By Neil D’Silva
“You don’t understand, child. Monsters will never show themselves as monsters. They will come
hidden in various garbs. Sometimes they will look beautiful and tempting.”
Halfway to the heavens, in a realm hidden by clouds, a divine beauty—a Yakshini—is facing a
sentence for her folly. Down on Earth, a couple in Maharashtra is expecting their seventh child
and is performing a special yajna to fulfil their desires. By a strange quirk of fate, these two
distinctly different lives are soon to be intertwined. Fifteen-year-old Meenakshi is no ordinary
girl. Blessed with celestial attributes, she has beauty that would rival a goddess’, a unique
communion with nature and a supernatural being living inside her. Even so, Meenakshi lives
amongst men and eventually, the evil eye falls upon her. That’s when the Yakshini inside her
awakens. As the Yakshini takes control, Meenakshi is catapulted into a world of passion and
violence that even threatens her husband’s life.
Yakshini by Neil D´Silva is an amazing book with supernatural elements. The book is a mixed
genre with Mythology and Fiction. The story revolves around a teenage girl Meenakshi who
lives in a village with her parents and six elder sisters. Meenakshi or Meenu as she was called by
her mother, was a beauty beyond comparison. The men and boys of all ages got attracted towards
her lustfully. But strangely, something happens to her when a man tries to touch her, which
Meenakshi herself doesn’t understand. She somehow changes into someone who is not her. As
the story continues, the suspense starts to unfold. The readers, as well as, Meenakshi get to know
that someone lives in her body. With the passing of days, she hears the mysterious voice of a
female. Meenu, a teenager now, has no idea who that voice belongs to. She is invisible, she is
mysterious, She is a Yakshini.
The book is beautifully divided into four parts. After spending her childhood in the village,
Meenakshi’s later life continues in Mumbai with her husband, Harikumar. She was married off to
Harikumar at a very young age. Harikumar was a mature person. He wanted Meenu to study. As
she grew up to be a beautiful woman, her problems increased report completo. However the initial, teenage life of
Meenakshi is much exciting and gripping, the later phase of Meenakshi’s life becomes a bit
scary. The readers will surely get Goosebumps while reading. Apart from Meenakshi’s story,
there’s another story parallel to the life of Meenakshi, the story of Yakshini who is sheltered in
Meenakshi’s body. The Yakshini is the main character of the book.
The best part of the book is its characterisation. The characters of Meenakshi and the Yakshini
are amazingly crafted. Both are opposite to each other. It seems quite difficult to use two
characters for a single person but the author left no stone unturned to ensure the readers are not
confused. The emotions of both the characters are different and clearly explained. So, while
reading, you will know who is Meenakshi and who is the Yakshini. Meenakshi’s parents were
way ahead of their time as compared to the people of their village. They didn’t want to marry
their Meenu off at a young age. They were quite sensible and understanding. Even after having
seven daughters, they never thought girls to be a burden to them.
The thought process of the author must be appreciated. The plot of the story is unpredictable. All
the supernatural elements are perfectly placed which makes the book amusing as well as scary.
The relationship between Meenakshi and the Sal tree is another soothing part of the book. The
narration is attractive and perfectly done. The suspense of knowing about the one living inside
Meenakshi’s body is continued until the last part of the book. The concept of Yakshini is new
and interesting. The ending of the story is very thoughtful. All the lost strings wind up to form
the ending of the book. It will provide proper closure to the readers.
If we talk about the cover, it’s just brilliant. The cover is attractive and stunning and eye
catching. The title is unique. Right from the cover and title, the readers will get attracted to the
book and the resulting curiosity will make them pick it up. The book is full of twists and turns
which has the ability to keep the readers hooked until the end. The occasional use of Marathi
words and sentences kept the Marathi culture alive in the book. The presence of a Yakshini,
Yaksh, Kuber, Curse etc. finely blended the book to become a mythological read.
On the whole, it’s an engrossing read. It doesn’t have any ghosts or Vampires in it but the acts of
Yakshini are no less than any ghost. Highly recommended to the mythology lovers as well as
readers who want to read a book with supernatural elements. It’s definitely different and unique
both in Mythology as well as Horror genre.