I believe in the adage that a book is not to be judged by the wrapper. Seeing the promising cover page of Band, Baaja, Boys!, by Rachna Singh, I was wary about how it was going to turn out. However I was not disappointed. It was entertaining and funny right from the moment I opened the book. The author’s note, written in her distinctive style, provides an insight into what lies in store for the reader, not to speak of the acknowledgements page – touchingly and creatively written.
Band, Baaja, Boys! is about Binny, the only daughter of a businessman Brajesh Bajpai in Mumfordgunj, Allahabad. The author has cleverly chosen the name of the father to correspond with the business he does. Starting the tale, Brajesh, his wife, Kumud and daughter Binny are introduced appropriately in a humorous manner. Riding her scooty to the university where she does her undergraduate studies, Binny is described as a girl who steals umpteen male hearts of their community.
Though Binny enjoys these overtures, her mind is set on winning Rahul Pandey, a college-mate. To get close to him, she even ventures into feminist activities at college, of which Rahul is a part. She succeeds in becoming his girlfriend.
Meanwhile her 21st birthday is being planned to be celebrated in a grand manner. Her parents, now serious about choosing a groom for her, invite prospective groom Tarun Chaubey and his parents for the party, as also another friend whose sister’s son is a medico. As days pass, things being what they are, Binny is not sure if she is really in love with Rahul.
In the meantime, Brajesh has to deal with a few goons at his shop. Enter Raja Singh who heroically saves the day for papa Brajesh. It turns out that he too has eyes for Binny. In addition to all this, there comes in a proposal from a US green card holder.
The suspense lies in who ends up winning the hand of the ‘princess’.
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- The author has the ability to narrate incidents in a natural way as they would happen in real life. For example, the way Binny is shown to have received flowers from the gardener’s son rubbing his hairy knuckles, or, the way her classmate keeps staring at her, and how she is envious of the convent girls with their short skirts are all moments that one can imagine happening in an Indian street.
- The use of Hindi expressions blend with the tale and are simple for the average Indian to comprehend.
- Though it is a light and entertaining read, the author has built up enough suspense and thrill toward the end.
- A good book that lifts up our spirits and provides ample reasons to laugh. Example:
“Their twenty-year-old daughter was who they lovingly called a ‘happy-go-lucky’ girl: happy to spend her father’s money while different fellows got lucky.”
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- Somehow I could not identify with the climax. Felt a bit sad. But perhaps this was in the best interest of Binny in the eyes of the author.
Get set to have your funny bone tickled!
A copy of this book was given me by the publishers, Amaryllis in return for an honest review. Thanks Amaryllis.