Monday, July 1, 2013

Book Review: Becoming Mrs Kumar by Heather Saville Gupta

On the jacket:

Julia Robinson’s bored. Her job at a top London ad agency is starting to feel a bit same-ish, her London rent is killing her and she’s been rained on one time too many to find the British weather amusing any longer. More importantly, everyone but her seems to be paired off in cosy twosomes.Julia wants to shake things up—and to the horror of friends and family jumps at the chance of a new job in Mumbai. Armed with nothing but a travel guide, fondness for curry and a vague awareness of Bollywood, she finds herself bang in the centre of one of the most chaotic, energetic cities in the world. But will she be able to navigate the potholes in the street, the glitzy nightlife of exclusive clubs and expensive cocktails, and the customs and traditions of a whole new world to find her way to Mr Right?


Becoming Mrs Kumar is possibly (possibly, not definitely), pages off the author's own diary from when she moved to India. In it the protagonist, Julia, a 30+ working woman from London, grabs the opportunity to work in India, both out of curiosity for the country as well as for a change. So, here she is, in Mumbai and ready to enjoy her time, albeit by keeping her guards up and taking all care on should in a new country.

As a story, it is average, as I said, pages off someone's diary. Too descriptive  is what I would call it. Crisp editing could have ensure lesser words used to explain every feeling or situation, Julia talks about. The way it is written is like we write in our diaries, mentioning every tiny detail, lest we forget.

Moving on to the story, it is basically how any girl who is new in Mumbai would go through new experiences. However, what comes out from the pages and hits you, is the contact comparison Julia does with back home. Yes, we all do it. But, in our minds. Indians are either seen as pretentious, opportunists and those who suck up to the white skinned expats, or as very poor, unclothed and uneducated. There does exist a world in between, and in Mumbai, it definitely does. Since the target readership is from India, a book where there are judgements formed and comments made about the India mentality is not really a great thing. 

Narration is fine, except that it is too detailed. Becoming Mrs Kumar is peppered with fun times, work pressure, heart breaks, everything that most of us have gone through when we took up a new project in a new city. How she finally meets Mr Kumar and how it works out between the two, finally, is what the book is about, albeit with a few bad experiences with other men, and finally Julia becomes Mrs Kumar. 

Rating: ***/5

[This review is for Random House India. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]

1 comment:

  1. I recently finished this book and after reading your review, I felt that it exactly resonates my thoughts about this book! -


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