for your feet. Your feet will sparkle an…

Gayatri Mantra as Panchamukhi: Get it right or let it go

Most people do not understand the importance of chanting the Gayatri mantra because they are not aware of its power. It is only when I began to read Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba's teachings that I learned how sacred and powerful the chanting of the Gayatri mantra is.
The Vedas represent the breath of God. The Gayatri mantra is the very basis of the Vedas. Try not to undertake chanting the Gayatri mantra as a light endeavor or as a hobby. It has to be chanted with faith, discipline and purity of mind and body. Be steady with your sadhana if you want to reap the spiritual dividend associated with the Gayatri mantra  and never once hesitate once you decide to do it.
Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba said that the Gayatri Mantra is referred to as Pancha Mukhi, the Goddess with five faces that represent the five pranas or life forces. Here's more on it.


Chant the Gayatri Mantra correctly: Pause Five Times Here are some important things to keep in mind while chanting the Gayatri mantra:

1. Wh…

Premam Malayalam Movie Review: A Superb Entertaining Love Story in which Nivin Pauly conquers hearts and Sai Pallavi is a delight to watch

Alphonse Puthren's Malayalam movie "Premam" starring Nivin Pauly has been a most talked about film as Malayalis across the world have shown great love for "Premam."  
"Premam" is a movie that will take you back to the bittersweet memories of your first love, second love and maybe, third and final love!
[Image credit: Google Images]
Premam Malayalam Movie Review: Butterflies are mentally mental, so is love
I had a big smile on my face when I read the words "Butterflies are mentally mental, so is love" on the screen. This was shown just before the credits started to show.
It marks the perfect beginning to a "nutcase" love story! I was all set to enjoy this delicious tale of teenage crush, love & mature love - the phases that each of us have gone through in this journey of life at some time or the other.
Premam Malayalam Movie Review: Story
Premam's story revolves around the butterfly-like, romantic journey of  George David (Nivin Pa…

Anju Sundarikal Malayalam Movie Review: Dulquar Salman in full throttle, Fahadh Faasil disappoints

Anju Sundarikal, as the title suggests 'Five Beautiful Women,' is a poignant anthology of five short films that celebrate five female protagonists and their tumultous lives. These five films play on different themes and emotions, and on the whole, it is an interesting anthology.

Anju Sundarikal - Sethulakshmi The first film, Sethulakshmi, is a heart-wrenching portrayal of sexual abuse of a small girl whose hobby is to collect newspaper clippings of newly wed couples from newspapers and she embarks on getting a similar photograph taken of herself with her best buddy from school. What appears as an innocent wish is the honeytrap that leads the little girl to understand the meaning of fear. 
Each scene in Sethulakshmi seemed to tear into my heart, particularly in a scene where the photographer's hands and glance linger a tad too obscenely on the innocent, unsuspecting girl whose eyes are filled with fear. There is another scene where she is so frightened that she curls up at the…

Why chant Ramayana during the month of Karkidakam

For Keralites across the world who follow the Malayalam calendar, today marks the beginning of the month of Karkidakam. This month, which, decades ago, was known and slightly feared for its torrential rains and negative impact on the health, wealth and well being of Kerala's rural community. 
Why chant Ramayana during Karkidakam To ward off the negative energy unleashed by Nature and its possible repercussions on one's family's overall well being, the wise elders introduced the timeless tradition of every family reading the Ramayana as an oral, spiritual tradition. Thus, it goes without saying that for Keralites who embrace these traditions, the act of reading the Ramayana is as much a spiritual cleansing as it is a kind of tradition they can pass on to bond with their loved family members, particularly children.
In the Ramayana, there is no 'preaching of principles' but you are taken through the Avatar's journey as a human being. Lord Rama depicts how a man shoul…