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May 16, 2015

Book Review - 193 : My Clingy Girlfriend




Author : Madhuri Banerjee
Publisher : Westland Books

Madhuri Banerjee’s latest book My Clingy Girlfriend looks at romance from a man’s perspective in a fun-light-hearted way. A clingy girlfriend will go through your phone. She will destroy the contact numbers of every other girl on your phone. She will delete your Facebook profile. And will give you forty-five missed calls in the sixty minutes you put your phone on silent for an office presentation.

Obrokranti Banerjee’s girlfriend ticks all of these, and more. Caught between wanting to break up, and the fear that he’ll never find another girlfriend if he does, he finds himself doing things he never imagined: watching Shah Rukh Khan movies, having to fast with her on karva chauth, and perhaps worst of all, having his girlfriend join him on a boys’ night out!

Subtlety is definitely not the forte of this book and author goes full throttle in depicting the stinginess of the relationship between the two lead protagonists, ultimately turning Radha into a caricature. There is never a sense of belonging to her - no back story, no bad relationship experiences, no parental marriage discords, nothing at all which makes it all the more confusing as readers keep comprehending why she behaves in this particular manner. The tips given by Obro at the end of the book look like cut paste from newspaper columns and derails the book completely by slowing down in an otherwise fast paced, well edited book. But these 'tips section' stick out like sore thumb because they do nothing to add to the narrative and just add to the sexist one dimensional tone of the book.

However, if you can get past the narrow character traits, there is some fun to be had - the conversations between the protagonists will remind you of some of your own talks if you ever been in a relationship, specially a live-in one. There is also a really, really nice section where Obro actually think how miserable he has been all this while and how he is responsible for all the trouble in their relationship. I thought this perspective brought some sort of sanity and relatibility factor to his character. The climax is just too convenient and this may be another shot by yet another author to try and make a sequel out of really a 'no plot book'.

I am going with generous 2.5/5 for Madhuri Banerjee's 'My clingy Girlfriend'.  It is funny in parts, makes you think at times but otherwise tends to be cater on a one dimensional tone. Read it if you must.

[This book review was done in association with Writers Melon ]

May 3, 2015

Book review - 192 : Story of Tublu



Author : Jahid Akhtar

Publisher : Lifi Publications

Devastated by the floods, Bipin and his little boy Tublu move to a faraway land, where they meet the Sharma’s. This marks the beginning of a long and enduring relationship between Bipin and the Sharma’s, and the growing friendship of their children Tublu and Maina. The book captures the journey of this friendship through childhood to adolescence and into adulthood. From some interesting school and college humor, the story progresses on and develops into a mature narrative. As years pass, Tublu’s plain and silent crush on Maina develops into deep love and longing for Maina which bears the potential to conquer all of life’s challenges.

As you would imagine, this blurb and the foreword give away all the story and major twists in the book. One needs to wonder why anyone remotely associated with the book did not bother to check on this major goof up. Consequently, as a reader you are never deeply interested in the tribulations and the respective, coming of age story of Tublu. There is too much happening - moving to different places, devastation of floods, college memories, childhood nostalgia, happy but cliche ending but there is never a feeling of anything of genuine interest or even a slight tension in the narrative. You are going through the pages without really bothering what is happening with these characters.

I am going with 1.5/5 for Jahid Akthar's Story of Tublu. Noble intentions aside, this is a poorly structured and presented book asking for little investment from you as a reader. Even if you are a fan of mass fiction, this will be a difficult book to go through. Read at your own risk!

Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ssem-SCO8ZE

The book was received as part of Reviewers Programme on The Tales Pensieve.