Sunday, January 29, 2012

Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si would not be Aneela, if her review didn't bring in Bollywood right up centrestage, would it. Here's what she has to say about The Reluctant Detective.

"Kiran Manral uses a breathless narrative, the protagonist tugging at your elbow, speeding you through a mad, spiralling, series of events, opening up a world that never existed beyond a cursory nod at the They Also Occupy My Scope of Vision.

Manral uses the cunning device of a murder/mystery plot to reel us in. The quick deaths (rather murders) are but a vehicle to conduct what can be best identified as a social commentary on the Life and Times of (what the book blurb dubs as the) School Gate Mom. Who is this curious creature? The book title (in a very attention-grabbing font) might announce the introduction of The Reluctant Detective, but the book screams The Reluctant Homemaker. Who are these mysterious women amidst us who power walk the malls, nervously negotiate The Help, escape domesticity in extended phone calls to parents and ex-school mates, despair at their children, and alternate between shadow boxing and tip-toeing around the spouse? They look confident in the flesh and many a time have had me shaking in my boots in real life as they stand next to me at supermarkets, school parking lots all color coordinated, well coiffed,. But Manral through the very endearing Kanan “Kay” Mehra unpacks the bundle of nerves and anxiety this seemingly “put together” woman is. There are still questions (but perhaps that is another book) of why the daughters of straight talking government servants and thrifty mothers have turned out so complex and anxious about their place in the world, with that fake Chanel mini and LV rip-offs providing much succor to make life a wee bit more meaningful."
Read more here.

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