Three Dog Night: Gouri Dange

Title: Three Dog Night
Author: Gouri Dange
Buy it from: Flipkart

‘Three Dog Night’ is a sweet little story about sixty one year old Viva Pradhan living in Mumbai. Viva has recently lost her beloved husband Ashwin, and is yet to come to terms with his passing away. Everything around her brings back memories of Ashwin and underlines his absence. Perhaps it this new loneliness that makes her contemplate her life, her relations, her age. She decides to simplify her life. She starts giving away her treasured saris, her precious glassware, and her husband’s blazers to friends and relatives. But while she is heading towards austerity, life keeps rolling on, bringing unexpected people and relations into her life making it more complicated than ever.

‘Three Dog Night’ means a very cold night, a night when you would want to sleep with three dogs tucked with you in the bed as a defence against the severe cold. Viva seems to be battling her own ‘cold night’ phase of life. She has an affectionate son, her grandson Dhruvi is much attached to her, and she has kind friends like Moni and Aidan. But she knows that they all have their own lives and she is essentially going to be alone. A brief attempt at dating has been a fiasco; her daughter Shruti continues to be aloof with her, and she has been cheated in a land deal. But despites these kinks, Viva tries to untangle her life, and finds her own brand of happiness and peace.

Dange’s Viva Pradhan is an adorable protagonist. She is very real and we can easily identify with her fears and hopes. She is not perfect but she comes across as a genuine person.  It is Viva’s character that keeps the novel nicely pivoted. The story is fast paced and very easy to read. Dange also weaves in pop cultural references which make the novel fun to read. References to Manna Dey karaoke nights, detailed recipes for exotic dishes and Hindustani Classical ragas find their way into the story. What makes this novel really appealing is that it is kind at its core. There is generosity at unexpected places and it is love and warmth that guides the people in it.

In conclusion: I enjoyed reading this short but fun-packed little novel. I will recommend it for its lovable protagonist and for the fast paced story telling.

Book source: Publisher