Title: Those Pricey Thakur Girls
Author: Anuja Chauhan
Publisher: Harper Collins India
Cast firmly in the Romantic Comedy genre, Anuja Chauhan’s latest release ‘Those Pricey Thakur Girls’ is steeped in Delhi life. Well certainly, you’ll enjoy Ms Chauhan’s spontaneity, sarcasm, wit, and humor even if you’ve never set foot in the city. The romance between D for Dabbu (Debjani) (the third daughter of retired Justice Thakur from the big bungalow at Hailey Street), and Dylan Singh Shekhawat (the half-Rajput half-Christian star investigative reporter with India Post who holds a very shallow reputation with the women who are drawn to him) is quite an attraction in itself.
What makes a reader keep turning the pages on this one is the satirical and funny but clearly realistic depiction of the eccentricities that make up these characters – Justice Thakur’s alphabetical naming of his daughters, Debjani’s insistent championship of the underdog, her aunt’s choicest vernacular abuses generously lavished on her philandering husband, Anjini’s incorrigible superiority complex, Binodini’s subversive demands of the property’s hissa, Dylan’s obsession with exposing the politician responsible for the massacre of the Sikhs in East Delhi – all make part of this very alluring tale.
The central characters themselves pose quite an intrigue. The shy but charming Debjani who gets chosen to read news on the pre-liberalization era state-run DD channel acts the perfect counter point to the disturbingly handsome Dylan who outlives his Army-brat upbringing to study journalism in London and to pursue a sensational expose on the roguish Delhi ka neta who perpetuated mob violence in the times following Indira Gandhi’s assassination.
One thing is clear, though – Ms Chauhan is hoping that the book will be adapted into a movie. The story has been set out in clear scenes with a distinct Delhi-laced language. The climax, too, comes across as distinctly filmy with Dylan jumping off the roof of a newly constructed apartment building to save his paramour’s aunt, only to be saved by a sturdily built shamiana. Considering that two of the author’s earlier works – The Zoya Factor and Battle for Bittora – are currently under production as Bollywood flicks, this is clearly Ms Chauhan’s next pitch to the glitzy world of Hindi blockbusters.
Our verdict – Good fun, worth the time and money. A likable romantic comedy. Likely to be much better appreciated if you are from Delhi or at least understand the 1980s fascination with beautiful English news readers who wear roses in their braids.