Monday, April 4, 2011

Luck And A Little Love~ The Zoya Factor

The Zoya Factor~ a book I randomly picked up in Crossword on a lonely day in 2008 (Landmark wasn't open then) simply because I realised I had never really read anything by Indian authors and that was a shame, considering how I want to be one. The cover wasn't exactly striking but what I read at the back made me smile and I was willing to take a chance. And I'm so grateful I did. Because three years later it still is one of the books I cherish the most.
And irrespective of how many times I've read it, I still smile when the NZ engraved on the charm bracelet that reminded Nikhil of Zoya implies "New Zealand" famous for its sheep because he bought it in New Zealand. Or when they talk about the Nike Warrior ad- which should really be made into an ad as soon as possible because it is simply fantastic. Or when Nikhil Khoda says "How about a lucky kiss?" Or when they go on their "cheap" date and their arguement over 'mongrel' is so intense and sexy; and at the end of it he says~ 'I really want to kiss you, you know. But I'm not going to, okay?' And she idiotically whispers 'Okay' Or when in the end he says "I hope you've noticed that I took care not to park in your esteemed Gajju Chacha's slot."
I can't help but bite my lip in exasperation when they fight over luck and captaincy. I can't help but sigh when Zoya texts him before the semifinal asking if she should come for breakfast. And two texts later, completely out of context, Nikhil- fed up with the war- says- I miss you. I grin when they say, "Who said I wanted to talk to you?" I can't help but smile ruefully when Zoya stupidly doesn't go to him after they win the semi-final vs England.  And I can't help but die a little bit like Zoya when he signs off with "Love, N." And just like Zoya, my heart breaks a little bit too, when she overhears him saying "I miss us too" exasperatedly to god knows which one of his many girlfriends.
I can't help but laugh everytime anyone says anything remotely witty which is just about every two minutes.
The line that stays with me is this one- "Nikhil chewed gum and basically stood around at second slip looking like the grimmest, most intense Boost ad ever."  This line kills me. It does. Because that is how awesome it is. Anuja Chauhan is a genius. And no, its not just because her descriptions of Nikhil Khoda have everything to do with ads; which btw is a stroke of genius because who, who would ever say 'Boost brown eyes'? Its simply the best way to describe his eyes.
Its Bollywood, melodramatic, stupid, wickedly funny and has SRK in it. Zoya has gorgeous hair- I can see it in my head- and her stupidity is what I can identify with. Because we all are that stupid. Nikhil- headstrong and stubborn, talks like a Nike ad and as a PYT puts it- he looks so intense- like he'd let you flirt with other guys all evening and then take you home and make passionate love to you to show you who's the boss. Nikhil is just marginally smarter than Zoya, but it is their childish arguements, their ego, their stupid texts and the constant bickering (Do me a service Zoya from Servicing, Little Miss Fix It, Surely you didn't think we were winning because of you, You're pretty cocky for a skipper who's lost every final he's ever played) that makes them work.
Lokey and Monita are characters that will stay with you because of the way they've been written. The email between Vaishali Paul and Sanks, the Zing! ad shoot at Dhaka, the 'Nike' shoes for Rawal, Zoravars epiphany at the Zoya Devi ad shoot and Eppas curse , the Benito's pizza incident/accident, the jealousy with Zahid and Miss Sultry South, the constant puns, and the crazy head of the IBCC and his guru add to the entertainment. Not like the book needs it considering how every time Nikhil and Zoya are together, the reader cant help but smile or sigh at their witty banter, idiotic fights or wicked romance.
An unputdownable read by one of the greatest writers I've ever come across, The Zoya Factor is a book that combines an ad agency, cricket, luck, loathing and love. What more could I ask for? Really? Its been a love affair that's lasted three years and I know it'll last a lifetime.
Now that I've got that out of me, I must go read the book. Again. For the third time. In two days. *sighs*
In Zoya's words~ Loathing 10%. Lust 90%.

1 comment:

  1. Hii! Came across your review on Zoya Factor. Just finished reading it and loved it to bits.Enjoyed reading the review thoroughly.I feel exactly the same.Don't know if you are active here, but nevertheless, felt like writing back :)