The house that BJ built by Anuja Chauhan is the sequel to Those Pricey Thakur Girls. This much awaited sequel starts 20 years after the previous one. The story is set in 16, Hailey Road because, this is The House That BJ Built and four out of five of them want to sell it. The sisters have grown older, and the kids have grown up.
I’ll make my sisters squirm like well-salted earthworms. I won’t sell. Even my jutti wont sell. And if I die na, then even my gosht won’t sell! The late Binodini Thakur had been very clear that she would never agree to sell her hissa in her Bauji’s big old house on Hailey Road. And her daughter Bonu, is determined to honor her mothers wishes.
But what to do about her four pushy aunts who are insisting she sell? One is bald and stingy, one is jobless and manless, one needs the money to ‘save the nation’ and one is stepmother to Bonus childhood crush-brilliant young Bollywood director Samar Vir Singh, who promised BJ upon his deathbed that he would get the house sold, divvy the money equally and end all the bickering within the family.
The first word baby Bonu ever spoke was ‘Balls’ and indeed, she is ballsy, bullshit-intolerant, brave and beautiful. But is she strong enough to weather emotional blackmail by the spadefull? Not to mention shady builders, wily politicians, spies, lies and the knee-buckling hotness of Samars intense eyes? Sharply observed and pulse-quickeningly romantic, this is Anuja Chauhan writing at her sparkling best!
Bonita Singh Rajawat is the daughter of Binodini who along with her husband and son was killed in a car crash en route to Delhi, when she was six. Bonu, as Bonita is known, is brought up by her grandparents and now lives in the family home with her grandfather and runs a boutique in her mother’s part of the house. She is now 26 and has a peculiar dress sense, her harem pants, her chamcham payals and her silver bangles and her trademark ‘Nataraj’ pencil that keeps her hair together.
Samar Vir Singh, Bonu’s aunt, Anjini’s step-son, the same Samar, she had a crush on as a child, is now a film director. He is 32 and lives in Mumbai.
A for Anjini lives in Allahabad. She is fifty and the editor of a fashion magazine,
Chandraleka, now lives in the US, is married but has left her husband and son as she has joined a spiritual group, called RIGID (Redemption is God’s Immortal Design). She has shaved her head completely.
Debjani, 43, lives in Mumbai, heads a TV Channel with her husband Dylan and lives with her two kids.
Eshwari, lives in the US, is unmarried and has just been laid off, a fact she hides from her sisters.
BJ has willed the house to his four surviving daughters and the dead daughter’s hissa to his granddaughter, Bonu. When BJ dies, the sisters troop in and want to sell off the house and use the money but, Bonu does not want to sell. She feels that when her mother needed the money, they did not want to sell and she wants to honour her mother’s wishes.
There are tenants who don’t want to vacate, the Tringjis, and there are the local goons who give them ideas to vacate only if they are adequately compensated (not to mention their own big commission). There is Steesh (Satish), Eshu’s ex-flame, who wants to buy the property as he is now a big builder. And chachaji, who brings out another twist in the tale (I will not tell you what). There is Samir’s film on Pushkar and Pushkarni, which was made basis BJ’s version of their story, which Samar himself is now in a dilemma.
A little romance between Samar and Bonu is sprinkled here and there.
The author has beautifully spelt (or rather misspelt) the words as pronounced by the characters especially, Chachiji. I loved the way the author has misspelt Chachiji’s mispronounced words. The dialogues are funny and the characters have been beautifully described. The humour is there, intact. I was laughing out aloud. The characters are the same as its prequel but somehow the chemistry between them is not the same. I don’t think sisters drift apart that much with time. I loved Bonu and her nature of helping everyone.
The best part of the book is that you can read it even if you haven’t read TPTG because the way the author has built the characters, you don’t need to refer to TPTG at all.Between the two, I would definitely say that TPTG is a much better book. But as they say, it is your own expectations that let you down, so I would like to tell all readers don’t expect a TPTG from THTBB and you will enjoy it.
Book Source: Bought