The Wedding Photographer by Sakshama Puri Dhariwal

The Wedding Photographer By Sakshama Puri DhariwalIt was my daughter who, while browsing through the newspaper provided by the school, saw the book in the to be read list and told me, “Mama, you read romance, so read this one”. And, bang, I ordered it instantly and started reading it as soon as it arrived. The Wedding Photographer by Sakshama Puri Dhariwal is the story of Risha and Arjun and the Big Fat Indian Wedding.

The blurb:

On a seventeen-hour-long flight, a chance upgrade to business class lands journalist Risha Kohli next to handsome real estate hotshot Arjun Khanna. What’s more? Risha has been moonlighting as a photographer and her next assignment is Arjun’s sister’s wedding: the most anticipated social event of the year!

But Arjun doesn’t trust journalists and suspects this smart, sexy and incredibly spunky girl of using their mutual attraction as a ploy to invade his privacy for a newspaper scoop. And Risha, unaware of Arjun’s personal demons, is worried that this dishy tycoon’s unnerving behaviour will jeopardize her biggest photography gig so far.

What follows is a rollercoaster of snarky quips, sizzling chemistry and simmering drama amidst a Big Fat Indian Wedding.

The characters:

Risha Kohli, 27, the only child of a Punjabi family from Amritsar, sent to Delhi with a set of rules, works as a journalist in News Today. But her real passion lies in photography. So she becomes a candid photographer for her best friend, Nidhi’s wedding to a Vikram, the vice-captain of the Indian cricket team and gets some assignments after that. Rishab Kapoor, is her best friend since school and he is a model and he is gay. He is the one person she calls in the middle of the night when she cannot sleep. Her latest contract is the Khanna-Singhal wedding.

Arjun Khanna, 29, the heir to the Khanna conglomerate, CEO of Khanna Developers.  left his job at a New York Investment bank four years ago to take over his father’s business after the latter had a heart attack. He lives and breathes work and is sleep deprived. His mother, Amy, is into Science of Living a Satsang group headed by Sri Sri Priye ma. Nishita is his dearest sister, getting married to a self-made businessman, Rohan Singhal. He hates journalists.

The story:

The story has been divided into three parts- the flight, the wedding and after the wedding.

Risha takes a flight from Los Angeles to New Delhi on the way back from a wedding shoot. At the onset of the seventeen hour journey, her co-passenger dirties the seat and so she gets upgraded (after a lot of convincing) to business class and gets a seat next to Arjun Khanna. They get talking and strike up a friendship much to the disappointment of flight attendant, Kritika, who does not like Risha one bit. The reach Delhi, and Risha goes home with Rishab leaving Arjun disheartened. He is also upset that Risha did not mention that she had a boyfriend.

Once in Delhi, Arjun comes to know that she is a journalist and tells his sister to change the photographer but to no avail. Risha joins work only to take leave to cover the wedding telling her boss that she has some personal work (only Nidhi knows her secret passion). And goes on to cover the Big Fat Punjabi wedding of Nitisha and Rohan. She meets his extended family and is nicknamed Candy by his Naani, who immediately takes a liking to Risha. Arjun and Risha are mutually attracted and even decide to meet for dinner on the next day but…………..

My take:

What a debut!!! The book is outrageously hilarious. The cover is an instant PICK ME UP.

The plot is simple but has been written in a way that the reader keeps getting more and more involved as the book progresses. Once I got engrossed in the book, I was in the world of Arjun and Risha watching the story as it was unfolding. The language is simple and the flow matches the plot, neither too slow nor to fast. Not even once did I feel that the book was dragging.

The characters are well developed and are easy to relate to. The friendship between Nidhi and Risha has been described well. The author has even written the spellings in a way that when I read them, I could imagine the character speaking. The scenes have been described to the fullest detail that it was very easy picturising them. The book has been written in such a way that you cannot put it down.

I loved the way the matrimonial ads have been depicted in the book. The names of the computer games reminded me of the early days and took me back 15 years.

An unputdownable, must read book.
Will somebody make a movie out of it, please. I nominate Sonam Kapoor for Risha Kohli…………

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