BATTLE FOR BITTORA: From the Best Selling Author of The Zoya Factor which is soon to be a Major Motion Picture by RED CHILLIES ENTERTAINMENT.
AUTHOR: Anuja Chauhan
BEST SELLERS: The Zoya Factor. Battle for Bittora is Anuja's Second Novel.
SYNOPSIS (From Back Cover): Twenty - Five year old Jinni lives in Mumbai, works in a hip animation studio and is perfectly happy with her carefree and independent existence. Until her bossy grandmother shows up and announces that it is Jinni's 'duty' to drop everything and come and contest the upcoming Lok Sabha elections from their sleepy hometown, Bittora. Of course Jinni swears she wont. But she soon ends up swathed in cotton saris and frumpy blouses, battling prickly heat, corruption and accusations of nymphomania as candidate Sarojini Pande, a daughter of the illustrious Pande dynasty of Pavit Pradesh. And if life isn't fun already, her main opposition turns out to be Bittora ex-royal, Zain Altaf Khan - an irritatingly idealistic though undeniably lust worthy individual with whom Jinni shares a complicated history...
"Didn't you mean any of the sweetest things you said to me last night?"
I stopped giggling abruptly.
"I meant some stuff." I wrote.
"Good." He wrote back. "I mean some stuff too. Now go away and let me think about how I'm going to crush you."
"In your arms?" I couldn't resist typing.
"No, you maniac. In the elections."
MSM Speaks: I had read a few contemporary (female) Indian writers and this woman is extremely brilliant! Anuja Chauhan managed to make me laugh from the very first page. The story begins with an urban set up where the protagonist works in Pixel Animation Co. Ltd. And yes, she has a gay colleague who is also a good friend. (I swear! He was less gay than the gay men portrayed in a cliche'd manner in other gay books. I loved and hated him at the same time. :D Oh, and his name is "Gai"man :P) So, she enjoys designing ads for Harpic and Domex, when her life is totally flushed down the toilet when her Grandmother Pushpa (Anuja's or Jinni's description of her grandmother is hilarious!) turns up and asks/invites/coerces and finally drops the bomb on her to help her with the election set up in a very small town of Pavit Pradesh, called Bittora.
Now, the book covers Jinni's transformation into Sarojini Pande who has to suddenly stand up for election and she has absolutely NO idea (Like most of us) what goes into making of a politician and politics. She is merely 25 and has chopped hair, like a guy! She wears heels and sexy saris. Not too old, I say. And then blame her hormones, when she meets her childhood, adolescent and sweetheart from the past Zain (She calls him Maruti Zen). Tragically enough, he is her opponent and she knows she (and he of course) is in love. I loved the conflicts of heart and mind and money and how Anuja never fails to deliver her raunchy, punchy one liners. One of my favorites was: "He looked a little startled. (Lean, taut, chiselled and honey gold)...'You dropped clean out of my life and out of my mind." He grinned, 'I bet you did.' 'I bet you did'. I returned. He laughed so hard that he spluttered sherbet all over the railing. (Lean, taut, chiselled and honey gold)." Jinni is so smitten by Zain that this Lean taut thing keeps going in her mind, making serious conversations light and funny, which would otherwise have turned out to be boring.
The book tends to get repetitive at few parts, especially during the middle part, when I was like, come on, finish it already, however, my attention was still going strong, with her clear and crisp style. Very Humorous and Very Very Fresh. MSM votes for Bittora!
A must read to know that being a young leader is so not easy, especially when you are a woman and the target of the hottest guy in the constituency to stand up against. Sexy Romance and Wicked Humor. MSM Recommends!
My rating: 4/5
Battle for Bittora: HarperCollins Publishers 2010 ISBN 978-93-5029-0022-6
Landmark Bookstore Online Price (Special Rate): 222/- INR
List Price: 299/- INR
List Price: 299/- INR