Spicy bites of Biryani – Ashwina Garg

spicy-bites-of-biryani-because-life-needs-a-little-masala-275x275-imadgbrdwhnpdvbwWell, at the outset, I must confess I love the book not only because of its content but because the novel is set in Hyderabad, my known and cherished turf. Its also special because it is written by a cosmic friend.

Spicy bites of Biryani is the debutante effort of Ashwina Garg and portrays the lives of thirty somethings in urban India. Ashwina is spot on in capturing the dilemma of all young achievers of America on their return to India. Hyderabad is definitely filled with such couples who forsake their great American dream and return to India only to face their most difficult reality check. They tend to constantly compare their karmabhoomi to their janmabhoomi. They are trying hard to settle back into the demanding and critical social fabric, of grappling with financial security and being super busy transitioning into entrepreneurs. And through it all, they miss the life they had in America. It is definitely a  difficult plot and  a theme to relate to if one hasnt met such people before. However Ashwina handles the theme with aplomb marrying the immigrants dilemma with the dilemma of a pre mid life  crisis , in love stories with wit and humour.

The stories of two couples, one exploring commitment and marriage and the other facing the vaccum after marriage complete with monotony and baby making blues. SBB  is definitely a Mills and Boons novel for the intellectual. Ashwina attempts to awaken the romantic in you with her vivid writing and the underlying subtle mush. Its practical, endearing and is a kind of romance that a thirty year old can relate to. That sets the book apart from the regular run of the mill books.

I love the titles of the chapters in the book which are funny and thought provoking , eg : Love makes a woman nag, Its all about appearances and Meeting the enemy. So identifiable and humorous. I love the level of detail in the characterisation ,complete with everyones idiosyncracies. Only a female author could have brought about this nuances which gets the reader relate to the characters as though they live next door.

However I wish there were a few things that could have complemented Ashwinas writing to make this a complete winner. The proofreading and editing could have been tighter as it slips in certain parts of the book. The illustration on the cover gives an impression of a teeny bopper love story which it is not. I wish I could get more of  Mayank and Jayashree and I wished they had a few more chapters on them. Ashwina, a sequel is in order for this beautiful story. Somehow Sanjay and Aditi hogged major portions of the book,not that I am complaining. I found their story quite cute too. The climax was a lil too filmy for my taste but nevertheless a commendable effort for a debut writer.

Ashwina bashed quite a few stereotypes in the novel which I think is a brave effort and maybe is the need of the hour. I love the way she bashes deeprooted stereotypes with absolute irreverence and humour. Eg: Sanjay does not mind if his bride is not a virgin and Jayashree is not gushing with maternal instincts or is worried endlessly by the ticking biological clock. She considers her financialsecurity important and wouldnt mind waiting for the right time. I think the book reflects the typical lives of Urban India and I am glad she touches upon these closeted truths.

My verdict – Spicy bites of Biryani is a perfect light read for those dreary tired evenings. For the women, it is soft,romantic and cute like a perfect marriage of Sex and the city and Greys anatomy all set in Hyderabad. Cant wait for the next one.


About Thumbelina81
A dreamer lost in this world. Part time Writer, Part time Gardener, A full time wife.

3 Responses to Spicy bites of Biryani – Ashwina Garg

  1. vannidapooh7 says:

    Did someone say Grey’s Anatomy?! Is there a sexy Shepherd equivalent? I’m all ears now!

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