Wednesday, April 30, 2014

ARC Book Review--> When Hari Met His Saali by Harsh Warrdhan

 When Hari Met His Saali
Title and Author: When Hari Met His Saali by Harsh Warrdhan
Print Length: 237 Pages
Publisher and Publication Date: Harlequin India, May 2014
Language: English
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Romantic comedy, Chick-lit, Indian Writing

Blurb:

The only magical thing missing from her life... happened to her sister! 
Her idea of romance comes from movies and magazines.
His idea of romance is that it is unnecessary.


Tia was in love with her career and her lifestyle in America. And she was madly in love with Hari. But where was the romance she craved?
Simi was the young girl left behind in a small town in India who hadn't seen her sister for years. She was a dreamer. But what did she really want out of life?
And then there was Hari. Straight-forward and uncomplicated, it felt like nothing he did was ever good enough for Tia. But didn't every man want an ambitious and successful wife no matter how demanding they were?
Theirs was a love story that was never going to be conventional. But what happened to Hari and Tia was something that nobody would have predicted.
Mix two sisters with bad history between them and one clueless man, to form one whacky triangle, and you get a cautionary lesson in how you should be careful of what you wish for in the name of love?
Set in Los Angeles and Nagpur, India, When Hari Met His Saali is a funny, fresh, and outrageous look at young people and their dreams, longings, aches and heartbreaks. It is a fascinating take on the grand idea of love and the reality of romance. In a breezy, humorous narrative anchored around a magical twist, the story of Tia, Simi and Hari unfolds from romantic comedy into a climax full of suspense.


My Review:

Tia Galhotra is ambitious, single minded, focused and determined to make a life for herself in the United States of America with the man of her dreams,Hari Malhotra, even if that means that she has to train and mould him according to her own ideas of perfection!
Hari Malhotra, much to the chagrin of Tia, is recklessly simple and unsophisticated. Born in an affluent Indian family in the United States of America, he thinks of himself as an American. Having dated Tia for six years, he feels it is natural that they are smoothly moving towards getting married. Although he doesn't like Tia's constant domineering and self important ways but he makes do, thinking that he is too fortunate to have a successful, beautiful and intelligent woman like Tia in his life.
Simi is a simple, naive and down-to-earth girl from Nagpur. After Tia left home to go to America, she has taken care of her widow mother and run her house like an adult; giving up her dreams of leaving Nagpur to make a career for herself.

Now Tia is getting engaged and Simi and her mother are invited. 


What will you do if your fiance falls for your sister?

The story follows the misadventures of Simi, Tia and Hari with a spicy mix of laughter, romance, suspense and heartfelt emotions.

The book cover is colourful and vivid and instantly attracts the attention of the reader. The cover art is noteworthy and it promised a spicy story which it delivers. :)


The blurb is also very intriguing and eye catching. Succinctly and beautifully put, I think the blurb and the cover will definitely make a reader pick up this book while browsing in a bookstore. :)


Harsh Warrdhan is a screenwriter and it shows in his book where the story seems divided into scenes. The book is written in a narrative style and Harsh's writing engaged me right from the first page. Spot on comparisons and description of events, people and places shows that he has done meticulous research. An observant, well read and a creative person makes a good writer and I think Harsh falls in this category. He has written an intelligent piece of work which apart from entertaining also increases the knowledge quotient of the reader whether it be the knowledge of human emotions, places or the very interesting trivia that he shares in the book! The book also makes a lot of references to current trends and events which was fun and interesting but will appeal only if one is reading the book now. 


The plot is well planned and executed. There are well organized twists and turns which keep the interest of the reader in the story. Although I didn't agree with some points that the author stated as truth in his book like the peer pressure among youngsters to lose their virginity before marriage in India etc., overall I  enjoyed the story which is a fresh take on the new dynamics of love and relationships from a man's perspective this time.


The characterization is admirable. Tia symbolizes the many youngsters in India who crave to go to the United States and once there, make their best efforts to erase any signs of their foreign birth. They demean the culture they come from, the life they had been living in the past and also the people who always loved and supported them. Claiming and taking pride to be called all American, they often go to any lengths to show their superiority and cut any and every ties with their past. Tia also did the same thing. She left India and all her responsibilities towards her family behind. She never turned back to check on her mother or her younger sister. She tried to adopt every custom in America. She is shown as a egotistical, self-centered, snob who is only concerned about her own needs and wants. She insults Hari at every juncture, is rude and dominating. Same attitude goes with Simi and others. Her job is her life and in that she is successful.


Hari and Simi are lovable characters with their imperfections and yet love filled hearts. They are caring, warm and understanding people. Harsh shows that it is not the place but the beliefs that make a person who he is. Hari is born and brought up in America but still he, unlike Tia, has never tried to lose his individuality to merge in the American crowd. Simi has always been in India but she, too, is as simple and loving as Hari. Although, being kind and caring is good but people should also be assertive. Both Simi and Hari take all the crap from Tia and in return just think that maybe, it was their fault that Tia behaved this way!

Poor Hari is confused and provides all the fun. :)

“One loved me but wanted to change me. When I changed and became what she wanted, the other had issues with it. What kind of a man should I be?”


Hari's family and Tia and Simi's mother are an interesting bunch who add more flavour to the story. A deep insight to an Indian family living in a foreign land is given effortlessly by the author which was pretty interesting to read.


I laughed out loud, chuckled, smiled and also felt emotional while reading the book. The climax is suspenseful and had me sitting at the edge of my seat. :)

The story is interesting but some points didn't go down well with me like the reason Tia gives for me being like the way she is and all the crap that Hari takes but still goes along with Tia. I just didn't understand why he needed to do that. He is rich, single and can get any woman he likes so his behaviour was a bit of an enigma for me. 

All in all, this is a book which takes a man's perspective to the whole love drama and gives us a story which will take you from the bustling city of Los Angeles to the small, peaceful city of Nagpur to the serene and beautiful city of Pondicherry on a ride that is bound to shake you and shock you. A promising debut by Harsh, I definitely look forward to reading more from him in the future. A book that has all the ingredients to making a great Bollywood movie, I give When Hari Met His Saali 4 out of 5 and recommend that you go read this book if you love chick-lit and  are looking for a fresh story full of humor and entertainment. :)

I received the an ARC from the publishers and I am very thankful to them. The above review is my honest and unbiased opinion and in no way influenced.


Buying Links:
Flipkart.com: Paperback
Amazon IN: Paperback | Kindle Ebook
Amazon US: Kindle Ebook

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