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Book Review : 'You Touched My Heart'
Leema Dhar is earning a good name amongst the well-known Indian Fiction writers. What amazes us more is the fact that Leema has written four books in a span of just fourteen months – a rare feat. All her novels till date such as, Till We Meet Again, The Girl Who Kissed the Snake , Mom and I Love a Terrorist , etc. work through a feminine consciousness. Leema , a prominent and an upcoming English fiction writer, delineates the undulations of the female ego or self, under the pressure of critical human predicaments and emotional affinities.

'You Touched My Heart' is her fourth novel, which deals with one of the most important theme and sub themes of literature, is a quest for 'self' in life as well as in literature, the attempts to understand ‘self’ are predominant. All human activities are perhaps centered on these endeavours coming in terms with the self. In literature also, the search for self is a predominant concern for authors of all genres.

The main character of the novel is negotiating her way through difficult situations in relation to her identity, as part of her family. Confessions are always intriguing. The main protagonists Leema desperately wants to be interesting.  She desperately wants to believe that she doesn't care about whether or not she is interesting. Leema is naturally strong willed, audacious, and is willing to accept tacit public disapproval for her actions in order to live her life the way she wants to. She wants to expand barriers of attitude and behavior. She wants full independence to invent herself as she wishes. She wants full freedom to create only herself, and wants to be this way at all costs.

Besides individual characteristics, the concept of self can also be understood through relationships in the story. In quest of love, Leema runs away from her home and loving parents. Her adventure ends in Mussoorie.

She did not get what she wanted in the form of love. She tried to search for love in her two friends, but failed. Ultimately her expedition comes to an end where she finds the convoluted reality of life after meeting to an age-old artist.

She has given a beautiful description of Mussoorie in her novel:

''The sun had risen high in the sky; Mussoorie at noon was a beauty to watch, the soothing warmth provided by the tender gentle rays that would eventually kiss each part of your body like a faithful companion.''

It has the form of great writing.  Vocabulary, sentence and paragraph structure - it is a perfect simulation of literature. Again we can see it:

''The tall pine trees hovering on the hills shone bright as the morning rays fell upon them, making them shine like diamonds, as if parenting and nurturing them stealthily.''

As confessional writing originates from the personal or private obligations of a writer to express directly or indirectly his or her own experiences , problems and complexes, the real subject matter of confessional writing is the writer’s own self, and it is his or her quarrel or understanding with the ‘self’ that constitutes the real thematic pattern.

The journey of the Leema is given a mythical resonance, as the events of the novel to episodes that occur in any adventure. I enjoyed reading the book more so because of the writing style. The ending is unusual, unlike what I expected. And, when it comes in a paperback with a bold-lettered title of 'You Touched My Heart' – it is sure to grab eyeballs. Moreover, the explicit cover design and an attractive intro at the back-cover of the book are provoking enough to give it a try.

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