Author: Smita Jain
Publisher: Westland Publications
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Kkrishnaa is the 20-something, impulsive,gutsy and unapologetically ambitious scriptwriter of television soap operas. She desperately wants to retain her long-running primetime show Kkangan Souten ke. But her creative director is threatening to hand over the pen to Kkrishnaa's erstwhile love and current adversary, Dev Trivedi. She must find inspiration to overcome her writer's block and to keep the show. So she decides to spy on her neighbours, a decision that unfortunately leads to her witnessing a murder. And hence ensues a rambunctious, roller coaster ride as Kkrishnaa desperately attempts to keep her job, resist Dev's charms - and, oh yes, avoid getting killed.
Kkrishna is definitely the most fun-filled written character i have come across this year in Indian fiction. Uninhibited and spontaneous, she is the soul of the book, its biggest strength, as her character is not just brought out with lot of smart lines but kind of candor Indian writers seldom invest in female characters. Reading her unethical, illegal, soulless, manipulative ways...you will surely say, 'It's just so bloody good to be bad these days'.
I have never been a fan of those regressive saas-bahu serials. They are responsible why i stopped watching Indian TV serials for close to 8 years now. I personally feel they have very little creativity, highly impractical in their portrayal of drama and let's not even go into the murky details of plagiarism where they blatantly rip-off from movies to sitcoms, both Indian and American. But even though KK is based in the background of a TV serial and it's main protagonist is a script writer, it is actually a mystery thriller with lot of twists and turns interspersed in the narrative.
The problem of reviewing murder mysteries is that as little as one can reveal the plot of the book without giving out the spoilers galore. But i must say it is one book that constantly surprises you, a book that never shows away all its card at once and a book which never stops unraveling itself as the narrative unfolds. That doesn't mean it is a literary masterpiece, far from it actually. But this chic-lit does engage you and occasionally entertain as well. The sexual chemistry and constant bickering with Dev is neatly captured and their conversations are the best bits in the story. The fast pace doesn't really allow you to think how impractical the situation is turning in the narrative at times.
The thing which hurt in the end is the book's length, which could have been cut down by good 70 odd pages. The portions where it side-tracks itself into the serial drama Kkrishna is brewing in her mind even as she is busy solving the murder mystery turns out to be long and weary. Apart from Dev and Kkrishna, other supporting characters are painted with broad strokes and ultimately become caricatures in this otherwise offbeat caper.The BDSM scene at Kkrishna's boss hotel room is written with over-the-top sensibilities and is a little too difficult to digest. The author definitely suffers from what i love to call as 'verbal diarrohea'. There are portions where the point is hammered for long and for very little rewards, that's where you like to shout, 'Move on, women'.
I am going with 3/5 for Smita Jain's first book, Kkrishnaa's Konfessions. It is a book with many layers and you're unlikely to be bored. Read it once with an open mind, enjoy and forget it. If not for anything else, at least the mad masti is back in the reading with this one and for that very reason, deserves to be given a chance!