Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Tuki's Grand Salon Chase by Parul Sharma


Tuki's Grand Salon Chase by Parul Sharma



The Blurb

For most hairstylists, the move from the dingy Lovely Beauty Parlour to the upmarket Nancy’s Factory would be reward enough. Gifted, young Tuki though has her sights set on a bigger prize – her own salon! Her well-laid plans start going awry as soon as the striking tattooist Faraaz joins Nancy’s Factory. Tuki needs to handle Faraaz’s advances, figure out the mystery behind the disappearance of the elderly, eccentric, brilliant writer Bijoy Dutta and rescue the multilayered Sweety Bhabhi from destitution.

Finding herself at the heart of one storm too many, Tuki decides to run away from the leafy lanes of Bandra to the old-world Portugese villas of Goa. In the comforting embrace of the village Aldona, she finds herself struggling with her rather untimely attraction to her enigmatic neighbour, the charming Arvind and sharing house with Bijoy, haunted as he is by the ghosts of his past.

Armed with nothing but a pair of scissors and the jigsaw pieces of her broken dream, Tuki has to navigate through Mumbai, Goa and London to find out if the universe is conspiring to make her or break her.

Tuki’s Grand Salon Chase is her heartwarming tale of finding love and hope in the unlikeliest of places.

Buy @


             



tuki

Review
As the sound of the crickets rise in a cresando outside in my garden, a hot cup of coffee and Tuki keeps me enthralled in my solitude at night. A very pleasant company for a woman craving for some peace and quiet.

Tuki aka Tulika Athavle, is a strong young girl working in a salon as a hairdresser. Not just any hairdresser but for the chique and elite society of Mumbai.  I had had my past tryst with the genre inappropriately termed as the ‘chicklit’ [Dear Google, Please change the definition of this term for this genre is here to stay.] and my experience has not been that pleasant. Never thought it was my cup of tea. But dear Parul changed all that for me.

Tuki, can be any one of us. You or me. Simple life, big ambition, young life of Mumbai, secret crushes and heartbreaks and a doting set of parents and not to forget her mutt, Kaloo. 

When her dream job is ruined due to the jealousy of Renee, the daughter of the owner of the salon, she wanted to fall back on her life’s saving. However, that too is no more.  So, she decides to take the coward’s way out and runs away, with an eccentric writer, Bijoy.[Loved this character!!] Till now, this story holds my interest mildly. I would even go so far to say, I was a tad disappointed. And then enters Arvind…… Mr. Ooomph!!!

The whole scenario of the story changes after this bohemian’s entry. Pace is faster, visualization stronger. Goan music, Goan food, Goan culture -everything engulfs a reader. [I had been to Goa when I was three and now I wish I had remembered something of that trip.] But Parul, creates a beautiful atmosphere with her play of words. She brought the whole town of Goa in front of me. [One of my Mumbaikar friends argued with me that she could see Mumbai clearly. No, Til Darling, It was Goa all the way  )

There was one scene here which really gave me Goosebumps. . Not the scary one, but the one an author creates with her words. In a page, Arvind sits with Tuki and blows smoke swirls in the air, while chatting with her. The visualization was so strong in this scene that I almost felt I was standing with them inhaling the smell of tobacco. That my dear, is a Goosebumps moment for me.

Arvind is a gypsy by nature who comes to Goa every time to rejuvenate. Tuki finds a friend in him but soon falls in love. But, he is out of her league being more sophisticated and worldly and Tuki could never tell him of her love.When Bijoy had to leave Goa, Tuki returns to Mumbai due to the fact that she had no money with her. [Cannot be judgmental here now, can I?]

When I thought here starts another chapter in Mumbai, Parul  pulls another punch and the next chap starts with Tuki being in London.  I did a double take here, made some more coffee, rubbed by eyes and found out that Tuki was really in London. I was pleasantly surprised at the is sudden twist in the story. 

The London rendezvous is short and sweet and Tuki emerges as a much stronger character and with her is Mr.Ooomph!

What is she doing in London?  That my dear Readers, Is for you to find out after reading this lovely tale of Tuki.

Recommendation : Highly Recommended

Rating 



Reasoning

Though I am itching to give a five, I have to hold back due to the bombardment of characters in the first few pages. I even got confused on who Kaloo was. But, it was short lived. Once you catch the thread, this  book is very tough to put down. 

The author has an excellent command over the language and the expressions used by her awed me. Though the characters are depicted from the ordinary way of life, they they all have a spark. Parul Sharma, keeps the women in the novel strong, each with individual voices of their own. Even Tuki, though stars as a simple, non-descript girl working in a salon you will soon realize that she is a stubborn girl with her own set of ideas.  Even God is a ‘She’. :)

Ms. Parul Sharma, the feminist in me LOVES that . High time someone says that aloud. ‘The Creator, listened in silence, like SHE did every moment………”

Amen to that !! Thanks Parul for making me fall in love with the genre termed as ‘chick lit.’


Meet the Author



Parul Sharma grew up in the small towns of Uttar Pradesh. This was fortunate because it ensured that she ran into some rather quirky characters pretty early on in life. Once done with schooling, she made the rather dubious choice of studying Economics, a sentiment with which Economics agreed, no doubt. This made way for a degree from Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad where many inspiring cups of tea were consumed, among other things. 


She has worked with the corporate sector for several years in companies such as Genesis Burson-Marsteller (New Delhi), Arvind Brands Ltd (Bangalore) and Indian Market Research Bureau (Mumbai) in marketing communications and qualitative market research, but she also writes novels. 


The bestselling Bringing Up Vasu: That First Year was her first book and described the travails of Mira, a young, first-time mother. Her second novel was By The Watercooler – the story of Mini and Tanya, young women who find that the corporate ladder is actually a greasy pole. All her books have been published by Westland. She has also contributed stories to the Chicken Soup For The Soul series and to Femina.


Parul lives in Mumbai with her husband, two children and sometimes, if she’s lucky, Kittu, the street cat. 


Parul is passionate about animals and their welfare and would like to open an animal shelter in the future. 

Stalk her @

               




11 comments:

  1. Superb review Rubina! You have sold the book to me. Looks like I have to read it though I am not too fond of chiklit ;)

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thank you so much for the review, Rubina :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Parul for writing this novel.. Wonderful Read it was.

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  3. Hi! I actually added your blog to my favorites list and look forward to get the same quality content every time I visit your blog. Thanks a lot.

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