Saturday, 21 July 2012

Bombay Girl by Kavita Daswani - A review

The book launch was snazzy, well organized and well attended, at The American Center. I reached a bit late and therefore couldn't ask any questions, but whatever I heard Kavita Daswani read out on stage was fantastic. Later while responding to questions she told the audience her ardent love for writing. How she could at a stretch finish writing 1000 words, and she wrote at least that much every day. Sounds fantastic.
That shows in her story form also. She told everybody how she manages to write so much after sending her kids to school, and performing her other 'homely chores'. Fantastic, that makes it even more amazing.
Her story telling is indeed lucid, she writes with such a natural flair, her continuity in content. She seems to be an amazing storyteller. Her style is so convincing that you almost tend to believe what's unfolding in front of you. She writes at a brisk pace, and her scripts are good. It's as if you're reading a screenplay not a novel.
Bombay Girl begins with a flourish. Sohana Badshah, wow what a name, after finding the love and of her life Jag, short for Jagdish, is turned down by him on coming to know of a lawsuit filed  by Balu Sachdev who's Jag's father, against the Badshah Inc who backed out on an agreement to invest US$150 million with them.
An article published in a local paper sets off a row in the family with the head of the Group planning a sell off of the whole assets to an outsider. Sohana is perturbed by this and intends to make her Baba change his mind about this. She ultimately succeeds but he relents only to this extent that instead of giving over the businesses to his sons, he would prefer handing it over to his grandsons, but they would have to prove their worth before getting access to the family business.
The book moves at a fast pace, almost giving you the feel that it's a film running before your eyes. The writer has managed to incorporate how a business family feels in moments of crisis, in moments of glory, togetherness! The way Sohana handles her own luncheon party after taking a crash course in cookery is a delightful sequence. She only gets rattled by Nitya's comments who's her best friend but who purposely hurts her by commenting on the food cooked by her, by saying she would rather prefer an omelette at home. Later going on to gobble the food down in the privacy of another room, only to be caught by Sohana in the 'act'. She later breaks down and reveals that their family business has shut and they were not well off any more. This reveals the emotional side of the writer when Sohana clasps Nitya to her and assures her that you haven't lost everything and she would always remain her friend.
The desi touch in the book is maintained when during the same conversation Nitya is discussing about the food and high sounding dishes but when she comes to know Sohana has cooked them, she tells her whether she has a Pudin Hara handy. So the desi element is not lost out.
The end of this book is even more racy. All in all makes for very good reading. Once you start, you won't put it down in a hurry.
Part one of a three book trilogy the book is fast paced and has high sounding names, so if you're the sort who wants a look in with high society, glamour and glitz, go for it.
Cheers till the next one.....

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