Stars From The Borderless Sea

Stars from The Borderless Sea, a debut novel from Dr. Shalini Mullick is a collection of three separate stories, Sayonee, Humsafar, and, Humraaz. The three women in the book are well-settled, independent, and strong women. The book is a soulful portrayal of love, life, and the search for happiness.

The book starts with a quote from Rumi, which happens to be one of my favourite: Out beyond the ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.

Sayonee or soulmate is the story of Geetika and Shekhar, college-mates from different economic strata, who fall in love. Like a gently blossoming flower, this story unfolds over a series of letters (from Shekhar to Geetika). We are a part of Geetika’s journey from riches to rags to riches, and her unerring faith in their love.

Look out for the scene when she meets Shekhar at his house. It is sublime, soaked in love.

And then, she stepped out into the night, taking the soft embers of the fireplace, the shimmering moonlight, and their silence with her. – Shalini Mullick.

Humsafar or companion, the second story revolves around Rachna, Rajat, and Venkat. Rachna, a paediatrician married to Rajat, an engineer, is happy and content with her married life. Her life is her children, her husband, and the hospital she is setting up.

An invitation from the past sets off certain events in her life, and she harks back to the incidents that took place when she was a student when she tied the knot and later on. Here, we see Rajat examining his emotions, his choices, his actions, and their domino effect.

This story can be summed up by the love, understanding, and misunderstandings between a couple and the personal rituals that form a bedrock in their marriage. Ice cream makes a cameo appearance in this story, and it keeps you hooked.

The last part of the magnificent book and my personal favourite, Humraaz or confidante is Mahima’s journey. Mahima, hailing from a Marwari family settled in Kolkatta, moves to New Delhi after her marriage to Pawan. Seeking independence and a few hours for herself, she is seeking a job in the already-crowded Delhi workforce. After landing a job, she meets her boss, Sanjay. The rest of the story examines her relationship with him over the ups and downs in her life. Mahima, in my inexpert opinion, was the most complex character. A protagonist that I resonated the most with – a young mother who against the odds, rises to the top, finds love and companionship in the most unexpected place.

Shalini Mullick has the ability to dig deep into the characters and present them as normal yet flawed humans – ones that make mistakes, ones that live life against all odds, and ones that find love in their quest. And they will take it in any way. The women have a spine of steel, determination, and an insane urge to keep moving despite whatever life throws at them. The author weaves her magic while taking us on a journey of her lead women, making us cheer for them from the stands.

When I finished the book, I exited my Kindle app and placed my phone down. I closed my eyes and let the book’s waves wash over me. A lot of feelings, thoughts arose in my mind and the invariable comparison to one’s life. What would I have done in similar situations? What would I have done if I was Geetika, Rachna, or Mahima? Can I be as brave as them? The afterglow of the book still stays with me and I find myself, often thinking of those women.

In conclusion, Stars From The Borderless Sea is a soul-stirring book, and I would urge you to pick your copies up @…/stars-from-the-borderless-sea

Go, now!