The other day I was WhatsApping with my girlie gang (Shoutout to Nu, Rauni, Heer, Beenii and Neha) and we were talking about how children of today lose their innocence early on and how tech savvy they are. While parents are responsible for that in a large way, another fact is that our cities have become so crowded and a casualty of this has been play areas. When we were young, each building in Mumbai had enough space in the compound for us to run about and play in. Same thing has happened to our locality in Delhi too, said the husband. Those conversations made me realise that my gratitude list should have another inclusion. I should be thankful that my daughter has access to open spaces where she can play safely. However, for those who do not have acess to those, there are plenty of play areas that are coming up in the city. One such play area where I took my daughter to was Fun O Factory at R City Mall, Ghatkopar.
Fun O Factory Concept
Fun O Factory is a covered play area within R City Mall. It has three sections – one softplay area for toddlers, one ropecourse for older children and one trampoline park for every body. When I say everybody… I do mean everybody – even you! Yes, the adults can play on the trampolines too. In fact, Fun O Factory plans to start fitness classes for adults very soon… on these trampolines!
This year, I did not complete the NaNoWriMo. At the beginning of November, I was so so sure that I would nail it this year. I had a story line with the plot twists and turns, characters straight in my head and even the book cover down.
In the first three days, I did more then 5k words… then…. came travel, injuries, sickness and distractions… all of these stood their ground in blocking my way and kept me away from completing it. On 30th November, I knew I could not complete it and gave up. I was heart broken. The impact of this failure was so much that I fell sick. Physically sick. I spent the day lying up curled in my bed and was throwing up every few minutes. No, it was not a good place to be in.
Not knowing what was bothering me and attributing it to bad posture and unhealthy eating, I went off to work the next day. It was a long, mad and satisfying day at work. The morning after, I was sick again and wondering why. I realised that my eating was erratic, my posture was consistently bad but that is something I have dealt with before. What kept bothering me this time is the constant nagging thought at the back of my head that I did not complete my draft this year. Was my falling sick a sign self inflicted misery at a metaphysical level?
I do not know. What I do know is that the story I wrote last year is half crap. The manuscript lies discarded and the characters do not speak to me anymore. This year, I wanted quality too. May be that is what I did wrong. Maybe I am not meant to write a novel in 30 days. Maybe this is what it means to fail. Once I was done wallowing in this misery I told myself that I have yet to find the writing style that is best suited to me. I am experimenting to see that works for me and what does not. There is nothing wrong in failing at something if you are able to bounce back and give it another shot. There is nothing wrong in not being successful in your attempt if you learn fom each attempt and do things differently. That is what I plan to do. Here is what I have learnt from attempting the NaNoWriMo in 2015 and 2016
I vaguely remember an interaction with Anjlee Shah before the release of The Shaadi Brouhaha, when she was promoting the book on social media. I remember reading an excerpt and making a mental note to pick this up. Then, the usual happened. You know, work, baby, travel and all that. I forgot about it. Fast forward to today, where armed with a Kindle Unlimited subscription for a year, I prowl the catalogue for interesting reads. The book popped up again and I lapped it without hesitation.
Plot of The Shaadi Brouhaha
The Shaadi Brouhaha has a very simple plot. It is the story of a girl’s quest to find a groom – the arranged marriage way. As per the book blurb on Goodreads,
Launching a newbie into the Indian matrimonial scene is like introducing a new iPhone in an already saturated market has to be sleek, overflowing with catchy features and better than the already available versions. So when twenty-five-year-old Nitya Trivedi is forced into it by her ever so enthusiastic mother and pestering relatives, she hardly knows what she has bargained for. In her journey to find her soul-mate, she becomes Dollarkumar’s Poundkumari, ends up fasting on party days to make peace with her horrorscope, attends hilarious ‘arranged’ meetings through various matchmaking portals and people – all under the nose of her extremely evil, but deliciously debonair boss Rudra Desai. With besties tying the knot and cousins ‘stealing’ prospective groom, wonder how Nitya’s mother will find the perfect match for her only daughter. But as always, love will find a way in the midst of The Shaadi Brouhaha..
The Shaadi Brouhaha – What I Liked
While the theme of the book is not new, the writing is fresh and real. The book is peppered with arranged marriage cliches like supposedly well meaning relatives who do more harm than good, boisterous would be grooms and even one time married ladies who suddenly become authorities on arranged marriage! Despite all that, Anjlee manages to keep the writer hooked. Her writing is so real I felt that I was chatting with a friend. The biggest asset of the book is its humour. The book is absolutely hilarious. I was chuckling loudly so often that people at home began wondering what was wrong with me! I love the dramatic characterisation of Nitya’s mother. There is immense scope of drama and humour when a young girl and her enthusiastic, dramatic mother are thrown into the arranged marriage scenario. It is very easy to be boring or go overboard. Anjlee does neither. The book moves along at a decent pace each character adds its own colour and humour to the story.
The Shaadi Brouhaha – What I Did Not Like
The one thing that I did not understand was the male protagonist, Rudra Desai. If the author was going for the Mysterious Handsome man effect, she totally nailed it. Why did he get attracted to her in the first place is something I am wondering. In the beginning, he is intimidating and later, a bit of a buffoon. Sending a private email to the whole office? Writing suggestive things on office email? C’mon, a senior guy would be more discreet than that! But apart from this little snag, the book was perfect.
The Shaadi Brouhaha – Overall Thoughts
That small glitch I mentioned above would probably make me deduct half a point from this otherwise perfect 10 novel. In my eye, a book that entertains, has great language and relatable characters is the perfect book. It does not have to be a complex, layered literary classic. The Shaadi Brouhaha is a lovely read with guaranteed laughs. I highly recommend it.
This is Anjlee’s first book and I sure am waiting to read more books by her.
Disclaimer – This is not a sponsored post and I was not compensated by the author or the publication for it. I am doing this to bring a great book to my readers 🙂 The link below is the amazon associates link for this book though and if you use it to order the book, I stand to make a small commission.
Jan being the birthday month, highlight can only be birthday! I wore a short dress for the first time in my life. Well, that is one item ticked off the list 🙂
Feb was our anniversary. We crossed the seven year itch and took our annual vacation to celebrate right afterward.
I went to US on work in March and landed there a day after a massive snow storm. I even joked with colleagues saying I brought the sunshine from India for them! It was my first experience of staying in a snowy place! I even saw Washington by day this time.
April was a good month blogging wise. I attempted the A2Z Blogging Challenge, did a few sponsored posts and was even interviewed on Bhavita’s blog. I even ended up winning a contest at Prasad’s blog Desi Traveller and he sent me the chronicles of Kerala Blog Express.
I kicked off May attending a two day workshop by Traci Ann Kurtis called You Inc. It was a great place to learn all about branding yourself. May was hubby’s birthday and we had a fun family day.
June brought out the monsoon and multiple work trips by hubby! I spent a fabulous afternoon with Suman. She is such great company. I look forward to our meetings all the time. June was her birthday month and we met a few days after that 🙂
July was pretty much a low key month. The highlight would have to be a Frozen themed birthday party that we attended. It is significant because my daughter learnt of the extent of preparation needed in a theme party and began talking of themes for her own. Also, this would have to be the point the Frozen madness began with her!
September was a busy busy month! My daughter turned 5. On the day of her birthday, we celebrated in school, day care and then a family lunch. The weekend afterward, we did a Princess themed party where all her friends were invited. I was the emcee of the evening and what a fun time it was!!! Everyone including the kids and the parents had a super awesome time 🙂 Then came Ganesh Chaturthi where we did Lalbaugcha Raja Darshan. We left at 3 am and were back by 6 am – all before sunrise! My team at work also had an outbound on a beach resort near Mumbai. So all in all, it was a hectic month.
October brought with it our first visit to Kidzania – a role playing activity park for kids. My daughter and her friends had such a good time here 🙂 I also attended a photography workshop and learnt some basics of photography by Xerxes Adrianwala who is an avid trekker and amateur photographer. The highlight of October though was Karva Chauth!
November began with a bang called BNLF! I met Purba Ray!!! Need I say more? Well, I do… my daughter won a silver medal in a Karate competition!
December too was awesome thanks to Indiblogger. I was short listed for Zica Drive in Goa. There were two more meets on the same day! The festival spirit kicked in and we got all Christmassy. I also began hosting a giveaway on my blog. I ended the year relaxing at home with a book, a glass of wine and some vanilla scented candles. My pals from the Zica trip all sent Spock Hand selfies to Ankita Singhal who created this gorgeous collage!
That’s all folks! See you next year with another Highlights post 🙂
As a wannabe writer, any book about writers is bound to catch my eye. Now imagine a romantic thriller woven around this concept and you have my undivided attention. No wonder then, that I read The Bestseller She Wrote cover to cover in a day! Did I like it? Well… read on to know 🙂
Plot of The Bestseller She Wrote
The story revolves around Ravi Kapoor – a banker, an IIM Alumnus and an extremely successful author. Shreya Kaushik is a young IIM pass out who enlists his help to become a bestselling author herself. The book is about their relationship and has elements of romance, drama and even mystery.
The Bestseller She Wrote – What I Liked
The book is very well paced. At no point does it slack, at no point does the author meander. There is always something happening and I was enticed to turn the pages. Yet, it does not move at the dizzying speed of a typical thriller. I was able to enjoy the read thoroughly due to the well balanced pace.
The main characters are extremely well defined. In fact, the book for me is a study in character development. Ravi Subramanian reveals a few character traits early on and reinforces them throughout the book. Both the protagonists are etched very clearly. I might call Shreya Kaushik’s character as one dimensional, but I bet that is intentional and allows her to focus on her key agenda – to become a bestselling author.
There are no unnecessary explanations. A man met a young woman, was attracted to her and knowing it was not right, he still got physically and emotionally involved with her. The author does not try to justify this on the back of a loveless marriage or anything else. He makes a mistake, faces the consequences of it and goes on to rectify it as much as possible.
I liked the story the best. Ravi Subramanian has come up with something very believable. These characters – A successful middle aged married man, a good wife and a young ambitious girl – would work in any setting. He could be a businessman, an architect, a lawyer and the story would still hold. The elements of mystery and the way it has been revealed in the end is something I liked a lot. I can definitely read this book again 🙂
The Bestseller She Wrote – What I Disliked
The character profiling is cliched! Aditya Kapoor is Ravi Subramanian, Chetan Bhagat and Amish Tripathi all rolled into one. Right from meeting bollywood stars at discos to invitations of judging reality shows, he does it all. Whether the author was taking digs at his fraternity or trying to make Aditya more believable, I do not know. However, to me, it seemed unimaginative.
I felt that the supporting characters were not as well defined as the two leads. Aditya’s wife Maya is central to the story and yet, we don’t see what drives her. Her relationship with her husband before his involvement with Shreya could have been better explained. The author gives us only get a glimpse of it as if to explain that he had a happy married life and no real reasons to stray.
Final Thoughts on The Bestseller She Wrote
To sum it up, I would say that this is an easy read that engages the reader in the lives of the characters completely. You empathise and sympathise with the protagonist and feel his turmoil, his pain. The fast paced book keeps you hooked and you want to know how Aditya gets out of the mess in his life. In the bargain, you learn about prejudice, about betrayal and even about finding strength and support in unexpected places. I would give it 3.5 stars on 5