Riveting and essentially relevant to a woman’s choice for her life, My Best Friend’s Son’s Wedding by Zarreen Khan is the LOL book of the year. Happy reading.
Marriage, for all the hard work it entails, is essentially a gamble – one that boils down to fate, destiny, or whatever else you may choose to label it as. Then again, are you willing to give up on love because you didn’t hit jackpot the first time round? And more importantly, to whom will you grant the authority to make that decision for you?
My Best Friend’s Son’s Wedding by Zarreen Khan, soon to be a major web series, asks what’s it like to have not one, but two big fat Indian weddings in the family – of the Groom-to-be and the Mother-of-the-Groom.
Minty Sood is the toast of the town! A well-known face in Delhi’s elite society, she’s single, beautiful and looks nothing like her age. In fact, nobody would believe she has a twenty-two-year-old son.
Often at the receiving end of a series of eligible proposals, Minty has zeroed in on ‘The One’. Puneet Bhalla is suave, wealthy, and wants to marry Minty. So, of course she accepts! … Twenty-four hours before her son proposes to his girlfriend!
Now, Minty has to switch gears from bride-to-be to mother-in-law-to-be, which is awkward enough to begin with, but there’s also the intimidating mother of his son’s fiancée, a secret love affair and a crazy best friend to deal with.
Will Minty get to be the bride or will she give up a second chance on love for the sake of her son’s happiness?
Minty is the daughter-in-law of the illustrious Sood family who own a massive chain of hotels across the country. Having kept a low profile since the demise of their only son, the Soods recently started making social appearances, which is when Minty caught the eye of Miss Muffet, the mysterious gossip columnist. She planted Minty at the centre of the social map, declaring her the third most beautiful, single woman, this side of forty. This doesn’t bother Minty who is busy running her shelter home project.
While Minty is the star of this story, it is her best friend, Kittu, who shines the spotlight on her, for we follow Minty’s adventures through Kittu’s eyes.
If you’ve read Moni Mohsin’s Butterfly series, you might recognize a little bit of Butterfly Khan in Kittu Vasani. However, I assure you Kittu is entirely her own person. All they have in common is their predilection to question life’s myriad ways and concoct their own conclusions.
Friends since age five, Kittu and Minty are like chalk and cheese. I am amazed Minty is able to plough through her hectic social life, not to mention the drama Kittu brings along. And yet, Kittu’s craziness is what keeps them collectively sane. Their friendship is knowing where the bodies are hidden.
Everyone needs a Kittu in their lives. If you’re lucky enough to have found yours, hold them close.
Kittu’s husband, Tuttu, is someone who grows on you. Relegated to the backseat by his wife, he manages to surprise you during the course of this adventure. Then there’s Miss Muffet whom I call the secret gem. She is an unsolved riddle for the longest time. You’ll be scratching your head over her. KC Sharma, the desi Sherlockesque Sood household manager, is one I am trying hard to picture with his trench coat and top hat.
I need to know who will portray him in the web series. Can we have cast announcements already?
I could go on about the pros of this novel but I want to draw attention to a key aspect of this big fat Indian wedding tamasha.
Khan’s writing, with its entertaining characters and rib-tickling humour, is always, at its core, about a woman’s right to choose. Whether it was an unmarried women taking a sabbatical, without any future plans in I Quit! Now What?, a married woman deciding if and when she wants to have a baby in Koi Good News? or a forty-two-year-old single mother’s desire to remarry at the time her son has decided to get married in My Best Friend’s Son’s Wedding, her protagonists hold the power to choose in their hands.
Minty listens to the rumours and gossip that cloud over her. She debates over her desires as a woman and her responsibility as a mother. She might even question her decision at some point. However, it is she who decides her path. She does not let others dictate the rules to her, and refuses to hand over the reins of her life to society or even her family.
I absolutely love Khan’s comedic flair. Always have. Her narrative peppered with witty one liners and sarcasm are the reason I live and breathe her books. In my opinion, she and Anuja Chauhan are unmatched in this genre on the Indian writing scene.
A fabulously insane comedy with a sprinkling of romance and strong feminist undertones, Zarreen Khan brings yet another charming novel that will sweep you off your feet. Not only riveting but essentially relevant, My Best Friend’s Son’s Wedding is the LOL book of the year. I doubt I would survive this year without it.
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Picture credits: Amazon and a still from the short film Sabak
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Ashima has been in love with the written word for as long as she can
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