Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Men On My Mind by Radha Thomas

Title : Men On My Mind
Author : Radha Thomas
Genre : Fiction / ChickLit
Publisher : Rupa Publications
Pages : 270
My Rating : 6.5/10
Reviewed For : Storizen TV


A hugely entertaining novel about love, sex and adventure.

You’re a girl from the land of the Kamasutra. And everyone expects your love skills to comprise the acrobatic, the inventive, the superlative. You try, of course, to game- ly meet the baffling requirements of the men who walk in and out of your life. But how much can you really do, when your investments yield minimum returns and maximum weirdness? When your mothers words keep ringing in your head: You need at least five men to fulfil you, sweetie. Remember Draupadi?
From starry-eyed crushes to lustful longings, from Catholic convents to raucous nightclubs, from boarding-school bloomers to the Open Butterfly g-string, from lov- ers to stalkers to philanderers Radha Thomas takes you on a crazy ride through Mumbai, Delhi, Beijing, Rotorua and New York, in the age-old quest for The One. A wickedly funny and flirtatious book about that mysterious thing called love, Men on My Mind is a delicious mix of sex, adventure and discovery that you must not resist.

My Review:

The search for the “Elusive Mr. Right” has provided quite some fodder for a few delightfully dishy reads in Chick Lit and has proven to be a successful formula for many a RomComs. As the name suggests, ‘Men on my Mind’ is quintessentially the journey of a young, innocent 7-year old who has her moment of epiphany when she eavesdrops on a conversation between her mom & her aunt. Wherein, her mom explains to her aunt that every woman needs at least five men to fulfill her & goes on to describe each man & his usefulness in detail. Armed with this knowledge, our girl starts off the journey of finding her Mr. Right from this tender age. What follows is a series of humorous/embarrassing/painful incidents as she experiments with a series of men from possessive loonies to pathetic kissers to drug addicts to two timers. But she never loses hope, takes it all in her stride and shinnies her way through the dangerous minefield of BFFs & boyfriend to ultimately find The One who would eventually makes her toes curl & nose tingle over just a smouldering stare!! The fact that India is the land of Kama sutra & Draupadi who needed five men to fulfil her is used expended & employed by the author to elaborate on our heroine’s various shades of grey.

The cover depicts pair of legs with shoes in one foot & heels in another which perhaps depict the transition of the protagonist as she globe trots from the chaste environment at a nun-dictated boarding to across the seven seas in search of True Love. This and the other elements on the cover page (guitar, martinis and so on) give a kaleidoscope view of her social life & her various sexcapades.

Men on my Mind is a frank yet unblushing chronology of our protagonist’s experiments with men where she only has knowledge that is borrowed from BFFs or read in M&Bs or drawn from fantasies or learnt from her own past experiences. Although she studies in the celibate environment of a convent, it leaves her lusting more than ever & describes the various perils that she undergoes to start her voyage with boys. After her schooling, her family shifts from Mumbai to Delhi & she has her brush with men in the capital city. Yet “The One” remains elusive. Finally she is packed off to the States to live with her aunt & do something in her life other than finding boys who would be ready to deflower her virginity. Initially, the debauchery might be a little too much to take but as the book progresses, you develop a sense of solidarity with the heroine as she juggles with more than one relationship at a time, loses her BFFs as easily as her men and has one night stands without any regrets.

When I started with the first chapter I thought that it was a memoir of sorts. However, as the novel progressed, I found it to be a well paced, candidly penned story. In addition to the character of the protagonist, the secondary characters (or more accurately – the various men in her life) are all well developed. However, there was an overload of men that tended to seem a bit of a drag towards the end. The ending, too, seemed a bit abrupt as if rounded off hastily which may leave the reader unsatiated. Of course, after following our heroine’s journey tediously from one loser to another the reader would always want a full blown account of the elusive happy ending at the end. But, since this is the first part of a trilogy, I guess the author has purposely kept it a secret & built up the suspense for the second book. All in all, this is a light, funny read which can be breezed through in a single sitting.
(The review copy has been provided by Storizen TV. This review is entirely my own personal & honest opinion. I do not receive any kind of payment or monetary gains for my review.)

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Sunday, 3 March 2013

Those Pricey Thakur Girls by Anuja Chauhan

Title : Those Pricey Thakur Girls
Author : Anuja Chauhan
Genre : Fiction / RomCom
Publisher : Harper Collins
Pages : 400
My Rating : 8/10
Reviewed For : MySmartPrice / IQR


In a sprawling bungalow on New Delhi’s 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.

My Review:


Having read the Zoya Factor & Battle for Bittora by Anuja Chauhan, you can be sure of two things – first one is that you know from the start that the story will follow predictable patterns and the protagonists are going to end up with each other. Yet even after knowing the foreseeable happy ending, the factor that keeps you hooked is the absolute laugh riot that Anuja’s novel promise to be. Secondly, you can be sure that you are in for some major drama which is peppered with some good old mushy romance & some solid Old Delhi masala. And with her latest release, Anuja Chauhan gives you just that.
Justice Laxmi Narayan Thakur is blessed with 5 daughters, who are named alphabetically from A to E. However, each of them is as eccentric & as different from each other as the colours of rainbow. Amongst them, Debjani is the Judge’s favourite & the protagonist of our story. Debjani aka Dabbu is the quintessential fiery lassie with an absolute preoccupation for stray animals & losers. She has just started her career of being a newsreader at DD (not Door Darshan!! It’s DeshDarpan), landed up in trouble & is quite some damsel in distress courtesy our hero – yummy & delectable - Dylan Singh Shekhawat who is an investigative journalist. Obviously, we know that D-for-Dylan & D-for-Debjani are “The Couple” but what the reader really has to look forward to is the D-for-Dhamaal & Dhamaka that would be accompanying the plot!! Set in pre-liberalisation New Delhi, Those Pricey Thakur Girls is a typical love story with a few complexities, misunderstandings, clich├ęs and a potpourri of characters each displaying varying levels of bizarreness.

For those who have read Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen, Those Pricey Thakur Girls will bear a striking resemblance to the classic albeit with the backdrop of Delhi in 1980s. However, Anuja has given her own unique, hilarious spin to the classic elements & has churned out a desi laugh out loud encore. Undoubtedly, the most enjoyable part of this read is its narration which was brisk with equal parts of romance, sarcasm & drollness. Perhaps the best part about Anuja Chauhan’s writing is that she develops the secondary characters as good as the protagonists. The characters are very well etched & each has a distinctive voice of their own. However, I found the story a bit of a drag in few parts. The plot would have been a bit more crispier sans 30-40 pages. But since this is an absolutely witty & funny romp, you will breeze by the bulk of the book a lot more easily. Go ahead, reserve this weekend for this read!!!

P.S. Here’s some good news for fans of Chauhan - Coming soon is the second part in the series – The House That BJ Built...looks promising!!

(The review copy has been provided by MySmartPrice. This review is entirely my own personal & honest opinion. I do not receive any kind of payment or monetary gains for my review.)

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