A Breath of Fresh Air

A Breath of Fresh Air On the night of December Anjali waits for her army officer husband to pick her up at the train station in Bhopal India In an instant her world changes forever Her anger at his being late tu

  • Title: A Breath of Fresh Air
  • Author: Amulya Malladi
  • ISBN: 9780345450296
  • Page: 375
  • Format: Paperback
  • On the night of December 3, 1984, Anjali waits for her army officer husband to pick her up at the train station in Bhopal, India In an instant, her world changes forever Her anger at his being late turns to horror when a catastrophic gas leak poisons the city air Anjali miraculously survives Her marriage does not.A smart, successful schoolteacher, Anjali is now remarriOn the night of December 3, 1984, Anjali waits for her army officer husband to pick her up at the train station in Bhopal, India In an instant, her world changes forever Her anger at his being late turns to horror when a catastrophic gas leak poisons the city air Anjali miraculously survives Her marriage does not.A smart, successful schoolteacher, Anjali is now remarried to Sandeep, a loving and stable professor Their lives would be nearly perfect, if not for their young son s declining health But when Anjali s first husband suddenly reappears in her life, she is thrown back to the troubling days of their marriage with a force that impacts everyone around her.Her first husband s return brings back all the uncertainty Anjali thought time and conviction had healed about her decision to divorce, and about her place in a society that views her as scandalous for having walked away from her arranged marriage As events unfold, feelings she had guarded like gold begin to leak away from her, spreading out into the world and challenging her once firm beliefs Rich in insight into Indian culture and psychology, A Breath of Fresh Air resonates with meaning and the abiding power of love In a landscape as intriguing as it is unfamiliar, Anjali s struggles to reconcile the roles of wife and ex wife, working woman and mother, illuminate both the fascinating duality of the modern Indian woman and the difficult choices all women must make.From the Hardcover edition.

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    1 thought on “A Breath of Fresh Air”

    1. Onvan : A Breath of Fresh Air - Nevisande : Amulya Malladi - ISBN : 345450299 - ISBN13 : 9780345450296 - Dar 240 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2002

    2. I cried like a freaking baby! Much different than her other book The Mango Season in tone but both books deal with human emotion and all the complexities therein and what happens when life doesn't turn out exactly like you (and your family) planned. If you are interested in Indian fiction and love a good cry, this is a good one.

    3. Oh boywhen was the last time I cried so much while reading a book??? I think it was almost two years ago while reading Taiye Selasi's "Ghana Must Go". But I didn't cry as much as I did this time with Amulya Malladi's "A Breath of Fresh Air". This time it was horrible! I was bawling like a baby!But I'm glad I read this book. I'm ashamed to say that I've never heard of the 1984 Bhopal Disaster prior to reading this book. That's the good thing about reading, it expands our horizons. This was a shor [...]

    4. Powerful! You will be in tears by the end! A true thought provoking book about what it means to forgive! Also a great look at the role of women in Indian society and the taboos of divorce. Makes me thank every feminist who fought for women's rights every time I read quotes from Anju's mom about her sexual responsibilities to her husband! Also loved the narratives of both husbands-it pitted you one against the other and gave you an insight into the minds of two very different men. Who was right a [...]

    5. This was the last book by Amulya Malladi I read, and she doesn't disappoint. The books explores two hardships that one may encounter in Indian literature; the Bhopal tragedy at the Union Carbide plant, and the process of divorce. The story takes place entirely in India, unlikeThe Mango Season andServing Crazy With Curry. As an engineer, I was drilled in plant safety: the Bhopal tragedy, caused by a bad design that allowed a pressure build-up and rupture of the methylisocyanate (or MIC) tanks and [...]

    6. A very interesting book that had me hooked. I read it in a day. Books like these keep my love for Indian authors going. Will definitely be reading the rest of the books by Malladi.It was a very easy read, the language was lucid, the characters were relatable, the facts were well researched. It offers a beautiful insight into Indian culture and traditions and it talks about how divorce is looked down upon in Indian society still. Will definitely recommend to anyone looking for books by Indian aut [...]

    7. I didn't like this one quite as much as 'Serving Crazy with Curry', that one really gripped me. But this one was good, I guess the tone was just a bit quieter. If I'd read it first, I probably wouldn't miss her style in 'curry' as much. I'd had no idea that the Bhopal tragedy caused birth defects afterward, it's all so despicable and tragic.

    8. I thought it was interesting to use a real event to shape the story. The book centers more on a woman's role in India in 1984-2000, then on the Bhopal gas tragedy. However, when an author uses a real event from history, I think the purpose is to offer commentary and I didn't feel like the author gave any other perspectives on how the tragedy affected people other than these few. This was disappointing to me. The novel does a good job of portraying how hard life was for women, how they had very l [...]

    9. On the night of the Bhopal gas tragedy, Anjali waited in a Bhopal train station, her arrival forgotten by her adulterous husband. The suffering she witnessed and experienced that night left her with lingering physical and emotional wounds, and while Anjali survived, her marriage did not. Once a superficial but dutiful wife, Anjali had been thrilled with the status her talented military officer husband provided her. But life as a military wife brought her into contact with diversity previously un [...]

    10. This story takes many of the customs in India and weaves it into a story about learning, freedom, independence, and love. Anjali is a divorced women, a status that her culture looks down upon. Even her parents blame her for the failure of her marriage. But after trying to naively make her marriage work, Anjali is pushed to think about her own life first when her first husband forgets to pick her up at the train station the night of a gas attack. Paired with his adultery, Anjali leaves him.Years [...]

    11. 3.5 starsThis is the story of Anjali telling the story of her two marriages to Sandeep and his previous husband Prakash.The central plot concerns Prakash had forgotten to pick up Anjali in the railway station to take her home which was the night of the Bhopal gas tragedy (December 3, 1984) - the gas explosion from the Union Carbide factory.Both Anjali and her son Amar will suffer the consequences of Prakash's irresponsibility act.This is a very touching story told by 4 narrators which are the ma [...]

    12. This was a quick read. The story was not that engaging. The writing was dry and simple. Also I couldn't connect with the characters and feel the emotions. Anjali - She looked feeble minded despite having a husband ( Sandeep) who deeply loved her. She was in safe hands - for Sandeep her past did not matter at all. I could not comprehend why she would wish Indu to dislike Prakash as much as she did to vindicate herself she did the right thing. Anjali's parents - They were next to impossible. It na [...]

    13. I returned home from the library with this book about five o'clock this evening. I've finished it in just a few hours. I could not put it down. Anjali's heartache leapt off the page. I was/am profoundly affected by the sadness of this woman's life. I would recommend this book to anyone feeling needlessly sorry for themselves and in need of a reality check. I could barely read the last pages through my tears as my healthy, beautiful children played alongside me. Although I can't shake the sadness [...]

    14. Was a good read, though I didnot like it as much as Mango season by the same author. It was a poignant tale entwining Bhopal tragedy and Indira Gandhi's assassination with an infidel husband and a wife with a backbone, who decides to leave him and build a life for herself, little knowing that a few accidental moments of her past will haunt her future and affect her child. I liked the characters, though there were too many incidents occuring at the same time. I would recommend this to all Indian [...]

    15. This book started out promising, but it just didn't rise up. To include Indira Gandhi's assassination and the Union Carbide disaster, but then explore them so little struck me as a terrible waste. The rest of the story was focused on 3 people: a woman, her ex-husband and her current husband. The taboo on divorce is a continuous background. But, overall the story about these three (and told, alternatingly, from each of their perspectives) just kept repeating. Finally a little forward motion, but [...]

    16. Very readable. As a non-Indian, it gave a glimpse into some aspects of that culture, which always helps to broaden understanding in our own relationships with people from other cultural backgrounds. It also showed how alike we are with universal themes in terms of family relationships, the healing that goes with forgiveness, and the strong bonds of friendship.

    17. This book was astonishing. I would recommend it to anyone. However it can be tricky to read. It goes from one narrator to the next every other chapter and it can get confusing from time to time of who is speaking. A Breath of Fresh Air teaches you that you can be who you want and you can love who you desire. Anjali grew up in a family where she couldn’t be whom she really was, she had to hide from her family. She teaches all of the readers that we all can be who we want, we control ourselves. [...]

    18. I read another of Amulya Malladi's books, "House of Happy Mothers," which I didn't like and quit reading before it ended. "A Breath of Fresh Air" is a good read! A story well told re/a true and tragic event that occurred in India, with well fleshed characters, and which kept me interested from beginning to end. My only objection, and why I couldn't give it 5 stars, is due to her jumping back and forth between the main characters. It did allow the reader to understand each person's feelings, but [...]

    19. Fantastic book. The story starts with the Bhopal gas disaster in 1984. I've read some about the actual incident, so it was very interesting reading a novel set in that time, and telling one family's story about the repercussions for many years after. The best part of Malladi's writing is how she shows how people are really complicated. Even when you think you can peg someone as the 'villain' and you have them figured out, she gives you a view of them from a different perspective and you see no o [...]

    20. Le 3 décembre 1984, une explosion se produit dans une usine d'Union Carbide à Bhopal. Je m'en souviens, c'était chaotique, des milliers de gens sont morts ou blessés, une attaque d'une grande nocivité.J’ai senti mes poumons comme écorchés en dedans par des ongles, comme si quelqu’un avait lancé de la poudre de chili rouge dans mes narines. J’ai inhalé à nouveau et c’était pareil. J’ai grippé ma gorge et fermé les yeux qui me brulaient et larmoyaient. Puis j’ai tenu le bo [...]

    21. Set in India, A Breath of Fresh Air opens as Anjali awaits the arrival of her army officer husband at the train station, only he never comes for her. A horrible accident, a catastrophic gas leak, overtakes many in the city of Bhopal, leaving death and sickness in its wake. At the time, Anjali had been trapped in a terrible marriage, and coming so close to her own death, she decides life is too precious to waste with a man who has betrayed her. In a move that was considered scandalous to her fami [...]

    22. I enjoyed this book, but I wasn't really impressed by it. Certain things did impress me, but overall there were more things that bothered me about the telling of the story.I guess I'll start with the things I did like. The flow of the author's prose and dialogue were done very well. I envy her actually. As a writer I want that kind of quality to my prose. It just seemed to have a nice rhythm. I also liked the historical accuracy and the attention to detail as far as the medical conditions of Anj [...]

    23. It is only well into the last few chapters that the book reveals its soul and dilemma, when Anjali wonders if she could not have had it all so much easier had she stayed within the marriage to Prakash, like so many other women who put up with bad marriages. She observes Indu with envy and resentment. Unfortunately the moral dilemmas are too neatly resolved. By the novel's end this reader's sympathy for Anjali's incessant lament over her fate and her son's fatal illness due to Prakash's forgetful [...]

    24. Anjali's grandmother introduces her to a dashing army man in the hopes of making a match. When Anjali meets him, she is excited by the thought of marrying him and leading an exciting life of moving from place to place and having lots of parties to give and to go to. Her parents think that this will be a good match so the marriage is arranged. But Anjali faces some surprises as soon as the wedding has taken place. After less than one year of marriage, Anjali finds that her husband has been cheati [...]

    25. On the night of December 3, 1984, Anjali waits for her Army officer husband to pick her up at Bhopal Railway Station. The delay in his picking her up changes her life forever, when the catastrophic gas leak poisons the city. She manages to survive but her marriage does not. That night in the poisonous city, changed her life in more ways than one, and as she later came to realize, in ways that would affect her lifelong.Years later, remarried to Sandeep, and mother to Amar, a young boy who is seve [...]

    26. The story made me think of the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. Although it didn't take as many lives as the Bhopal tragedy, it affected the lives of many, including my brother's, who was born a few months after and suffered from spasmophilia for years. This is my first Amulya Malladi book and I enjoyed her writing. I am looking forward to reading her other novels. This is not my first book about India and Indian people and I notice every book I read presents the same issues: women treated poorly, ev [...]

    27. 3.5 starsWhen Anjali's husband fails to pick her up in the train station, she is caught in the Bhopal Gas tragedy. Though she survives, Anjali is left with physical and emotional scars. Following the tragedy and defying Indian tradition, Anjali divorces her husband, goes back to school and eventually meets someone else. Some fifteen years later, Anjali runs into her ex-husband causing a whole plethora of emotions that had been buried, to come to light. The Bhopal Gas tragedy is real and it happe [...]

    28. A novel about the Bhopal gas disaster of 1984. Anjali was a young woman with a strained relationship with her husband Prakash, on the night when a pesticide company (accidentally? due to poor maintenance? mismanagement? court cases are still pending in 2014) released toxic gases over the city, killing thousands. Anjali survived but in the aftermath divorced Prakash. Most of the novel takes place fifteen years later, when she's remarried and struggling to care for her son, who has several fatal h [...]

    29. A Breath of Fresh Air underscores what I love about fiction. A book so often implores me to do further research into an event or a set of circumstances. In this case, the Bhopal gas leak in India in the early 80's. A Breath of Fresh Air is set in India during the time of the Bhopal gas leak & Indira Ghandi's assassination. The book chronicles what happened to Anjali as she waited for her husband to pick her up at the train station on the night of the devastating gas leak when more than 3000 [...]

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