After my previous post on CB, I am stumped for a start for this post. Right from the title, there is a formulaic approach. This guy has some fetish for numbers in title – 5 point someone, 1 night at call center, 3 mistakes of my life, 2 states, revolution 2020 and 1 Indian girl. And yes he deals in fractions as well with “half girlfriend” !!! Either he has a fetish for Maths or was a Maths buff, but the titles are more like buffoonery. There is this other guy, Matt Reilly, who gives similar titles to his books – 7 ancient wonders, 6 sacred stones, 5 great warriors. At least he sticks to Natural numbers and with any mercy the series might stop after one. Shudders at the thought that they might get an extension as a whole number or integer series.
Coming back to CB, thann muyarchiyil satrum Manam thalaratha vikra’mad’hithiya gils finished his latest book as well. Not sure if it had got to do with the previous post or the typical mindset to desperately try to support the underdog, I kind of like the book. Oops. There I have said that I’ve liked a CB novel !!! Hope the society doesn’t shun me, if not already. After ranting several hundred words on how template-ish his stories are and how predictably boring his plots or the lack of it and considering that he hasn’t changed his theme much on his latest book as well, what is so likeable about the book may be a question incoming.
Is it in conversational tone throughout with mind voice being the prominent speaker – Yes (I for one find it easy to follow and consider this as a plus in his books. Rather than deciphering metaphors its simple and plain and expressed literally!!)
Does the lead character (female in this one) get into live-in/physical/ relationships before marriage – multiple times yes.
Does the book involve depiction of matter scenes – much more than all his previous books put together and much more detailed. Trying to catch up to international audience our guy is.
Does any of the characters deal with love failure(s) –almost all of them
Idhu oru booku ..athuku ivlo bitta nu yosikka vaikuthula. True that feeling. Plot wise, it’s something that has always been simmering for ages – career oriented women vs home makers. Wanted to type working women vs house wife. But the politically correct me kicked the keyboard away till I corrected it. Anyway, story wise, it’s about an about-to-be runaway bride, who has lot of questions about her impending marriage with a guy fixed via online matrimony site by her parents. A sudden text from her ex, Debu, makes her go in flashback mode about her affair with him and how he dumped her the moment he got to know that she earns thrice as much as her. Considering that she works for a top bank and he earns his peanuts slogging in an up and coming ad company, either he prolonged his decision because he was dumb and Dumbu would’ve made a better name for him than Debu or he stayed till CB couldn’t think of anymore matter scenes for him with the heroine. Nevertheless, she metamorphic-ally dumps him along with her costly iPhone on Hudson bay and moves on to a new location. There she has an affair with her boss. All throughout the book, there are random and several mentions of how smart the heroine is in her work in dealing with difficult deals. This second guy is married and has two kids and is twice her age. All this kicks in for the heroine, only when he mentions that he thought of her as a career woman and not someone interested in having a “named” relationship. And off she goes to another place. Kitta thatta Vadivelu comedy mathiri before I could think “velakaaranumaa” she selects/gets selected an online spouse for would-be, to please her pestering mom. To make the flashbacks possible for her to recollect, each of her ex’s make a visit to her wedding venue to facilitate all those titillating scenes. With both her ex’s trying to woo her back in their life, promising to stop the marriage impending in the most halal manner possible, the heroine finds time to accommodate the foreign mappillai, literally, in little shenanigans like smoking weed and getting arrested by police, punch drunk. Intha ranagalathulayum oru koothugalam solvaangalay athu pola, she escapes in between functions and listens to both her ex’s bidding higher and higher for her return. Kadisila she calls all three of them, including the American mappillai, to literally put inky-pinky-ponky and select who would be her better half. Considering the amount of liquor she dunks in the book, she must’ve been quite full!!! Kodumai of kodumai is that she actually dumps all three. Oops spoiler alert (intha bookla edhu spoiling and ethukaga alert pannennu kekapdaathu). Like all the typical America maapillai’s he too gets his chance back in the end which is left for the audience to finish, wondering if they lived happily ever after or got married.
Ipdi kazhuvi oothitu, if I am permitted to say that there were few intriguing sections which were pretty realistic, kochindu adikka varapdaathu. Working women, especially successful ones and even more specifically those who earn the mega bucks, I guess would be falling under the ‘very difficult to get married off” category. Before the judging knives are out for my blood, let me make one more damning statement that, of all the lot, the cribbing mother of the heroine, who worries along the lines mentioned above, sounded the only practical and sane character. If we shed the fake feminist garb for a sec and think about it, how many of us, me including, would settle for a girl who earns tonnes of money more than us. Male ego has been around since forever and head of the family is always the guy for he is expected and supposed to earn more. With changing times and women competing with men on equal footing across all disciplines, be it sports, religion or politics and their rising demands for equal pay be it sports, religion or politics, the situations described in the book are bound to be more common place in few years’ time. In fact, with every relation that the heroine gets into and her inner conversations with herself, it never sounded girlish, to put it as crudely as possible, but the voice of the male “CB”. When a guy rejects a women for earning more than him, it sounds natural, for he is trying to protect his ego from any bruising down the line. But when a girl rejects someone because he earns less than her, its both acceptable and despised. She is blamed as cherry picker who wouldn’t want to settle for anything less and is greedy and money minded. The first guy who dumps her stating that she wanted her to be a home maker and take care of his kids and not a money making machine, isn’t far off from your normal guy in any group. When the second guy questions her commitment to long term relationship, having seen her slog in office, he isn’t far off from current reality either. But, as men, are we even ready to consider the possibility of being a stay at home dad? Personally, I bet a full year paycheck that, its every guy’s dream. But will they consider it as an option along with the chores it brings in? Can paternal care be an alternative for maternal care, even when the option is available? Will guys be ready to let their women be the proverbial head of the family and take care of the bills? All along, there is this mild concept of “settling down” which the author playfully rubs it in as if we are sediments to settle down by getting married. In one shot, he takes a huge dig at the biggest concept ever since time immemorial of male ego and an increasingly effective pot-shot on the institution of marriage.
Gils verdict – For every Narayana Murthy who offered to sacrifice his dream to save his wife’s, there are a billion guys who wouldn’t bate an eyelid to think otherwise. My neighbor, whose was a love marriage, is a printer by profession and his wife, an extremely well paid IT head of some company. Their quarrels on any topic would always end up on the money aspect and no wall was strong enough to contain their voices. Despite the misgivings, they’ve been still married as this post sees the light of the day and are blessed with 2 super cute kids. How many such couples manage to sustain their relation? How many such men would even be willing to play the second fiddle? With changing times and widening gender ratio, we are all set for interesting times ahead. As for the book, well, ivlo peria post padichum if you didn’t got it, you got it.