The One That Got Away by Priyanka Menon is the story of two best friends.
Shared lunches, secrets, movies and study sessions- that’s what best friends are for. Shyamita and Jai were best friends, inseparable in school, but they drifted away to different places, losing touch over time.
When they meet at a friend’s wedding years later, sparks fly. There is an undeniable chemistry between them. But why do they get on each other’s nerves? Does Shyamita have feelings for Jai like she used to? Will Jai let her get away a second time?
Shyamita Bose aka Mithi.
Jairam Nair aka Jai.
He had been her best friend when they were in school in Mumbai. They had been inseparable – joined at the hip, some of their teachers would say. They had had the best of times together as well as the worst of times. After finishing school, Shyamita was going to pursue a career in dance at Kalaniketan Bharatnatyam Dance Institute under the tutelage of Guru Meenakshi Amma and he was going to Cardiff for his undergrad studies. On the last day of the exam, she had to take a train to Kolkata and Jai was supposed to see her off and as the train moved, there was no sign of Jai. She was upset because she wanted to give him something and he was not there. Then the train screeched to a halt as the chain is pulled and Jai was there holding two small ice cream cups. Then they never met.
Now, twelve years later,
Shyamita is now a successful artist living in Paris. Her work is celebrated in galleries across Europe and soon she is going to open her own gallery in Singapore soon. Jai is a successful author with five best-sellers under his name. He has built a new life and is proud of it. They have to meet each other for a whole week at Geet Chadda and Karan Walia’s big fat Indian Punjabi Wedding, neither can get away as the four of them stuck to each other in school..
She is still in love with him but he feels he cannot commit because of his past. And the worst part is that they are both hiding their feelings from each other.
The story is very nice, or very cute, I should say and the way she has written it, is immensely beautiful. It made me smile, it made me cry. The language and flow are good. The story moves between past and present in such a way that the reader does not feel lost. It was hard to believe that this is the debut work of the author.
The characters have been developed in such a way that I did not know whom to like and whom to dislike. Be it Shyamita’s friend Geet, who was lovable in her own way always trying to protect Shyamita while being rude to Jai. Karan tried to be loyal to both his friend and his would be wife.
The book is unputdownable, I started the book at night, read 63 pages, left home early in the morning, sat at the metro station having breakfast at McDonald’s, finished it and then went to office.
A must read.