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When I was hunting around for a good, light book to read, something fictional that would just make me laugh without delving deeper into the mysteries of the universe, a friend of mine, knowing how obsessed I am with Bollywood, recommended Sakshama Puri Dhariwal’s book, The Wedding Photographer.
There are days when I am into heavy reading like The Shiva Trilogy by Amish or even Steig Larsson’s books, but some days, I just want to lay back with a quick, girly rom-com type book that just lightens my mood, and The Wedding Photographer falls into the second category.
The couple of wedding photographers I know who are into candid photography, are absolutely brilliant and capture mind blowing images that relate to everyone on an intensely personal level, and I’ve always wanted to understand how they work. This book in part throws light on that fact, that it’s about creating connections and relationships with the people you are photographing, which will actually lead to luminous pictures!
The plot of the book is inherently simple. Risha Kohli, a journalist moonlighting as a wedding photographer, meets the rich, suave and of course handsome as hell Arjun Khanna on a seventeen hour flight when she is upgraded to business class by pure luck (Hello Cupid?). Sparks fly almost instantly, and they discover that they are going to spend the next few days together since, surprise surprise, Risha is the chosen wedding photographer for Arjun’s baby sister’s wedding.
The wedding itself and the way it has been described, instantly takes you to all things Delhi, and has all the ingredients of a big fat Punjabi wedding- dancing, theme parties, gorgeous clothes, celebrity guests, functions going on for a week, guys hitting on girls, and of course, lots and lot of drinking. Through all the mayhem, Risha and Arjun manage to spend quality time with each other and eventually fall in love.
My favourite character in the book is present all through the wedding, imparting her wisdom and knowledge as only ladies of that generation can do, and that is Arjun’s naani (maternal grandmother). She is spunky, sassy and completely unapologetic about her sometimes bordering on crass behaviour. A proverbial matriarch, she is one of the key elements in eventually getting Risha and Arjun togehter.
Now I’ll be completely honest here. I read the book in 24 hours flat, and that’s no mean feat for someone like me, who works two jobs and has to handle her twin boys with a husband who was also away then on a work trip. Nevertheless, I was intrigued enough to stay up and finish reading the book and I’m glad that I did. However, when I picked it up again to just try and read the parts I had quickly skimmed over, I found that I couldn’t, because I already knew everything about it! So essentially, this book is an excellent and fun one time read, but you absolutely cannot read it again!
I love the wit. I love the ‘Indianness’ of the book. I love the fact that it’s a breezy romantic read which makes you want to believe in love at first sight. And I definitely love the way the characters have been sketched out, each been given their own fine nuances.
The monsoons are coming, and all you moms out there looking for a break from the rigours of day to day life and parenting in general, you can save this book for a lazy, rainy, Sunday afternoon read.
Happy Reading everyone!