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  30 Dec 2021  Of Memories and Choices: A review of Deepa A Agarwal’s The Hangover of Choices

Of Memories and Choices: A review of Deepa A Agarwal’s The Hangover of Choices

SPOTLIGHT
Published : Dec 30, 2021, 12:39 pm IST
Updated : Dec 30, 2021, 12:39 pm IST

This work of contemporary fiction brings to fore some themes that are spoken about only the surface issue

 Deepa A Agarwal- Author of Hangover of Choices and Founder of Re-Link Consulting. - By Arrangement
  Deepa A Agarwal- Author of Hangover of Choices and Founder of Re-Link Consulting. - By Arrangement

In an engaging and gripping way, this tale draws attention to some unspoken aspects of our times-mental health, self-image, identity, authenticity, and more, especially from a woman’s perspective.

When thirty-five-year-old Nidhi finds herself on her deathbed under unexpected circumstances, she comes face to face with many shocking revelations, of herself! As the doctors work furiously to identity the causes for her sudden collapse, her mind starts to take down memory lane. Somewhere hidden in the memories lie the answers and the true reasons for her breakdown. Much to her anguish, not to mention reluctance, she is forced to now watch herself become the protagonist and the viewer of her life simultaneously.

Initially, she thinks this is just something that happens to everyone who is on the verge of death and tries hard to shut out her life being played out like a movie. But soon realizes that there are important lessons to be learnt. As she now engages more actively with this experience, she begins to herself in a new light: for the first time, she clearly sees the traps of her own making.

Facing her are many confrontations; dissociation with sexuality, a low self-image, denial of mental health issues, the perceived need for outer success and how externally focused she had been all along. As her protective mechanisms start to crumble, she recognizes how jealousy of her best friend, Ziya, and deep-seated anger towards her husband, Kumar, had defined her entire life.

Along the way, her memories take her back into the childhood and formative years, when she had made certain decisions and chosen certain identities that she had worked her entire life to live by. She realizes that everything that she had ever done in her life was to please other people only to find their love and acceptance. And in the process of doing this, she had forgotten what she truly believed in, to the point of completely ignoring her deepest desires and aspirations.

That’s when she begins to have a hangover- of her own choices! The question however remains- will she live and have another chance at life?

Written in an extremely engaging and unique manner, this work of contemporary fiction brings to fore some themes that are spoken about only the surface issue- mental health, self-image, sexuality and inner life. It will make you laugh sometimes, bring forth tears at others while gently nudging you into a self-reflective space. You will also get a glimpse of what goes on behind the scenes during a counseling session.

Debut author, Deepa A Agarwal, has managed to offer some thought-provoking triggers on living life authentically and the futility of managing external identities. She is an entrepreneur, working in the space of Human Rights and Mental Health. Her work in presenting a voice for the historically excluded groups has won her the title of Exceptional Woman of Excellence by the Women Economic Forum and the Centre for Global Inclusion. She has also been featured amongst the top authors of 2021 to follow by The Hindustan Times.

 

Disclaimer: No Asian Age journalist was involved in creating this content. The group also takes no responsibility for this content.

Tags: infocus