Monday, October 1, 2012

Desperate In Dubai by Ameera Al Hakawati

Title : Desperate in Dubai
Author : Ameera Al Hakawati
Publisher : Random House India
ISBN : 9788184001716

Desperate in Dubai is centered around the lives of four women protagonists. Each of these women have much to hide, little to reveal in the crazily diverse culture of Dubai. The author Ameera talks about many of the taboo subjects which usually do not come out of the cupboards especially when it is concerning Muslim women. She explores the lives of her heroines addressing the topics like - dating, love, secret marriages, drugs, alcohol, extra marital relationships and much more.

Lady Luxe has a rebellious streak in her disposition and she comes across as a person who loves walking on the razor edge of thrill, adventure and exploration. She manages enter the garb of a completely different person, usually for her nocturnal pursuits. She has inherited the business acumen of her Emirati father and is the potential heiress of the business empire. Lady Luxe's friend Leila thinks she has just a small age window left to find a suitable wealthy husband for herself. Nadia relocates to Dubai following the dream of her husband but it does not take her very long to realize that all her efforts were in vain. The last is Sugar who tries to push her past away by leaving the familiarity of UK behind and by trying to embrace the culture of Dubai.

Though apparently they all seem to belong to diverse backgrounds but as the stories progress, it becomes very clear that all of them are trying to be someone who they actually are not. And the main motive behind all this struggle is to get the illusive happiness either through defying norms, starting afresh or believing that having someone else would end the search finally.

Being a Muslim woman herself, I feel the author has dealt with the issues much more authentically and has also brought the right perspective to the proceedings. The habitual usage of hijab, prayer routine, religious symbols, mosques and such are entwined in the narrative without letting them hog the complete focus. The narrative has good dose of luxury which Dubai stands for. You will find mention of glamour, fancy brand names and luxury cars scattered throughout the narrative.  It is courageous on the part of the author to bring to the forefront the other side of Dubai's glittering picture. The book never attempts to be a literary masterpiece so readers should not expect it to be one. It is simply a breezy light read which gives a small peek into the lives of a set of people. 

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