September 28, 2011

BOOK REVIEW: 'The Ineligibile Bachelors' by Ruchita Misra

Some weeks back I posted a comment on the fanpage of the book after reading a sample chapter that the author sent me. In the comment, I proclaimed that Kasturi Shukla, the protagonist of Ruchita Misra's 'The Ineligible Bachelors' is the desi Bridgette Jones and I could not wait to read the book. So I received this book some four days back and immediately took it in my hand, discarding other small things like work and taking a bath. The book as people believe is not about arranged marriages though the plot revolves around that. The story is about love, friendship, hurt, betrayal and yes, marriage too. The cover of the book, once you have read the story, starts making so much sense and I applaud the designer for the creative insight.

Written in the form of a diary in the first person, the book talks about Kasturi Shukla, a 24 year old pretty middle-class girl from one of India's finest B-schools. Happy-go-lucky Kasturi has some really grave problems of her own, the topmost of which include her mother, who is hellbent upon marrying her off as soon as possible. And she wouldn't take a NO from Kasturi on that matter. Kasturi's doctor father has no say in the matter and chooses to remain outside doing field trips than watch mother-daughter fighting it out at home. So after every emotional drama with the sad tunes playing only in Kasturi's head, her mother puts a matrimonial ad in the paper and fxes up appointments for her daughter not only with the beautician but also with some very able candidates. These candidates come from various backgrounds but all have onething in common, they are filthy rich and well-educated and mostly stupid. She soon gets a job offer in Delhi where she is made to work on powerpoint presentations on a daily basis. Poor Kasturi keeps landing herself at arranged dates and keeps getting horrified after seeing the guys that turn up.

 Life seems to settle down a bit once Kasturi shifts to Delhi for work. There she meets new friends, Ananya, a sworn tom-boy who would soon swoon to Pitaji (the first guy Kasturi's mother short-listed for her) and Varun, a guy with a soft-heart and one who loves office gossip. And of course, then in walks Rajeev Malhotra (couldn't help picturing Saif Ali Khan from RHTDM here!) as her boss and Kasturi becomes a puppet to his charms. He could just say 'Kasturi, disappear!' and Kasturi would gladly wipe away herself from the face of the planet. Soon they are a couple and Kasturi can't believe her luck that her handsome boss actually chose her! In the middle of all this, Kasturi has to keep meeting guys that her mother keeps short-listing for fear of emotional blackmail that her mother often resorts to and this mostly results in hilarious outcomes that keep the reader rolling in the seat. And during one such arranged meet, she meets Dr. Purva, a shy and simple guy who is very different from the guys she has met so far. Hiding his emotions behind a hazy past, Dr. Purva emerges to be that caring friend who always ends up making life easier for Kasturi whenever she is in need. And towards the end that is a little predictable, Kasturi finds herself in an unexpected mess and she should make a decision that could define her life.

Imagine a photographer asking you to give 'the look' for photographing you while your mother is standing there, dreaming about sending that photograph to several prospective grooms. Imagine your mother continuously harping on what she has done for you and why you should obey her. Imagine ending up at a date where all that the guy is doing is staring at your zit covered face. The book is covered with relatable situations like this and makes an interesting walk-through. The book is breezy and by that I mean literally, it blows in your face and does everything that a good book should. It makes you laugh with genuine humour with its wonderfully crafted situations and one-liners. It makes you a little angry on parents, though obsessive and doting, who consider girls to be a burden once they are done with their education and emotionally blackmail them with what all they have done for them, so they should marry the guy of their choice. Bullshit! It makes you cry due to the hurt and heart-break. It makes you smile with real-life relationships that define true friendship and love and makes you feel content on having savoured the flavours of life. Somewhere it can also work as a dating guide for guys who are clueless on impressing girls. The characters are true to life and introduced well enough without saying too much or too little. 

The book, though I am tempted to call it chic-lit because it fits the exact definition of that genre, is something much more and should be read by everyone who has experienced life in the way I just explained. And it should be especially read by mothers of single daughters who cannot dream of anything else in life except for getting their daughter married to the first decent guy they can lay their hands on. I just hope this book teaches mothers a thing or two about their children's expectations from life. The book is a one-sit read and does not bore the reader at all. Misra emerges to be a very hands-on, witty and creative writer and this book makes for a perfect debut. No wonder Bollywood is already lapping it up. Just makes me wonder what an interesting film this would make. A must-read for this season!

Get it from StackurRack or Uread.


P.S.: Couldn't help posting this hilarious article from Ruchita Misra on spotting (in)eligible bachelors.


stuti said...

I face this every day, Faraaz!! Imagine the plight.. but I take it in a stride after reading this one :) It's a phase which is enjoyable in its own way :)

Ben said...

Ordered the book 2 weeks back but Flipkart goofed up big time and I still haven't received my copy despite two reminders :(

Faraaz Kazi said...

@Stuti Make your mom read this book
@Vivek sir Call them and fire now. Best post it on twitter.

Pseudo Nymph said...

Interesting. :)

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