beatings, humiliation and indifference drive Aradhana into the
arms of Mark Stratton, a Canadian citizen, in whom she finds
her ideal man. Just as she begins to experience love for what
it is and ought to be in the sylvan surroundings of
Darjeeling, Divakar finds out about their rendezvous through
his spying servants. Her torture grows as does her need to
break free. The attitude of her unsupportive parents and
social pressure together compound her misery, forcing her to
reconsider her pitiable situation and marriage.
Aradhana contemplates running
away but her pregnancy from her "unconsummated"
marriage comes as a shock, weakening her plans and with it her
courage. However, when the ill-treatment of her does not stop
even after the birth of her daughter, she decides she walk
out. With Mark by her side she flees to Chennai to seek help
from Ramola, Maya’s childhood friend and a leading lawyer
and social activist.
point the book loses its originality. Divakar hounds the
lovers; there is mud-slinging in the media; pregnant Ramola is
gangraped and killed for taking up Aradhana’s case and her
husband is framed; Aradhana’s parents come around; and after
prolonged litigation villainous Divakar is sentenced to death.
Ramola, Aradhana holds herself responsible for her death and
feels she cannot be with Mark yet. She decides to manage an
institute for hapless women started by Ramola. Several months
later and after much persuasion Aradhana leaves for Canada to
first half of the book is vivid and truly captivating, the
second is predictable and hurried. Also, Maya’s character is
incidental in that throughout the crisis in Aradhana’s life,
she remains out of the picture, as does Neela who is soon
forgotten after she is forced to stay with her in-laws
following the death of her husband.
For want of an imaginative
wrapping-up, "The Web of Silk and Gold" remains an
average book with a good start.