Susanna’s Seven Husband is the first book I have read of the celebrated author Ruskin Bond. Movie adaptation of the book 7 Khoon Maaf was an average sort of film but the book is really good to read. Susanna’s Seven Husband is originally a very short story of 5 pages only. On director Vishal Bhardawaj request Ruskin Bond converted that short story into a short novel.
I’m calling is a short novel because it consist of only 61 pages and rest of the book includes the screen play of the movie adaptation along with original short story. So it was like three in one combination.
It is a gripping tale of Susanna who has vast estate and treasure, loyal servants and a killing beauty but she is always lookout for a perfect man and end up marring six times with men who were complete assholes. All these men couldn’t survive more than one year and met with fatal accidents which took away their lives.
Throughout the book, Ruskin Bond has maintain a veil between illusion and reality. Each time Susanna’s husband’s dies it appears to be an accident but then there is always seed of doubt sown into the mind of readers that it might be murder as well. Susanna marries six times and each time she falls in love with a wrong man and in order to get rid of them she simply removes them cleanly from his life. And every time we as readers hung in between thinking whether it was an accident or murder.
Her seventh husband Arun is the protagonist from whose point of view the book has been written. He is in love with Susanna in his own personal way though he never gets intimate with her or marry her but in Arun, Susanna finds the perfect husband qualities which lacks in all her other deceased husbands. Arun always has a tinge of doubt on the deaths of Susanna’s husbands but never cares to go into the details to unearth the truth.
The author seems to be in a hurry to finish off the book. He kept things short and snappy. He didn’t seems to be interested in elaborating things. Now come on, in movies directors has limited time frame into which they has to make the film but same thing is not necessary for the book. The author can write as many pages he wish to write. Ruskin Bond was quick to introduce man in Susanna’s life and was equally quick in killing and then to introduce the next one.
Though Ruskin Bond ends the novel in a jiffy but still the novel has thrill which will keep the readers hooked. But something remain unsatisfied within me that why the novel has to end so quickly. Nevertheless, the novel is worth a read at least once. So if you haven’t read it do take time to read it.