'When The Wildflowers Bloom' Review: Warp and weft of emotions

The prose is sprinkled with oodles of gentle advice and pearls of wisdom, such as the fact that life gives you only what you expect from it. 

Published: 12th September 2021 05:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th September 2021 01:29 PM   |  A+A-

Rupa Bhullar.

Rupa Bhullar.

Express News Service

A 30-something year old, homemaker and mother of two, Tara has devoted her entire life to her family and children. Over the 17 years of her marriage, her arrogant husband, Tej, has treated her unfairly, making her constantly feel that he is the sole provider for their family. Tired by the repeated humiliation, an unpleasant exchange at a public gathering serves as the last straw for Tara to decide that something in her heavily compromised life needs to drastically change.

When the Wildflowers Bloom
By: Rupa Bhullar
Publisher: Rupa
Pages: 246 Price: Rs 295

Backed by a caring support system—a loving mother, two fiercely protective older sisters, an understanding uncle and two adoring children—Tara navigates the new direction her life is about to embark on. For this, she decides to stay for a while at her maternal grandparents’ house—an old, abandoned farmhouse in Amritsar—one that is steeped in nostalgia.    

The rustic getaway filled with childhood memories becomes a refuge that offers Tara time and space to contemplate and dwell on some deep personal questions. Assessing her situation in a new light, she realises that her life needs to grow and expand, she needs to experiment and try different things—go with the flow, follow her heart and trust the moment unfolding before her. Most importantly, she realises that her happiness as an individual matters.

It is here that she finds her calling—teaching English to a young underprivileged girl—and helping rehabilitate the village school. In no time, she finds her seemingly broken life finally piecing itself together once again. The experience helps her leave behind her earlier existence and embrace a new, more fulfilling role. Along the way, she learns to find contentment, and even love, once again, in the form of a helpful companion and friend.

New Jersey-based author Rupa Bhullar’s debut novel The Indigo Sun featured in several bestseller lists. Serving as a Senior Corporate Executive in the fintech industry, she co-founded a non-profit in 2015 dedicated to the development of rural education and infrastructure in India. The book has the protagonist reminiscing about and “exploring the little joys of a simple life, filled with ordinary things that delivered extraordinary experiences” in Chandigarh—which is incidentally where Bhullar spent her childhood—vividly describing its familiar roads, streets and iconic city spots.

The prose is also sprinkled with oodles of gentle advice and pearls of wisdom, such as the fact that life gives you only what you expect from it. Through Tara’s story, one of the author’s key messages to the reader is that our losses sometimes remind us of the treasures we once possessed. Further, the significance of ‘wildflowers’ in the book’s title is that they exist only to be who they are.

India Matters


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