Hush a Bye Baby by Deepanjana Pal – Book Review

5 years ago Shaili Desai 0

Deepanjana Pal’s first fictional novel – Hush a bye baby – starts with a scene headlined by a Radio Jockey on air with well-known Mumbai gynaecologist Dr. Nandita Rai, taking questions on sex and women’s bodies. Rai is confident, witty and naughty in her answers and very, very feminist. It’s a classic first chapter with a great hook for female readers.

Book Cover

As the story moves ahead, we are introduced to the Mumbai Police who are investigating Dr. Rai’s involvement in sex selective abortions at her clinic. Cognitive Dissonance abounds as you wonder why a doctor who’s famous for standing up for women’s rights could possibly be involved in such a crime. More dissonance as you find a cool, detached Dr. Rai confessing her involvement to her lawyer. The rest of the novel tries to solve the case with the help of Reshma Gabuji, a young police woman conveniently belongs to a rich family, well known in business as well as political circles.

The book starts out well, however, the story soon veers off towards too-convenient plot devices and the ending is lazy, unbelievable and clumsy. It’s like the time when you see a ‘50% off’ sign outside your favourite store, only to find a small asterisk at the bottom with the letters ‘Conditions Apply’ written on it. Yes, you find that you still can’t afford that cute little black dress, after trying it on and admiring yourself a thousand times in the changing room. Reading this book was just like that – that cloud of disappointment just wouldn’t go.

About the book: Hush a Bye Baby | Deepanjana Pal | Juggernaut Books | 264 Pages