I think I quite like desi (Indian) chick-lit these days. There are not too many of them, so the market is not saturated and the few that are around deal with very Indian love-life/dating dilemmas, which is very relatable.
One such book is The (In)eligible Bachelors by Ruchita Misra. This book deals with a fresh out of grad school MBA working in her very first job. Her mother is keen to see her married off to a boy of her choice. The mom’s criteria is pretty basic – MBA from a top-tier uni / filthy rich family, same caste, and a compatible horoscope.
OK…I think a little note might be required here for those people not from India. Once girls in India reach marriageable age (any age after 20), mothers start badgering them about marriage. If girls have not found anyone suitable, then mothers start looking out among family and friends. As desperation increases, the net broadens to include newspaper advertisements, match-making websites, and so on. When such marriages are arranged, education, money (discreetly phrased as family background), caste, and horoscope (the birth chart of the boy and the girl is drawn up and is matched to check compatibility) become all-important. Any kind of chemistry or lack of it between the boy and girl is really the last consideration in such matches.
Anyway, back to the review. The heroine Kasturi is in a pretty pickle. She is harangued by unwanted, ineligible bachelors handpicked by her mother, but she is also in love with her boss – a seriously handsome dude who may or may not be the one.
How does she navigate the choppy seas of love? Will she go with a boy of her mom’s choosing and forsake love, or will love with the dishy boss win the day? That’s the main plot point of the book.
Well, that’s not much of a plot…you would say. And I agree, however the book is short, the pace is quick, and the diary-style format of the book though stale is done very well. The heroine Kasturi is very likable, and most important, she’s not dumb, at least she didn’t make me want to throw the book at her. The mistakes she makes are totally understandable, and I could totally sympathize with her frustration with her mother’s overbearing nature.
The one annoying thing I noticed were some basic copy-editing lapses. Now, I’m not a grammar Nazi, I am really terrible at noticing misplaced commas, and dangling modifiers. But this one was just too obvious:
He was back, in one piece. One lovely, beautiful piece. I could not breathe for a few minutes. Why? Why does he have this affect on me?
Inane sentences like the one above, with grammatical errors to boot mar any reading experience. However, in spite of that I will go ahead and recommend this one. It’s fun, and easy to read. And I’m sure future reprints of the book will have gone through a more thorough review. If you are looking for some fun and light reading material, then this book makes a pretty decent candidate.