Pyar aur Poetry by Roopa Menon is another novella published by Indireads. Thank you once again, Naheed, of Indireads for sending me this book.
College beauty Arundhati Basu would rather stick her head in the proverbial oven than host this year’s Founder’s Day event with tongue-tied nerd, Nikhil Menon. Compared to the brilliant but elusive poet, D. G. Beckett, Nikhil is a green toad.
As Arundhati gets to know him, however, she finds herself oddly drawn to the shy geek, and he, in turn, grows in confidence as he spends more time with her. His hopes for a lasting relationship with Arundhati seemed to be within his reach.
If only she could forget D. G. Beckett!
Arundhati Basu, the only child of Pradeep Basu, owner of thriving fertilizer factories in Mumbai, studies at St Paul’s College and likes Sylvia Plath. She is allowed to indulge her literary passion at the grandest scale and organizes literati Friday evening fortnightly at her house. She ensures that no Bollywood talk or soggy snacks are entertained at her literati soiree. Deepa and Nisha are her ‘artsy sisters’. They have been an inseparable close-knit girl gang since high school. Having won the Ithaca Poetry Contest for three years in a row, she is sure to win it this year but, she is shocked to know that the winner is D.G.Beckett. And to top it all, when the Founder’s day presenters are announced, she is to team up with Nikhil Menon.
Nikhil Menon, is your friendly neighbourhood boy, helping his neighbours and building mates. He lives with his parents and a modern grandmother, in whom he confides. He has been in love with Arundhati since he had spotted her at one of his lectures three years ago.
Nikhil wants to impress her. But, for Arundhati, there are two to tackle- an ordinary Nikhil; and an extraordinary D.G.Beckett. One of her agendas is How to catch D.G.Beckett?’ and she starts to send emails, look up the net for him, ends up finding his email id and sends him an email. The other is ‘Mission Nikhil’, she plans to intimidate himwith her literary know-how so much that he would beg to be removed from the program.
The first meeting is a disaster, but Nikhil’s grandmother tells him not to lose heart and be his confidence self and Arundhati is impressed.
But, D.G.Beckett still exists between them…
The story is different and the characters have been beautifully thought of, complete with excellent descriptions: West meets East. Nikhil has been portrayed as the simple, likable, grounded boy next door while Arundhati is the typical elite Indian girl who loves everything non-Indian and things like thepla and Khakhras are foreign sounding foods. She sounds so much like the girls in school who speak the local language interspersed with English words.
The language is excellent and the flow is good. I loved Nikhil’s understanding grandmother.
Well done, Roopa. Waiting for the next one.
Book Source: Review copy from Indireads