Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bringing Up Vasu-The Latest Review

I thought getting my hands on BUV was the difficult part. However, Monday evening, as I finally finally had The Book in my hands, I realised that a far more challenging task lay ahead. Borrowing from the Beatles,
What would I do if Parul sang out of tune?
Would I stand up and walk out on her book.
And BUV earnestly warbled back:
Lend me your ears and I'll sing you a song. I will try not to sing out of key, yeah.

The book is as they say in my part of the world a ‘corker’, a ‘beauty’ or as where Parul currently resides ‘kahani may dum hai boss, houseful business kareygee janab’.
Surely we were betting on the filly out of love for the rider, but how would both of them do at the dressage? Oh they bring in the ribbons and some. Riding off to an excellent start as the protagonist wastes no time in introducing The Characters That Matter (I see a touch of Daud here—remember the story just dealt with the mad capers of Urmila and Sanjay, no time wasted in narrating where they were coming from , justifications for their life of crime, mom dad rona dhona et al. So Sharma does a similar Varma here, husband steps in, mom flies to Dubai, no saga of Jab They Met to slow the story down). She canters off to tackle the Frenemy Rhea, nods off her hat to a Prissy (from Gone With The Wind “I dont know nothin’ bout birthin’babies) inspired maid, takes on the obstacle of the Neighbour From Hell who makes Lalita Pawar seem like a kindly ol’ biddy and draws up to an excellent dismount. The Twins and their blow hot blow cold relationship had me intrigued. Aakhir (An)Tenny Ko Ghussa Kyun Aata Hai? Living in the times of Section 377, I thought I there were some undercurrents, but well that was not to be.

Did I read the other reviews out there? Yes, I have to confess I did. Much before a Billy Crystal advocated the merits of reading the book’s ending lest you die before you know who dunnit, I have always skimmed through the final pages for I grew up with a younger sister (Hello Ayesha!) who knew the best resolution for a sibling spat was to just Hide Her Book Silly. Many an afternoon I have promised my kingdom for a horse sorry a book. So I definitely wanted to know what the book was about, what to look out for.

Did the reviews (complimentary and the not-so) spoil the book for me? Well no. We all know how the book will end (Vasu turns one, hee hee) but it is a page turner nonetheless, I sat up till early morn wanting to know how it all turns out for Mira. I will not tackle some of the issues the critics raise, but there is one that irked me no end. The one that gives the impression that the best of BUV is already in BUA. Yes, Dr Prakash is a nod to her pater, there is a reference (one line) to the TamBram in her life and aspirations for the bub to be a neurosurgeon in space might strike a familiar note. However, that is where the similarity ends. BUA has been an angst-free zone to date (by Sharma’s own admission) whereas the Mira of BUV is a pretty anxious person.

The negatives? But then it is only for ‘anal retentive’ readers like me. The ‘script’ is very detailed and reads more like a screenplay with all the information meticulously laid out. I like to imagine what the characters are doing, how they got from the front door to their room, what they might have done next. Sharma does not allow us the luxury of that indulgence, for she spells out each and every action like cues to the performers. However, it could be also be as Mira speaks in the first person and we are privy to everything that goes around.

Does Sharma have the Voice? Oh yes she does. And I am hoping that the First Year in Bringing Up Vasu That First Year is an indicator that it is the first of many more. And as ages ago one could clamor for a Dickens for Christmas (rather than a Disney/Pixar for the school holidays), we could look forward for a Sharma once the festive season is upon us. Amen.


  1. Yes, it was a lovely read!
    I also loved the fat nanny who got stuck- lovely little vignette!

  2. am quite waiting to read the book...came here from BUA :)

  3. LOL!! now I know where u have disappeared...Lovely review..waiting to get my hands on the book now!

  4. Oooo! Loved your review!

    You've won yourself a fan today!

  5. landed up here from parul's blog..realized i've been here and left a comment on an earlier post..nice read.. now i have to get the book.. i know , the rock i've been hiding under, just moved!!

  6. landed here from BUA and tho' i haven't read the book I can safely ask you to claim a portion of the royalty she gets.Your review is adorable,so don't waste time.Stake your claim before anything else.

  7. now that is a thought hip grandma


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