What Mina Did
Author: Geeta Menon
Publisher: Rupa Publications
We all have a past- a past that is either so good that it can be shared with everyone or a past that haunts us every day and however hard we try, we cannot escape its aftermath. A victim of our circumstances, it becomes difficult to adjust with the reality and thereby, we lose out on the people/ things we hold dear. ‘What Mina Did’ is a spine-chilling tale of trust, betrayal, longing and destiny. This is not a love story. Nor it is a murder mystery. This story describes the mental turmoil one can go through if the odds are not in favour!
When Mina’s life oscillates between the present and her diabolical past, her mind refuses to comply. Anxiety takes over her sanity and the nightmares scare her even in the broad daylight. Struggling to come to grips with the fact that she has to sell her maternal house where her mother was murdered (read butchered), she loses out on other relationships as well. While her husband proves out to be more than just a good human being, her best friend’s perplexing behaviour is something that adds spice to the story.
Ingeniously crafted characters of Mina and Neelu set the wheels of the story rolling. As the layers of lies and family drama quickly mount, the suspense becomes compelling. But it doesn’t last long, for the introduction of sub-plot snatches away the adequacy of the climax.
There is no denying the fact that the novella is a fast-paced gripping thriller. Packed with twists, the taut narrative will entertain the readers. However, the shift of focus from ‘what Mina actually did’ to ‘what Neelu did’ is something that I didn’t quite enjoy. There are a lot of details that could have been left out like Mina’s work schedule, her daughter’s fuss over not letting Dee go and the details about Mina’s gynaecologist. Instead, more attention was required to be given to Mina’s role in the murder.
On a positive note, the prowess with which the author weaves the toxic mentality of the society in the narrative is praiseworthy. Hinting subtly towards sexism, patriarchy, casteism and racism, she is successful to a large extent in throwing light on the social fabric that our society adorns.
Nevertheless, ‘What Mina Did’ is a gripping read. You’re left agog at Mina’s ability to cope well under stressful circumstances.
Overall, this book is a breezy read and offers genuine moments of chills and thrills!
Best wishes to the author!
Buying Link: Amazon