Full disclosure: The publisher LeadStart sent me this book to review it. However, all opinions in this review are fully mine and not influenced by any one.
Book Name: Marry go round
Author: Sadiqa Peerbhoy,
Genre: Indian fiction
- The book starts off with Sartaj Begum, a middle aged lady in Hyderabad, whose son, Riaz is settled as a Direct Marketing Executive in New York (the protagonist).
- The story revolves around Sartaj trying to get her son back home to India and get him married to an Indian girl.
- The book is a veritable Indian soap (from Star Plus or Sony) bundled into a book. The story however is super convoluted.
- If you are not a Hyderabadi (like me), you would be thrown off by the Urdu terminology and phrases. Unfortunately, most of these urdu phrases do not have a English translation next to it. This irritated me a bit. While the attempt was valiant to try and steep me in the rich Hyderabadi culture, it did the opposite for me. It created more dissonance.
- Calling Riaz by an email saying the mother has a heart attack seemed a bit cliche.
- Riaz however is having a live-in relationship with an American girl. When he leaves to India, she immediately follows. Though, I may be nit-picking here a bit, how does one get an Indian Visa so quickly. All stories that I have heard say that, it takes a long time.
- The soap opera then dissolves into a bevy of criss-crossing romantic relationships, some which are just a bit too filmy to believe. An example is the American girl immediately succumbing to the Riaz’s cousin. The cousin tells her about the protagonists lust for another girl, and immediately she falls in love with the cousin. American girl deciding in 2 days to marry an Indian guy and live in India forever. Hmm. A bit hard to digest.
- Sartaj has a real heart attack. Riaz falls in love with the cardiologist – Meera. He calls it love at first touch. Hmm, what ? And then they talk in the hospital cafetaria. And they fall in love.
- Meera’s father deals in real estate. Riaz’s child hood friends “persuade” with force Meera’s father to agree to the Hindu-Muslim wedding.
- Original girl (Sana) fixed to the protagonist had just ended a relationship with her colleague, whom she had just found out to be married and has a pregnant wife. She finds this out in an office party, and dumps him.
- Calling this girl Sana Mirza, also sounded cheezy to me (found it flimsily alluding Sania Mirza – the badminton player?). Perhaps because I am not Hyderabadi, I found it that way.
- Meanwhile, an angry relative (whose son had been ‘fixed’ for Sana as soon as they were born) breaks this proposal by breaking a truth about the girl being a half Hindu being born of an illegal affair of the colonel when he was on duty somehere in the North.
- After a while, all these affairs and illegal lovelocks, and proposal breakages and a good measure of Urdu thrown in, had me swimming around aimlessly quite a bit.
If you are a soap opera lover, and a Hyderbadi, I am guessing, you may really like this novel. But if you do not like either, you would have some problems digesting this book. One more problem I had was, how to categorize this. My mind was struggling between trying to believe this to be a modern Indian drama being played out -vs- a hilarious comedy with a great deal of exaggeration thrown in.