What’s wrong with India? More specifically what’s wrong with the new-gen Indian authors? Why does everyone thinks that just because they are born in India they have ingrained ability to write about love and romance?
People say (or used to say till sometime back) that Indian movies are romantic and we do good romantic movies and soft mushy types are our forte. But I differed back then I vehemently oppose that notion even today. We do not make good romantic movies in Indian movie industry and on the same lines we do not even write good romantic books/novels or the ones involving ‘love’.
Why don’t we try something other than love? Why does anywhere we begin it has to end with love? Why cant the new breed shed their inhibitions and try something different something bolder? Why not for once truly do something ‘leek se hatkar’?
Anyways enough of my tirade towards the new-gen Indian authors, back to the book this week.
The book this week is ‘Knots and No Crosses‘ by ‘Hitesha Deshpande‘. As it says on the book cover, this is the first book by the author and she seems to be a avid blogger earlier (and a good one too with large following).
There are several problems with the book (or may be it’s just me) beginning with the title itself ‘Knots and No Crosses‘ and the book cover. I didn’t understand the title before I read the book and not even when I finished it. May be my English is just that bad but in no way I could understand the title or relate with the story.
And what’s with the cover page? Why is everything so abstract when all you are trying to do is write down a normal 200 odd pages Indian marriage drama for the public at large who knows basic English and just want to while away time (and may be boast to their friends that they read books)?
And who names the main characters of the book as ‘Akki’ and ‘Bobo’? It was so irritating to read those names again and again at times I felt like just throwing away the book.
The story is utter nuisance (if you even call that a story), the protagonist returning from Munich to marry and all the events that happen in between till he is married to the nth love of his life.
The lad is from somewhere in Rajasthan who against his parents will come to Pune to learn German later gets a job in Mumbai and then gets placed at Munich. In this process he meets so many girls and all the girls he meet falls for him and starts loving him. Now the point to be noted is that nowhere the author explains the physique, personality, charisma (if any) of the lad that all the girls, from the not so good-looking to the extremely gorgeous ones falls for him (even one of them is already married with a kid and is a CEO or something of a company).
Does that sound crazy to you? No wait the cherry at the top is that he doesn’t love any of them initially but later on falls for them. Now how this transition happens every time that is also nowhere explained.
At some point in the book you might get a feeling that the author actually was trying to write a funny book, where the events that are described during the marriage are meant to be hilarious but believe me it doesn’t even begin to tickle your funny bone at any instance.
I have always believed that making someone laugh (as a stand up or as an author) is the most difficult task. You can write a murder mystery, a drama and anything else but a good book which can really make someone smile or laugh is very difficult and the authors who try to write such a book should be double sure about what they are dishing to the readers.
The characters are not properly described and have no significance, the events such as 50 Kgs of marigolds sent to brides home, chacha found to be gay, parents fighting after 40 years marriage, etc all seem like patches. They do not seem essential or integral part of the large story at any point. Even if you delete some events the book is as good or as bad.
Another problem (oh yes I am far from done) is the unnecessary use of some words or some brands, names, etc. I will give this to the author that she can write. How well is the question? But the book reads more like a blog rather than a proper book.
There is this weird fascination among the current new-gen Indian authors of mentioning things like ‘Jack Daniels’, ‘Sabyasachi creation’, ‘iPhone’, ‘Blackberry’ to describe the attributes of their characters. Now what does author wants to convey if the protagonist drank a Jack Daniels or Mrs X wore Sabyasachi designer saree. Probably it’s aping the western novels but they do it so subtly and their characters are so well-defined that if the line reads ‘… and he one last time checked his blackberry for her calls before the game began…’ it never leaves the focus from the character. Here, to describe the qualities of the character or to describe the character itself the author takes help of such words (or products) which are really unnecessary. It doesn’t read good and people are not impressed (these products are still not so part of our culture).
More than necessary characters, confusion, chaos mar the book. How does a flamboyant, outgoing girl like Eva (yea really the name of the girl is Eva and she is Indian) who laughs off all the previous relationships of the lad become so non-understanding and starts creating scene for no reason just a couple of days before marriage, why after agreeing for the marriage the mom and grandma starts calling the would be bride names, why that unnecessary angle of chacha being gay etc. are the questions that left unanswered and believe me after you put down the book you won’t even be interested in getting any answers.
In the end like I said the only thing that probably works for the book is that the author can write (I ain’t saying a book or a blog) and probably that the intent of the book was right and it became chaotic while trying to address so many different points like Indian Marriage, NRI, Traditional Parents, Modern girls, Gay theme, love, friendship, infatuation, heart-break etc.
When it comes to the “Indian Marriage Tamasha”, there is only work that stands out from whatever I have seen or read till date and people should watch that again and again, just to get inspired if nothing else and that is a movie called “Monsoon Wedding”.