Book title – Unbroken: The Untold Story
Genre – Autobiography, Memoir
Language – English
Price – Rs 429/- , buy it here on AMAZON
Before we proceed to review the book ‘Unbroken: The Untold Story’ by Indrani Mukerjea , it is imperative to give a little background about the sensational real-life story of the famous (or infamous) Author Indrani Mukerjea herself. She was allegedly involved in the murder case of her own daughter and this case was in prime time news for months.
About the Author – Indrani Mukerjea
Born in the city of Guwahati in Assam, India, as Pori Bora, Indrani Mukerjea later became a British citizen. She pursued higher education in Shillong at Lady Keane College. She became a teenage mother at the age of 15 years. Her first child was named Sheena Bora, and she had her second child, Mikhail Bora, with her then-partner Siddhartha Das in 1988. They did not marry and Indrani gave the custody of her children to her parents before moving to Kolkata to further her education and a career in sales, hiring, and marketing. Here she met Sanjeev Khanna, they got married and later moved to Mumbai where she had a daughter Vidhie. There was some trouble in Paradise though.
In Mumbai , the famous Theatre personality and ad filmmaker Alique Padamsee took Indrani under his wing and introduced her to Peter Mukerjea, the then CEO of Star TV channel. Thereafter Sanjeev Khanna and Indrani got divorced and Indrani married Peter Mukerjea.
This was a successful time for Indrani and The Wall Street Journal even listed her among the list of “50 Women to Watch.” Indrani and Peter Mukerjea later founded INX media company of which she was the CEO for sometime but it did not do well and they later sold it.
“Unbroken- The Untold Story ” is her first book as an author after her headlines grabbing arrest and imprisonment in 2015 for being a co-conspirator to her daughter Sheena Bora’s murder.
The Book – Unbroken: The Untold Story
The book has alternate chapters that flit between her life in jail and the life before that. There is a long list where she introduces the of characters of her real life story. Here are the key points that can sum up this book :
1. Fast paced narrative
You have to give it to Indrani Mukerjea, she keeps the pace going without any slack throughout her narration. It never becomes tardy or boring. I finished it in 3 days and trust me with my busy schedule , that was fast!
2. Unflinching and incisive
Indrani confesses that during her jail time, she was unaware of a lot of facts and facets of people around her and when she learnt the real facts , she was not given an opportunity to explain or tell her side of the story. Her arrest was sudden and she was hastily thrown into prison, there was no chance to give a statement. This book is her retaliation to allegations against her. She does not beat around the bush and says things without mincing words – like being treated badly by Peter Mukerjea’s family, they would not even bring food for her while Sanjeev’s family supported her and brought things for her when she was in jail. She goes on to tell how Peter Mukerjea’s ex wife Shabnam constantly interfered in their life even after getting a large chunk of property and maintenance from her husband. Indrani even shares a bit of her sex-life in this book, so it is a no holds barred account of her life.
3. Portrait of a lady
Indrani Mukerjea comes across a woman who though is beset with devils from her past yet tries to look forward. A woman who strongly believes in her abilities and strengths , even in the prison she seemed to be more shocked than terrified. Indrani is someone who has a lust for life and more so the good life. Indrani says this in the book, “I had tasted blood” after having her first night out in an expensive restaurant in Kolkata while still being a student. She even faked knowledge of wine in order to show off that she was accustomed to this high life.
Indrani is ambitious and she is unapologetic about it. She is labelled as an outsider, a bad mother and a social climber, but it does not change her decisions in life.
4. Of Love and Betrayal
Indrani confesses to having loved with all her heart but being rewarded with betrayal. Whether it was being raped by her father at the age of 14 years , or her Mother who chose to stay mum even after Indrani told her about the rape. Furthermore, her second ex- husband Peter Mukerjea according to Indrani , was her soul mate, and she loved him despite him not being a great partner. Yet Peter Mukerjea was the one who chose to side against her during her trial and she accuses him of taking away much of her hard earned money. Unfortunately for Indrani Even her daughter Vidhie Mukerjea , the apple of her eyes , wrote a book titled “the Devil’s Daughter” which seems very cruel. Indrani seems to forgive her daughter for hurting her but not others.
During the reading of this book I had a feeling that Indrani mostly stated the facts as they happened but did not really pour her heart out.
5. Prison diaries
Indrani Mukerjea stayed imprisoned for 2468 days in Byculla jail. Indrani is fearful about being in jail as she had heard horror stories of cruel and inhuman treatment of the inmates, but she is treated well and is tagged ‘Jail ki Laadli”.She gives a detailed account of the days she spent in jail.
Here we see the philanthropic side of Indrani, someone who feels for other women and after hearing their stories she experiences gratitude for her sheltered and comfortable life so far. Seeing the state of other women inmates, helps her in accepting her fate and brings her fortitude. There is also an instance where she fights against the jail authorities for the human rights of the prisoners after an inmate dies from beating.
6. Lies or Truth
A few of the things that Indrani writes seem to be debatable and confusing, for instance she maintains she was raped by her Dad but it later surfaced that her own Dad had abandoned her and the Dad she speaks of , is her stepfather, which does not make the crime less heinous but it does make one question the authenticity of her statements.
Final Verdict on Unbroken: The Untold Story by Indrani Mukherjea
Even if I found some areas not believable , ultimately it is a book and it shall be judged on its salability and narrative, entertainment etc. Coming to which , I can safely say that this book has everything to make it a best seller – it has drama, it is fast paced and it thrills. Indrani comes out with blazing guns and yet with a restraint. There are no frills nor any spiritual discourses here.
The image that emerges from the pages of ‘Unbroken: The Untold story ‘ is that of a strong woman , who is not afraid to love, who stays unbroken despite the betrayals and the upheavals in her life ( she was last seen learning to box and dance on her Instagram page).
I hope it gives her the closure she is seeking.
” This review is powered by Blogchatter Book Review Program ”
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