2 years ago while ideally flipping through books at the Delhi Book Fair, feeling like the proverbial Alice in Wonderland (Yup my two greatest passions in life reading and writing, apart from sleeping and eating afcourse, but that goes without saying if you know me at me all) I entered Rupa publishers group of stalls. I walked in a little wearily, considering I'm not too fond of Indian writers. Don't get me wrong I've read my fair share of Amitav Ghosh, Salman Rushdie, Kiran Desai and even Chetan Bhagat but see when it comes to relatively lesser known Indian authors I feel the books reflect who we really our as Indians, the uncomfortable feeling that we are not really English but the fact the English happens to be first language for a whole lot of us.What this essentially means is that, the book doesn't read comfortably, it often seems stiff and entirely too formal.
So on that fateful day when I picked up Right Fit Wrong Shoe by a relatively unknown author, Varsha Dixit, Indian at that, she already had a lot of strikes against her. Eventually I ended up buying the book. Why you may ask? well first up coming from the Rupa stable, the book cost a very economical 95 bucks (yes I'm Indian, and I scrimp every penny I can, so sue me!) next I'm ashamed to admit this, as would any seasoned reader, but I was drawn to the name and the name alone of the book. So since I didn't have very much to do that weekend, I ended up taking the book home.
What followed was probably one of the most enjoyable Saturday afternoons I remember spending in a long time. Nandini and Sneha reminded me of me and my best friend, as I'm sure they will remind you of yourself and your BFF. They were instantly likable and Dixit's wicked sense of humour had me in fits of laughter, making my domestic help look at me rather ominously while shaking her head disgustingly on a number of occasions. What I particularly enjoyed was the interesting names of Chapters, that were named after Bollywood movies. As if this wasn't enough in walked Aditya Sarin, the ultimate M&B kind of leading man, the kind who you are sure is amazing in bed, just by reading the introduction. The book turned out to be a great read, and I didn't raise any eyebrows when it became a bestseller. An Indian author, who wrote decent love stories, can you hear the hallelujah chorus? How did I personally know that the book was destined for success? The end came regretfully soon and put a smile on my face that lasted almost a whole week. In my eyes that the mark of a really good love story.
So when a couple of months ago I heard that Ms. Dixit was coming up with a sequel to Right Fit, I was overjoyed. Restlessly awaiting the launch, I pre-ordered my copy almost 15 days in advance. I remember getting the call, from the Flipkart delivery guy asking me to come to the reception of my office and sign for the delivery. Hearing the same old Hallelujah chorus I happily skipped to the reception of my office, and looked at the package with so much love, you would think it were my first born!
That evening I tore open the packaging and set about reading Sneha and Nikhil's story. See Sneha reminded me of myself in her sense of humor and kick ass attitude, and well in my mind, it was about time she got her happy ending.
The book was definitely a good read, but I guess having read the two I still prefer the former more. The sequel came laden with typos, and sadly less interestingly named chapters. What I did not like was how the book was very obviously divided into two parts- Nadini and Aditya's story guest starring Gayatri, Aditya's ex-finance from Right Fit, and the second featuring Sneha and Nikhil. The fact that the stories stood divided instead of flowing hand in hand, was something that jumped out at me.
But having counted the negatives, here's how the score stands. the book is amazing, funny, witty and definitely worth a read, definitely for those who enjoyed Right Fit as much as me. I was amazed by Sneha's strength, and I actually liked how Nikhil's personality didn't really change all that much in the book (I hate it in M&Bs when the hero goes all soft and mushy towards the end). The story has the making of another bestseller, but for me it will always come in second, considering that Ms. Dixit set the bar pretty high with Right fit. There were parts that were definitely too filmy for my taste, and I did not really think that this book was more mature or complex than Right Fit.
Having said that however, in the end, it only matters that, the book inspired me enough to write this particular blogpost and yes I did walk around with a smile on my face for two whole days. So all in all, in my eyes the book is a success. Good Job Ms. Dixit!