"There are two types of stories. One, where you sit up and say 'this is so me'. Second, when a story takes you to a world you would hardly believe actually exists." This being the very first line I read about the book raised my expectations from it. It created a sense of mystery waiting to be unfolded in those pages. Even more so when the description added that this story was the latter of the two.
The story as opposed to the description takes you to a world that any person with a minimal knowledge of the world around knows exists. A steel plant in a remote village of India. Big surprise there! Throughout the story I was anticipating something unbelievable, something that would completely throw me off the regular path. Unfortunately I was left anticipating till the very end.
This tale is that of a Delhi girl, Saumya, who loves her fashion, her shoes, her city, her malls, in short all the perks that living in a metro provide. She finds herself placed in a steel plant situated in a remote village in South India (which I'm guessing is the world she never thought existed, MBA grad? Really?) How she copes with the alien surrounding strutting in clothes too scandalising for such a place, being subjected to a whole lot of stares from everyone in the vicinity, witnessing some very gory accidents that working in a Steel Plant bring with it, basically trying to survive the place and deciding whether to run back to the comforts of the city or hold ground and stay put. She then meets one Shubhrodeep Shyamchaudhary, interesting, mysterious, Indian version of Hugh Grant, hippie, world-trotter, creator of the move-on theory and maybe more?
The story looks to convey Saumya's journey and the process of growing up, realising what you wish to do in life and falling in love. There seems to be something amiss when the story reaches the 'falling in love' part. It's abruptly just declared. Where are those small but highly meaningful scenes and events like that special look in the eye, a touch of the hand, a tiny but significant gesture that builds this emotion in the characters and the reader as well? But if you say they're in love and so immensely at that, we believe you.
The brilliance of the book is not in the story, its characters or the plot but the fact that the author has written the book from a girl's perspective. Commendable attempt and a successful one I must add. It has very rightly been said that 'You may take everything away from a girl but please don't take away fashion'. Yes, I could relate to Saumya's joy on finding her cubicle in a corner where no one can see the screen (Facebook!). And her love for shoes strikes the right chord. A girl's story through and through. Another part that I totally enjoyed was Shubro's story. Two thumbs up.
I wish I had a more positive feedback about the book, but I personally think it was a let down. It probably would prove to be a good read if you happen to randomly pick it, knowing and expecting absolutely nothing about it. And yes, disregarding the description given. Enjoyable read if you ignore the grammatical and printing errors, and you don't mind the Indianism (reading about how someone 'went off to sleep' doesn't particularly earn brownie points in English Fiction).
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