Sunday, November 13, 2011

Live from London, Dead from India-a review of Parinda Joshi's book "Live from London"

There exist almost some uncanny parallels between Katrina Kaif and Parinda Joshi’s latest book ‘Live from London’. Both were conceived in London, both of them strategically and slyly chose India as the location to sell their respective area of arts (at least they liked to believe so), and finally and most importantly, both of them suck big time. Except for the difference that the former still manages to carry it off somehow, the latter doesn’t share the same luck.

Set in the backdrop of London, the plot primarily revolves around a clumsy teenager named Nishi Gupta who happens to be an aspiring singer and wants to make it big in the musical circuits of London. That is when she lands up in a musical reality TV show, Britain’s got talent and ends up making a complete embarrassment of herself in front of the many live and TV audience after getting verbally thrashed for her disastrous performance by the not so kind judges. The entire universe of her fairy tale dreams comes crashing down right on her face and she retreats into an incurable isolation for many days only to stuff down endless platters of Indian food served by her doting parents to show their culinary and spilling from the brim solidarity with their only daughter.

 Misery stricken and deeply disappointed, she ultimately decides to recollect the broken pieces of her confidence with the help of her three friends and bags a paid internship in one of the largest recording companies in the UK. The otherwise morose and bland life of Nishi takes a tangy u-turn as she assumes office and just in the nick of time, she gets into an affair with an emerging American sensation, Nick Sindhu Chapman who is being launched by the company in which she is working and happens to be insanely cute. Basking in the utter disbelief of her good fortune, she suddenly gets a new lease of life in her arm candy which leaves all the girls drooling over him and burning in envy of her and makes her almost a celebrity overnight, a feat she could not achieve because of her supposed talent. Things are running smooth as silk for her until one day Nick discovers about her on stage debacle on TV and decides to restore her “doll’s” lost pride  by giving her a chance in his upcoming album against the wish of his agent and the company( heroic!). 

Then enters the vamp in their love tale manifested in the form of Kelly, a troubled and talented singer who is signed by the company to do a duet album with Nick. Sparks start flying all over the place as they start touring all over the world to promote the album. The poor girl is left with no other option but to stay back home and be supportive to all the endeavors of her cutie pie boyfriend, like the urban, ultra-modern girl but the possessive lady resurfaces and she decides to attend a concert in which both Nick and Kelly are performing. This is where the trouble begins when she catches them kissing backstage after the concert (oops!) and decides to get out of the relationship but as usual, it is better said than done. She is entangled in a web of her broken relationship and a highly demanding job.

The events in her life take a downward steep when she is fired from her job without any reason and has to return to her native country India where a lavish wedding of one of her cousins is scheduled to happen. But the unbelievable and totally filmy luck of Nishi Gupta once again shines down on her and she is selected to be the host of a musical reality show with the help of some recommendations from her loving uncles. Back at the wedding, congregation of all her known and unknown relatives continue and she decides to invite her London friends for the wedding. They refuse, they agree, they come and all of them have a soppy reunion. What comes along as a pleasant surprise for Nishi is the arrival of Nick all the way from London to meet her and explain himself. And then another love story unfolds just like Raj and Simran of DDLJ in which the male protagonist comes to India from London to win back the love of his life, Simran. Wow! The dude must be very rich.

Good looks don't necessarily make good books and that is exactly what Parinda Joshi should learn from her debut book . She has tried her level best to ape Chetan Bhagat and his style by making pathetic and over the board attempts to be funny and conjuring up irritating one- liners at various instances but in this futile pursuit of sprinkling a dash of unnecessary humor, she has somehow lost the sense of coherence and structure that connects a novel to the reader and most importantly, to itself. In fact, these supposed punches make the read all the more intolerable by annoying the reader to no limits. Today, sane people have more important jobs to attend to than knowing how many times a girl changes her clothes before going out to a party and how many times she applies mascara in a day or worse how many kisses she blows to herself before the mirror (I would like to stand on the other side of the mirror if girls actually do that!)

 The story has nothing new to offer with the routine an average girl falling in love with a super stud guy and the problems, misunderstandings, the mess and the reunion.  The wait for something logical and connected was eternal and even after the last page, I couldn’t understand the purpose of the plot or the novel. The story line is absolutely, persistently and unfailingly boring and I would rather watch Tulsi Virani weeping out of her Glycerine laden eyes than reading this coma-sleep inducing book which has an irritating dosage of love, sex, misunderstanding and chick culture. Of course, those who are fed up with their lives and are looking for a cheap way of committing suicide can consider reading it as a gift from Miss Joshi.

However, there were some events that stimulated my literary senses but the subsequent events reaffirmed my faith that this book is something that you can’t be proud to be having in your bookshelf.  I can actually recall more than many moments while flipping through the pages when I wished to be brain dead to incubate myself from the Two Hundred and four pages of pure torture. How can an author be so ruthlessly insensitive and insensible while drafting out a story and more so audacious in bringing it out is a matter of incomprehensibility for me. After reading this book, I thought of having an RWA (Readers Welfare Association) that listens to the grievances of afflicted and affected readers and every book that comes into the market should be screened and scrutinized by it to save many lives, bucks and hours that could be utilized into more productive businesses.

Parinda Joshi’s attempt at writing a teen chick transiting into adulthood book can’t be written off completely because what I said was from a guy’s frame of reference and being the typical chick-book it is, it can even go on to be liked by many girls who are dreaming of finding the prince charming of their lives and then dancing around the trees with them but dear Ladies, it either happens in Yash Raj’s movies or Parinda Joshi’s book, not in real life. And by the way, she needs to be more attentive while listening to Hindi songs as at one point she misspells the brilliantly written song “Naina Thag lenge” from the movie “Omkara as “Naina dass lenge” or at least be intelligent enough in copying them correctly from the internet.

On the flipside, if you are seeking out revenge on your ex-flame, then this book is the perfect weapon to vent out your frustration and make her feel sick and nauseated (I’m already assuming that she is not a brain dead girl).

At last but not the least, as a signing off note, I would advise you to keep away from this book or if you want to splurge your millionaire daddy’s hard earned money mindlessly and rashly, you can go against my advice and purchase the book but even in that case, don’t forget to buy along loads of Disprins, a bucket (in case you want to puke) and a wig (if you decide to pluck out your own hair). And yes, don’t forget to switch off your brains.  

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