Opening lines: Opening line:
”When the government became alarmed by the increasing tendency among graduate women to stay unmarried and thus deprive the country of the brainy children that would form the future pool of expertise for the country’s economic development, it started a matchmaking scheme whereby these women might meet the men who would lead them away from the errors of their ways.”
Last lines: Last line:
”Would you like to go home and take a rest?” inquired the vice-principal gently and Miss Ponniah said gratefully, “Yes, thank you very much,” gathered up her sari and her books, wiped her eyes, and prepared to leave.”
”The bolder of the single graduate women whom the minister interviewed, spoke bluntly about the Singapore male’s lack of social finesse: one of them, a particularly articulate female in her late thirties, told the minister to his face that Singapore men were downright unattractive; they were narrow-minded and petty; behind their executive desks they talked sense but outside in the world at large, they floundered, unsure of what to say or how to behave, and in the presence of women they were definitely gauche.”
”What do you know about love? You are a cold, unfulfilled dried up virgin. Pity Dr Chellam if he had married you! He would have shrunk from your frigidity.”
The layman’s plot: Woman’s buried love for Man resurfaces when she finds out fellow Colleague is marrying him. Feelings of regret threaten her to a nervous breakdown. Will she confront him? Or will she learn to let go? Can she control her feelings and not break down?
Verdict: Just skip the wordy introduction to the even more verbose action. Good bedtime reading; sleep-inducing factor is quite high.