Introducing the book The Second Choice to the audience  during the launch of the book on 16th July 2011. –  by Malathi Ramachandran, author of The Wheel Turned.

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There is a famous saying that goes, A woman is like a tea bag – you can’t tell how strong she is until you put her in hot water.
This is exactly how I would describe the protagonist of Lakshmi Menon’s debut novel, The Second Choice. The main character Pavitra is a victim of her circumstances, becoming a puppet dancing for everyone else’s pleasure but hers. Having being pushed into a marriage of convenience for the sake of her little daughter, this young widow takes on her new responsibilities with willingness and tries her best to keep everyone happy, especially her husband Venu. But it is not easy being a second wife or for that matter, a stepmother. She is continuously deterred in her efforts by a surly husband, a resentful child, interfering neighbours. But Pavitra remains true to her beliefs, and through love and caring, wins her new family over.
But are her troubles over? No, life has conspired to put her through even more turmoil. Pavitra’s character develops through her trials and tribulations, till the climax of the story, when she reaches a crossroads, and is forced to take the biggest decision of her life. What decision she takes and how she charges her life with meaning and joy have to be discovered by the readers themselves. All I can say is that like the proverbial tea bag that releases its strength and flavour only when put into boiling water, Pavitra too shows her inner strength and beauty in the face of all the difficulties she is forced to face in her life.
A famous French novelist once said, On the day when it will be possible for woman to love not in her weakness but in her strength, not to escape herself but to find herself, not to abase herself but to assert herself–on that day love will become for her a source of life …
This is the story of Pavitra who finds love and life through not her outward weakness, but her inner  strength .
I will now read you a few paragraphs from the book. “……………”
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She read out few lines from the novel at the end of her speech.
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