This is the latest book from the joint venture of Harper collins and the India Today Group. The cover photo of the book depicts a bat , a ball, an impression of a kiss and some flowery twirls around them. What idea does that give you? You guessed it right! Cricket. Cricket. And more of cricket with all the bollywood masala sprinkled like mozzarella cheese on a pepperoni pizza.
Admittedly, it started off very well , I must say. The first few chapters made me crack up with laughter every now and then. Nothing in this story can be even remotely called subtle. Everything is blown to the full!
Zoya Solanki, the female protagonist is a 27 year old professional working in the service sector of an advertising company. One would expect some amount of maturity due for her age and stature. But Zoya comes across as a ‘just out of the college kiddo’, whose world revolves around her romances and her beaus. More often than not, she is portrayed in ‘he loves me….he loves me not’ scenarios, ranting and raving constantly about her lost loves. Oh please…give us a break! Pity stunts!
Then there is Nikhil Khoda, the male protagonist , as well as the Indian skipper. Undoubtedly, he was characterized solely based on Dhoni, both in looks as well as nature. Right from the brown ‘toffee’ skin, Boost ads, to being a small towner…….it is Dhoni to the T! There are a few other characters that show uncanny resemblances to some cricketers we know.
The whole story is based on a ridiculous superstition of the Indian cricket team that, Zoya Solanki is a lucky charm for them! So much so that, they never lose a single match when they have breakfast with her and the one whom she kisses emerges as the Man of the Match!! Roll your eyes all you want because that’s exactly what I did, albeit a few hundred times, while reading the book. And ofcourse, there is the budding romance between the skipper and Zoya which goes on and off………on and off…..
But apart from this dismal and outrageous storyline, what really makes this a good one time read is that quite often you can actually relate to the language they speak, the scenarios in a working environment and ofcourse the absolute madness and mayhem that exists during an ongoing World Cup Tournament.
Anuja Chauhan has taken this platform to showcase her God-only -knows-why grudges against a few companies like Pepsi (disguised as Zing), Nike, Sony, etc to name a few. I believe it gives her some amount of wicked satisfaction in doing so ;P or it even might be her way of getting back at them for her own reasons! Nevertheless, they provide nice seasoning to the otherwise predictable storyline.
Being what she is, Anuja delivers some really original and absolutely hilarious one-liners in ‘Hinglish’ which can leave you on the floor laughing. This is best part of the book, according to me. All in all, a good one time read that leaves your ribs tickled but nothing else to remember , just like a commercial Bollywood movie.
PS: If you are reading this Anuja, please give us something other than just cricket in your next book. As it is, we have enough and more of cricket offered to us by the other media.