About the Author: Known more for her Muzaffar Jung series about a Mughal detective in seventeenth Century, Delhi, Madhulika Liddle is also a writer of short stories. Many of these short stories have bagged awards, including the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association’s short Story Competition in 2003. She intermittently writes on travel destinations and blogs about pre-70s cinema at www.dustedoff.wordpress.com.
I found out about Madhulika from a friend (whom she has given a special mention in the Acknowledgements page. Her father retired post a stint as a police officer. Therefore, frequent transfers were the norm for her. Her family remaining on the move, she was brought up in places as far apart as Kumarsain and Haflong, Srinagar and Gwalior. Post 1985, they have been staying in Delhi.
She began working as an Assistant Manager, Food and Beverage Controls, in a hospitality company. She holds a diploma in Hotel Management. Post that she moved to Advertising, primarily in Client Servicing, but soon started handling Creative too. Next came a travel portal (Journeymart) and then on to an IT major, where she worked as an instructional designer for 4 years. By this time, she had become too exhausted to think straight (nearly all the jobs called for work days of at least 10 hours), she dumped it all and took to writing what she wanted to do, full time. After that there was no looking back.
About the book: This book has 12 short stories from this author. Be it the office-ghost or the boring husband, who decides to do something drastic to an unfaithful wife, to teach her a lesson, Madhulika explores the realm of black humour.
My take: Half the way through the book, I contacted the author and asked her if there was any special reason why you have written most of the stories in the first person? She replied “No, no particular reason. I just like writing in the first person because I think it makes for a better expression of one’s feelings. And the sequence of the stories is just coincidental – so it just happens that this story is the 8th one; it could well have been the first.”
Almost all the stories talk about a crime and how people you trust can act against you in the most stealthy manner. The author has used dark humour very well to suggest how people can get away with crime (except for the 1st story). Fearful of divulging too much, let me bottle up and stop my review of the book here.
Book Title: My Lawfully Wedded Husband and other stories.
Genre(s): Dark/black humour, Crime Fiction.
Author: Madhulika Liddle.
Publisher (Year): Westland Ltd. (2012)
Number of Pages: 215
Price: Rs. 250/-