Monday, June 9, 2014

Delightfully Dramatic

Those Pricey Thakur Girls - Book Number 3 by Anuja Chauhan.

What do I say? I judged the book by it's cover, and that's the absolute last thing a writer should do I suppose. But there's a cat on it, and it seemed like the cat was an important part of the storyline (It is. Kind of. Hello serendipity!) I detest cats, and honestly that's putting it mildly. Sigh.

It took me over six months to actually read the book even though I carried it with me everywhere I travelled over those six months.

I think that's because I wanted to save it for a time when I would actually pay complete attention to it, and it was my safety net if I fell apart. Given how things have been in the past year (and the number of months this post has been in draft stage) it's not surprising that I needed a safety net.

It's the first book I couldn't, and wouldn't put down on a flight. I cannot read in moving vehicles - yes flights come under that bracket. My head gets woozy, and eventually I feel like fainting, but despite that, I couldn't stop reading this. In the flight to Chennai, in the car to Pondicherry, and finally on the beach. That's how unputdownable this is.

It's her most serious one so far. It has its moments of playfulness, and light banter between the leads, but gone is the childish love. Under all its subtle humour there's a very grown up storyline, a storyline that also brings up so many questions about this country's past, and its present reality.

Debjani and Dylan went from being a not-so-delightful couple, to chemistry that far surpasses anything Nikhil-Zoya ever had, even with their New Zealand moment. (What is with her and letters? Hmm.)

Not simply because its set in another time, in a different India, a different age - where love was more consuming, more powerful. Not because there's a fantastic moment halfway through the book where  Dylan simply kills me by doing the most evitable-inevtiable of suggesting a specific phone call. And not because I'm a sucker for that kind of love.

I think its more to do with the fact that their chemistry is so real - and fraught with valid issues and not temper tantrums and sulking teenager types. When your lead characters start out with one ripping the other apart, in a newspaper review of the formers news-anchoring abilities, instead of just ego, jealousy and opposing beliefs in luck, you have a genuine problem. One that can't be solved by sighing, some more jealousy and the sheer intensity of your feelings for one other. (Although there is a lot of that in this too)

Read it for a masterfully written trip down to the late 80s, some crackling chemistry between the leads, a lesson on how love can overcome egos, witty wisecracks and one of the most ridiculous but absolutely fantastic theories that I've come across - Letter Love .  

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