NewZNew (Chandigarh) : Penguin Books India author, Bhaavna Arora today released her second book ‘Mistress of Honour’ in the city amidst much fanfare. The book was unveiled by Lt. Gen. HS Panag PVSM, AVSM, VSM (Retd.). Prof Surindra Lal, Member of Modi educational society was the guest of honour. The audience included fans, friends, family, Army personnel and media to witness the book launch. The book has been published and marketed by Penguin Random House.
Speaking during book release, Lt. General HS Panag (Retd.) said that ‘Mistress of Honour’, told the story of a special forces officer and his family spanning two generations. The family story was interwoven with historical events and military operations making it a virtual, historical novel. As close to the reality of Armed Forces’ life, culture, and ethos as a fictional novel possibly could be!”
Sharing her thoughts on choosing to write a book on the Indian Armed Forces, Bhaavna Arora, author of ‘Mistress of Honour’ said that her father was part of Operation Blue Star. But my first real experience of war came when I spent holidays at Badami Bagh Cantonment. It was the summer of Kargil and I often saw body bags and wounded soldiers at the Base Hospital, Srinagar. It was an image that has stayed with me. I knew that at some time in my life I wanted to tell this story. I wanted Indians not only to be aware of their lives, these sacrifices, but also acknowledge and appreciate the men and the women who stood by them.”
Meanwhile the portrayal of life in the armed forces is realistically and humanely depicted in Bhaavna’s second book, ‘Mistress of Honour’. A tight narrative which is an amalgamation of love, tragic sacrifice, war and well, life, the novel tells the story of mother-daughter duo Pansy and her daughter Rihana. While Pansy’s love story with Potnis unfolds in the time of Operation Blue Star, Advik and Rihana’s love must come second to his duty during the Kargil war. Will her love find its honourable destiny or will she remain the Mistress for the sake of Advik’s love for his country?
Both operations were crucial in the history of India and are extremely well researched and honestly depict the lives and choices of not just the soldiers but also their wives and families – the first casualties of war, in a manner of speaking. How each character deals with the uncertainty of war, with the outcome of the wars, the presence of their loved ones on the front and eventually their absence is the essence of this beautiful tale. Bhaavna has managed to do full justice to both the army and the fictional love story in one clean sweep. The storytelling is light and fluid. Fun moments about the training are nicely interspersed with romantic interludes and poignant, heart-wrenching war scenes. This balance results in a book that is unputdownable! Within two weeks, Mistress of Honour is already on the Amazon Top 20 List in the pre-order section!
The script covers various operations from the history of Indian Defense Forces; Incidents captured in the book range from Operation Blue star to the battle of Kargil. The book intends to not only encourage youth towards joining armed forces but also refreshes and reminds people of the immense sacrifice made my our soldiers in the line of duty. It also brings out the endurance of the soldiers’ families who selflessly let go off their sons, husbands, fathers and brothers for the safety of the nation. It takes more than grandeur to kill and die for the nation.
Says Milee Ashwarya, Editor in Chief, Commercial and Business Books, ‘Mistress of Honour’ is a very special story about the men who guard the country and the women who support them to make it happen. I am delighted that Bhaavna has chosen to write on this subject. She is an extremely passionate, talented and an author to watch out for.”
Renowned author and social activist, Shobha De complimented Bhaavna on writing such a book, she said “Bullets and Hearts Dance together in this unusual love story about loyalty and trust”.
As a goodwill gesture and love for the Armed Forces, Bhaavna donated her initial royalty from the book to ‘One Rank One Pension’ at the on-going protests at Jantar Mantar in the capital. She also got sponsorship for 2000 water bottles for the veterans protesting in scorching heat. The protest is being staged by the retired Indian Armed Forces personnel, their families and friends.
This is purely with the aim of exercising her rights as a citizen of India and contributing to boost the confidence of those protesting for their legitimate rights. She feels that India’s National Security can’t be put at stake by treating the veterans poorly. It is not setting a good example for the present forces.
Bhaavna’s previous book ‘The Deliberate Sinner’ was a smashing success which sold over50,000 copies in the Indian market.
Bhaavna Arora resents being a slave of the ordinary. She has a BEd degree, a double MBA as well as a PhD from Pittsford University, USA, to her credit. She is a corporate trainer on leadership for students and professionals. After heading an MBA college in Bangalore as a director for a few years, she went on to fulfil her dream of being an author. Her debut book The Deliberate Sinner was very well received by both the media and critics. It was rated one of the most popular books on Amazon.in by Quartz India and the third-most-read novel in India by Simplify360. The book has been rated as one of the best-selling books on Amazon. A philanthropist at heart, Bhaavna has been sponsoring the education of an underprivileged child for the past eleven years.