Author : Parul Sharma
Publisher : Westland
ISBN : 978-93-83260-59-1
Parul Sharma, impressed many and made many followers (including me) with her first two books - 'Bringing Up Vasu' and 'By the Water Cooler'. So I was waiting for her next piece of writing all this while. Finally her 'Tuki's Grand Salon Chase' reached me and I did not lose any time starting to read it.
After having read the book, I can safely say that Parul has managed to continue her winning streak this time as well. As the name suggests this is a story of a young ambitious girl Tulika (Tuki) who dedicatedly works towards achieving the goal, carefully following her well thought out plan A. She successfully graduates from a murky looking Lovely Beauty Parlour to the elite Nancy's Factory graced by Bollywood beauties. But she is neither complacent nor contented with what she has achieved. She has a clear vision of owning a state-of-the-art salon in front of her.
The readers are thrown into the daily humdrum of a typical high-class salon right from page one and as the scene unfolds so are the characters of the story - the clients and the employees. Tuki, with - a sparkle in her eyes, her perseverant efforts and a heart of gold assumes the role of a perfect heroine of the story. With this, from first chapter itself, the stage is beautifully set for an adventure full story.
As Tuki precariously carves her road to reach her dream, her desire takes her to various diverse places including Mumbai, Goa and London. Love and career seem to play hide and seek with her all through the narrative. One moment she sees everything all clear in front of her and the next moment, the whole thing disappears in thin air. Though all sorted out in her own mind regarding her future and career, she ends up getting entangled in a lot of cobwebs - sometimes of others and sometimes of her own making. As she tries to make sense of her life where she had not accounted for any plan B, she finds herself never erring on being there for others. 'She was her Baba's daughter, through and through. She would always find it easier to say yes than no.'
Many other supporting characters nicely complement and complete the story - her endearing always-experimenting Baba, besotted tattooist Faraaz, always-there Arvind, bizarre yet brilliant writer Bijoy Dutta, Nancy and her twins and of course Kaloo - a pig in a dog's hide.
When one picks up Parul's book to read, one expects a fast paced, fun-filled, light-read book just as she had delivered in her previous books. But this time something lacked on all the above mentioned fronts. There is witticism, there is humour, there is fun, but not sufficient to keep the readers happily engaged and not tempted to skip some parts here and there. While reading her earlier two books, it was hard to find places in the story to keep the book down. However, this time the narrative suffered from some lows at various places.
She is one of those Indian authors who write good and interesting language, however, there is one thing which needs a mention here in this department too. In the first couple of chapters, it feels as if the author is rather in love with the word 'rather'. The word makes its appearance a little sparingly after that but then it surfaces again towards the end with much more enthusiasm. To make long story short, a tighter editing would have done the needful.
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