Monday, August 26, 2013

Review: Those Pricey Thakur Girls by Anuja Chauhan

Contemporary novels are not a common sight nowadays in book stores. They have a different kind of a feel and appeal to them. It's not like a regular romantic story or a college type love story. Author Anuja Chauhan in her third novel "Those Price Thakur Girls" tries to sketch a story based on an old type of a setup. So is she successful in her latest venture? Let's try to figure it out. 

In a sprawling bungalow on New Delhis posh Hailey Road, Justice Laxmi Narayan Thakur and his wife Mamta spend their days watching anxiously over their five beautiful (but troublesome) alphabetically named daughters.
Anjini, married but an incorrigible flirt; Binodini, very worried about her childrens hissa in the family property; Chandrakanta, who eloped with a foreigner on the eve of her wedding; Eshwari, who is just a little too popular at Modern School, Barakhamba Road; and the Judges favourite (though fathers shouldnt have favourites): the quietly fiery Debjani, champion of all the stray animals on Hailey Road, who reads the English news on DD and clashes constantly with crusading journalist Dylan Singh Shekhawat, he of shining professional credentials but tarnished personal reputation, crushingly dismissive of her state-sponsored propaganda, but always seeking her out with half-sarcastic, half-intrigued dark eyes. 
Spot-on funny and toe-curlingly sexy, Those Pricey Thakur Girls is rom-com specialist Anuja Chauhan writing at her sparkling best. 

 First look at the cover and title and the reader will be absolutely mesmerized by it's premium feel. A modern girl with a grumpy cat are part of the cover image which go hand in hand with the title to perfection. The blurb talks about a judge, his wife and his 5 daughters and about Shekhawat's too. Not much has been let out for the people to imagine in the blurb. It's a good ploy to conceal the actual taste of the story. It works in the favor of the book. 

The story revolves around Justice L.N Thakur, his wife Mamta and their 5 troublesome daughters named alphabetically. Each one of them having a story of their own. The story primarily focuses on Debjani, Thakur Saheb's 4th daughter who is undergoing a dosh according to astrology and suddenly grabs a lot of attention with her stint with a leading news channel. Shekhwats are very close friend of the Thakur's and surprisingly are a mixed breed of Christians & Rajputs and their eldest son Dylan Singh Shekhawat is primarily smittem by Debjani and her antics. It's an unusual love story between the two young guns targeting each other's lives and putting on line their careers. What will they achieve out of this in the end is to be found out in the story. 

The contemporary setup, the premium Delhi feel, rich and demanding and snobbish girls, concerned and open minded parents, equally important friend circle, a love story, some career problems and attitude problems are the main central idea of the story. This is where it scores heavily. The characters, their plights, fears, concerns and drama in a humorous manner are the positives of the book. Be it Debjani's attitude, or an every crying Chachi Ji, strict Judge Saheb, young Eshwari, Dylan's advances they all are a primary ingredient in making the entire plot quite different from what the readers usually see in the books. The choice of words and narration make it an absorbing story. The arguments, conversations and confusions and old school romance are a thing to watch out for in the entire story. The story gets quite intense and the anti-Sikh agenda has been handled well in the story. 

The loose ends in the story involve the first 100 odd pages which are spent in nothing at all. The story's pace is a cause of concern most of the times and it wavers quite a lot of times from Debjani to Eshwari which makes it lose the charm. The anti-Sikh towards the end eclipses Dylan & Debjani's love story. The chapter length should have been kept shorter keeping in mind the story's intensity. Humor a promised element is scarce in the story. 

Readers can read the book for it's old school romance feel, a different and absorbing narration style and a touch of class and arrogance in the characters which makes the title apt for the story. It might give a dragged feeling at times but it hold on well towards the end and makes up for all the slowness at the start of the story. It's not an easy book to go through but if read carefully it can make your money worth too. 


3 OUT OF 5. 

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