Just Married Please Excuse

To be honest, enjoying reading modern Indian writers is a bit of a rarity for me. Whisking aside books that have made a big impact worldwide like The God of Small Things, Interpreter of Maladies, Midnight’s Children, The Inheritance of Loss to name a few, I do not enjoy picking up an Indian author. Maybe the fact that they are all too mushy and are mostly about the various shades of love and are largely one dimensional has to do something with it. I have never read Chetan Bhagat and I took great offence when during a brainless game which our office HR made us play, a girl guessed my favourite author to be the said gentleman. I almost burnt her with my gaze. Now before you jump on me to be anti-Indian writers, let me add that irrespective of the country to which it belongs, the story is the real hero of a book. And India is such a vast country that it can never be complicated to find a story that touches you immensely. I am still on this quest and opening up to Indian novels with great caution.

Being utterly romantic myself, I am not against love stories but our cinema churns and throws out a substantial amount of them at us every month. So when it comes to reading a book, I would really not appreciate a nauseating Déjà Vu. In short, I would prefer Life of Pi over Five Point Someone, I would prefer something which gives me a different perspective, something which shows me a world I have not seen before. I did find The Mine by Arnab Ray quite chilling at places and Amish’s first two installations of the Shiva Trilogy decent enough but these were rare cases and not the norm.

So, I picked up Just Married Please Excuse with tonnes of apprehensions and was very confident that I would not be able to reach the conclusion. The story of this book is something a lot of us have experienced and lived. It is about a couple working for a private firm who fall in love despite their opposite approach towards life and family and how they cope with the differences. Maybe because I was not having very high expectations from the book, I was able to enjoy it. Despite having a very thin story-line the book was utterly humorous. Yashodhara Lal has a writing style which will make you smile throughout the book. It is not one of those books that rattle your brain but all it does is tickle you and that I believe was the sole purpose of the writer. As long as you do not compare, you will be pretty much content.

There are incidences like the one where the couple try to buy a piece of land near Bangalore, their ordeal with the maids and their sessions with a counsellor which will make you chuckle. It is difficult not to relate to the book because it reminds us of all such silly and funny incidences of our own life. Even when the writer is not narrating a story which is path-breaking, it does serve a humorous perspective to the everyday life of an urban couple. It might be something not worth mentioning, but I found that the book had a magnanimous usage of Hindi at a lot of places. I feel that this limits your readers. Pick up this book if you like reading light humorous books over a cup of coffee. It is a breeze. It has given me courage to include the untouched galaxy of Indian authors in my Books Universe.

Every time I see a blogger go ahead and publish his/her book, it gives me another boost to finish my own book which I am writing on and off from the last three years. Just Married Please Excuse gave it a final push. I finished the fifth draft of my novel which looked alarmingly mummified since the last time I had touched it. Not to mention that I will be entering the untouched galaxy myself about which I have been so critical. Scary.

[image from here]

63 comments on “Just Married Please Excuse

    • Mithil, this is an unexplored territory for me. I am sure there are many very good Indian authors. Thanks for introducing Tarun’s book to me. I will definitely have a look.

  1. I won this book in a blog contest by Yashodhara but it was delivered to my home in India. So will be reading it in November.
    And well, great news on the book. Since you’ve already criticized cheesy novels, hopefully this will be a welcome change 🙂
    All the best!! I’ll be around 🙂

    • I got it from Blogadda. *Was I supposed to mention it in my post? Wonders*
      I really hope my novel is not cheezy although it is 60% true incidents. 🙂
      Thanks Nisha. Good to know that someone will be reading it. 😀

    • See that is the real problem. I am not able to create a synopsis of my book because it will give away too much of the story. I am struggling with it.
      All I can tell is that it is about 6 people. *I really have to think of a better one liner for my book* 😐

    • Yes, yes. That IF is scary. I don’t know why but I always have images of publication houses throwing me out of their office. That will be a sight.
      I will send you a copy, pakka. 🙂

  2. I have read good reviews for this book across blogosphere, and would definitely want to pick it up sometime.

    I feel there are several good Indian writers too. There is a mix of good and bad Indian English books available in the market, as is the case with writers from other countries too. Not everyone is good, and not everyone is bad.

    To cite a few examples of good Indian books I have read – Mayil will not be quiet, Would you like some bread with this book?, any book by Tagore or Jhumpa Lahiri. I have heard wonderful things about Indu Sundaresan’s books, too.

    You are writing a book?! Wow! Super wow! You do have it in you to write one. All the very best with it! And, like RM, will you send me a signed copy if you publish your book and it becomes famous? 🙂

    • Yes, it is a light read.
      I know. There are some really crap writers in other countries too. I have been a victim too many times to forget that.
      Thanks. I now have a substantial number of Indian writers to dive in this new world. 🙂
      And yes, yes, another signed copy for you. 😀
      Just the thought of opening my story to public scrutiny gives me cold sweat. 😦

  3. What I like in this review is the revelation of your own book 🙂 Looking forward to it. Unlike you, I read indian authors in abundance so you can expect who will grab your book first 😛

  4. I do share ur apprehension of Indian authors – though Khushwant Singh’s Delhi, Tarun Tejpal’s both novels, Mark Tully’s Nine Lives (yes I consider Mark an Indian) Jim corbetts Jungle books, vikram Seth, Chitra Bannerjee Divakaruni did leave me happy and content.

    Very recently I read Bhagat’s Two States and was actually surprised cause I had a similar disdain to yours.

    A friend of mine is a publisher. She works with upcoming Indian authors. here is a link to her fb page http://www.facebook.com/groups/gyaanabooks/

    might just be of help with your own book.

    Good luck!

    • I have been itching to try Vikram Seth from some time now. I think I am going to like his books. Even if I think of reading Chetan Bhagat, his books will be way down my list.
      Hey! Thanks for sharing the link. I have to start looking into whom to approach for publishing the book.

  5. Congratz Amit… Looking forward to reading your debut.
    Ditto about these modern Indian writers, especially the IITan bollocks. Diabetic, Corny & Bollywoodish.
    Adiga’s Last Man in Tower is the last decent one I have read, though a tad dry.
    A Roy is all big words & fakeness. I feel God of Small Things is an ordinary Mallu novel, which gained recognition only bcz its written in ENglish. Inheritance of Loss follows the same Nobel-Pulitzer formula. I liked Moor’s Last Sigh more than MC, though they wr of d same genre… Or may be bcz the former is more relatable?
    Is this over critisizing thing or just a literature student thingy?

    • Thanks N. 🙂
      I did not like ‘The White Tiger’ at all.
      I think a wide variety of books have won Booker and Pulitzer. If you go through the list, you will see that there is no set formula. Most of them are poles apart in subjects and treatments.
      I haven’t read The Moor’s Last Sigh but yes, most of Rushdie’s books are a class apart.

  6. Now this book is getting good reviews day by day, cue for me to pick it up!!
    Congratulations Amit, looking forward to reading your book. I would love to read the humour and satire in your writings 🙂

  7. You are working on your novel. Please go ahead and publish it! I can go around and tell people this author visits my blog 🙂

    I read the review of it on R’s Mom’s blog too. Sounds like a good novel. I like a few Indian authors Chitra Banerjee, Jhumpa Lahari and I liked Anuja Chuhan too.

    • Haha! Yes, that is a very noble reason for me to get it published. 😛
      Yes, JMPE is a fun read.
      Thanks for introducing Chitra and Anuja to me. Will check out their books.

      • And I forgot, I want an autographed book when you publish your book! Deal???

        I must warn you Anuja Chauhan’s books are most likely to qualify as chick lits. I don’t want you cursing me after picking them up 🙂

  8. Oh all the best to you 🙂 And good to know about Y’s book. However I don’t think it is my type at all. So I’ll give it a miss unless I have nothing else to read and get to borrow it from a friend.

  9. I enjoyed Yashodhara’s book myself 🙂 Was a fun read, found myself laughing outloud at many places.

    Oh wow, can’t wait to read your book! What’s it all about? Pls give a sneak preview na! 🙂

    • Yes, it made me laugh at places. 🙂
      No sneek previews! 😛 Actually I need to get a synopsis out and I am struggling with it. I do not want to give away too much of the story in it.

  10. I heard about this a while ago too. I think there was some contest going on. Good luck with your project and hope you get published soon.

  11. I share your apprehensions about Indian authors. Not to mention the very poor editing standards that totally put me off. I have read good reviews about this books and might pick it up at a later date. And, you let out a little teaser about a book. I hope it is in the satire or humor genre. I understand your own dilemma about joining the band of people you have been apprehensive about so far. Wish you luck!

    • Yes, it is in the humor genre. It is a light read. Do not expect any heavy duty sentimental story.
      I know this very well that if I pick up an Indian author, I will make sure that the book has loads of positive reviews and I like the synopsis.
      Thanks Rachna. Fingers crossed.

  12. I think it is more of a matter of perception. For each good book of a foreign author, there are millions of nonsense that is being published. I grew up thinking all malayalam books were trash and english authors were good irrespective of what they wrote about. And this was until I discovered the brilliance of the vernacular authors.
    There are many that is not the run of the mill love and sob stories, ‘English, August’ by Upmanyu Chatterjee, ‘A Fine Balance’ by Rohinton Mistry to name a few.

    • I completely agree. There was a time when I liked any foreign trash of a book but the more you read the more you can differentiate. There are good authors in every language.
      Thanks for introducing these authors.

  13. Surprised that you identify the likes of Chetan Bhagat with English fiction by Indian authors.

    He simply writes popular fiction that sells.

    I suggest you add Amitav Ghosh, Anita Desai, Vikram Seth, Raj Kamal Jha, Devdutt Patanaik to your reading list to get the feel of Indian masterpieces.

    • Thanks for all the recommendations. I have read The Glass Palace by Amitav Ghosh and loved it. I will read Vikram Seth soon. I have now added around 10 books by these authors in my wishlist in Flipkart. Tastes fulfilling.

    • Hi,
      Thank you for the invite but I guess I am late. I have not been checking my blog since the last one month.
      Anyway, best of luck for the new book. It will be great. 🙂

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