24 January 2015

Review #129: The Recession Groom by Vani Kaushal

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“The bottom line is that we never fall for the person we're supposed to.”
----Jodi Picoult, My Sister's Keeper

Vani, an Indian author, took a spin on Indian marriage, recession and love with her debut book, The Recession Groom .

Parshuraman Joshi, 27, handsome, Hindu-Brahmin, IT Professional, settled in Canada, earns a high-figure salary.
These are credentials that would make any young man hot on the Indian wedding market, so it's no wonder that Parshuraman's family is inundated with matrimonial proposals. While so far all attempts to 'settle' him have gone kaput, he has bigger issues vexing him - such as Jennifer, his 'fireball' of a colleague, and their efforts to save Project Infinite. To top it all, as the credit crisis grips the global economy, the little world he's created for himself begins to fall apart. Will he be able to pull himself together to face the challenges posed by a tough economy? More importantly, will this Recession Groom be able to find his 'perfect partner'?

Before beginning my review, let me tell you how an arranged marriage works in India. Firstly, you need a groom- well educated, well settled, well behaved from a very good back ground and if the groom happens to work in a foreign company, settled in US or UK, then it's not difficult for him to get a good bride. And in India, marriage is not a sacred institution of two hearts- a man and a woman- but it involves one whole community- groom's community and bride's community, and without their blessing, a marriage will never work.

Similarly, the protagonist, Parshuraman has all the great attributes to get married, a five figure salary job in Toronto, handsome and well background. And under the care of his nosy aunt and bossy sister, he is on his way to getting married. And it seems like all his aunt's and sister's efforts are going down the drain, because of Parshuraman's mindlessness in the whole marriage affair. But things fall apart, when Parshuraman loses his job, eventually, it became difficult for his aunt and sister to get a good bride for him. Read this book to find out Parshuraman's journey on the road to marriage and employment.

Firstly, I'd like to applaud for this first time author, Vani, for pulling her story off like any other experienced author. The language in Vani's book is polished and flawless, and her writing is quite crisp and articulate. The prose is well very emphatic, light and filled with witty antidotes. From the very first page, I was grasped into the heart of the story. Moreover, the plot progressed in a good pace and the author have kept things interesting. Yes, there are some unexpected twists in the book, especially the climax, that one I didn't see coming. Well the only, flaw I found in the book was the narrative style, at times it felt bit monotonous unlike the flawless storyline.

Well the characters are the best thing in this book- a vast ocean of colorful and bright characters. Beginning with the protagonist, Parshuraman, who is a shy type of guy, modest, rarely speaks his mind, yet has a smart brain, never disrespects his elders and what I loved is that this guy had ethics and followed them religiously, yeah a perfect guy for marriage material. Sister, Ragini, enthusiastic and bossy and always knew all the tricks to bring her brother on the right track. Grandmother, Nani, what to say about this old lady, she is indeed the coolest grandma of the generation, who fancies Robert Pattinson and watches Hollywood movies, and is very wise. Aunt, Parvati, nosy, irritating, talks too much, loves to jump into other people's business, always walks one step ahead of her nephew, Parshuraman, on the way to finding a bride or job or whatever.

Told in a third person narrative, thus leaving room for our thoughts to look at the story in our own perspective. Well there is another flaw that I felt in the book is the lack of emotions. Since it is a contemporary novel, so emotions matter a lot. Although the story is crafted in an entertaining way, still I felt the lack of basic emotions at some places. Nevertheless, I was laughing like crazy at those Aunt Parvati's moments and many other. Vani's funny tone kept me hooked to the book till the very end. Moreover, the plot is really unique and very real just like the set of striking characters. Also the the situations in and around an IT company is thoroughly insightful and it sounded like the author had done her research well enough to bring alive the period of recession in our history.

Verdict: A must read novel that will keep you entertained till the very last page and if you want to see how marriages work in India, then definitely grab a copy of this book.

Courtesy: Thanks to the author, Vani, for giving me an opportunity to read and review her book. 

Author Bio:
I was born in Garian, Libya, in a traditional Hindu Punjabi family. My parents prized good education above all else, and when I was still small, they decided to move base to Chandigarh,a modern city in the North of India, famed for its educational institutions. As a child, I loved reading, but writing stories of my own never occurred to me, much like everything else. Becoming a doctor wasn’t an option, for the very sight of blood made me retch. Mathematics and Excel sheets bored me no end, leaving Humanities as a last resort. I could easily compete for the civil services, my parents reasoned, although, sitting for an exam with a million potential candidates vying for one job didn’t make much sense to me. Fortunately, life took a better turn and it was a Masters degree in Economics alongside a programme in Mass Communications that set my foundation for a career in business journalism. Luckily, I got to work in some of the best organizations in India, like ‘The Times of India’ and ‘The Financial Express’.
In 2004, I was hit with the desire to write a novel. However, a few drafts and several ideas later, I gave it all up to pursue an MBA degree from Kingston University in London. Of course, I dreamt about MNC firms coveting me, the Deloittes and the McKinseys of the world chasing me with multiple job offers, the likes of Accenture begging me to work for them. The reality was quite different. The completion of my course coincided with the start of global recession and my dreams could never be realized. My situation, nevertheless, prompted me to write my first novel. So, it was all okay in the end.
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