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Book Review: Those Pricey Thakur Girls by Anuja Chauhan

Those Pricey Thakur Girls by Anuja Chauhan is drama-packed tale of five daughters named alphabetically. Since all the lead characters of the novel are women: streaks of feminism is high in this novel. Especially from the main character Debjani, often has been referred as Dabbu, is someone who has penchant for larger-than-life male hero for her life. But it does not mean that a guy should be an IIT and IIM. Her taste is different. In this pursuit, she confidently refuses guy after guy until she meets Dylan Singh: half-Christian, half-Rajput. He is an investigative crime journalist, who deftly covers the Sikhs riots of 1984 in Delhi, and is later framed and then sent to jail, which is heartbreaking for quite some time until he comes out.

This story brings alive the nostalgias of 1980s and is somewhat redolent of Indian Pride and Prejudice since it has all elements: peppery romance, family allegiance, sense of humour, sibling rivalry, gossiping and of course bitching.

The story is staged against the city Delhi on Hailey Road, around and in the bungalow of the justice Laxminarayan, he lives there with his pious wife, and their five daughters’ stories and fate revolve around the same place. Placing a feministic story in the elite social class adds all sorts of angles to the story, thus smart writers like Shobha De and Anuja use these settings and usage of Hinglish and expletives along with intimate scenes to make their stories bold as well as racy.

As discussed earlier the lead protagonist, Debjani (Dabbu) is a newsreader with Deshdarpan, the only news channel available in the country in 1980s. Gradually the love affair of Dabbu and Dylan begin simmering up against many a woman in the background. But, finally, without misunderstanding a love story is incomplete especially in the days when lack of communication was prevalent.

Every daughter of the justice Laxminarayan is having some important aplomb or peculiar character. To say, as it goes in the air one has eloped with a Christian, another one is childless but an extremely flirt, the one with a child is obsessed about property share and even drags her father to the court; the little one is a school goer but not a simple kid, and there is Debjani who loves to see the downside of men and hates to see extremely talented or well-set men but despite that she falls for Dylan Singh.

Bringing alive a different era along with too many women has been done with sure-footedness. The language of the author is fast, racy, somehow on the lines of Shobha Aunty.


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