The Alchemy of Desire [ http://writetothepoint.blogspot.com/2013/11/the-name-tarun-tejpal-is-associated.html#] is
The third and last book in my list of the three scandalous books which I have read.
On the front of it this book seemed to me pretty ordinary with the story revolving around a young married couple who truly love each other and how a chance finding of a trunk load of personal diaries belonging to an English lady living in India prior to our independence, changes their lives forever.
But when you start reading the book you are taken by surprise by the explicit sexual content of the story. This was exactly my reaction on reading such graphic scenes by an Indian author and that too from someone like Mr.Tejpal ( I am sure I must be sounding like a prude, but this was my first and honest reaction to the book!). I have definitely read books worse than this but this book was a bit of a shock for me as the sexual content made me a tad bit uncomfortable and I was not able to sync it with the story.
I have written a post about this book earlier and in it I have praised the story and Mr.Tejpal's way of writing. I have been and am still pretty impressed by the topics chosen by him and the way he has moulded his stories be It the Alchemy of Desire or The Valley of Masks to keep the reader engrossed in the story. He is undoubtedly a master storyteller but I was not comfortable with the way sex was used in the story. It seemed kind of forcefully added to the story and not being a part of the story.
I was once discussing this book with a cousin of mine and I told him that even though I have read many scandalous books of many genres since I was a teenager but this book had the ability to stun me even now, when I thought I was mature enough to read any sexual content without it affecting me.
Overall it is an interesting read if one can get over the sexual content and enjoy the story of a young couple who though are financially very weak but are very happy to be with each other.