Suresh was holding me by the arms and saying to Dr. Sasi, 'See this is what I mean. It's been like this for weeks now...all this talk about scholarships that don't exist...and running away with Riya...I can't ignore it any more, she needs help...she needs treatment. Sasichetta, help us!'
I could not believe my ears...Treatment?....Help? I started to struggle out of Suresh's grip as his plan dawned on me, he was trying to convince everyone I was mentally ill! It was preferable to have people sympathise over a wife who was mad than to bear the shame of one who wasn't mad but wanted to leave him.
Ancient Promises portrays the struggles of Janu in finding love and breaking away from the rules that limit her freedom. Audacious and original, Misra writes the story without the usual embellished writing of novelists. Only in the scene where Arjun and Janu meet after years, there is a little lyricism, where the prose flies like poetry.
Janu, a Malayali girl born and brought up in Delhi falls in love with Arjun,her senior at school. Arjun leaves for England for his higher studies and Janu's life turns upside down when she is hastily married off to Suresh Marar, a business magnate from her native town Valapadu in Alleppey.
Though she tries hard to belong to the newly family of wealthy and pompous Marars, Janu's dreams are shattered when her child Riya is diagnosed as mentally handicapped. Her life becomes a struggle to save Riya from the hostility of the people around her. She takes Riya to a school for children with special needs at the same time teaching children there. She finds out that in other countries' children with such defects as Riya's are not ostracized by society. She plans to take a course on teaching children with special needs.
Life drives her back to her Arjun. When she goes for the test in Delhi, she meets Arjun and the result is an explosion of desire and love that they had held up inside them for so long. When she comes back, she tells her husband about Arjun and asks him for divorce. Her husband convinces other people that she is mad and takes possession of Riya. But that doesn't stop her from going to England or from getting united with Arjun or from getting custody of her Riya.