The House That BJ Built by Anuja Chauhan- reviewed by Sapna Khajuria
What you are sure to get from a book by Anuja Chauhan are peppy dialogues, a crackling chemistry between the lead pair and some wicked humour to add to the mix. I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Zoya Factor and Those Pricey Thakur Girls, and could not wait to read her latest book.
Of the 5 alphabetically named Thakur sisters from Those Pricey Thakur Girls, Binodini is no more. Her daughter Bonita (Bonu) stays with her grandfather in New Delhi’s posh Hailey Road. From her hissa of the house, she runs a “garment fabrication unit”, aka getting her tailors to copy the latest Bollywood designer outfits- this is oh so Delhi! Like all of Anuja Chauhan’s female protagonists, Bonu is brave, beautiful and has a totally badass, no nonsense attitude to life. Enter Samar, the gorgeous film director, who happens to be Bonu’s aunt Anjini’s stepson.Samar is working on a film called, tentatively, “Tharki Thakur” and is lying low after getting in trouble with many high and mighty Bollywood types.
There’s a mysterious 1993 document, a court case, a scheming Thakur chacha, a builder who wants to but the Hailey Road property, an ageing grandfather with a dodgy memory, 4 sisters willing to sell, and one Bonu who wants to respect her late mother’s wish by not selling her hissa of the property, thereby becoming a big pain in the Thakur sisters’ plans.
The romance between Bonu and Samar is very well written, from the verbal sparring to the fleeting moments of stolen glances, the smoldering kisses and the confusion that is an essential part of every rom-com. In her trademark style, the dialogue is peppered with Hinglish( at some points it seems forced). Also in true Anuja Chauhan style, the story has multiple plots and just when you think the hissa issue is now done for, out comes another twist. I loved the fact that the 4 Thakur sisters, in spite of the passage of 20 years, have not been turned into boring, middle aged aunties, but have some of the funniest one-liners. There’s also the plot of Eshwari, the youngest sister, and her unresolved relationship with Satish (Steesh from the previous book).
Characters like Gulgul, Cougar, typical Delhi lawyers and Namgay and Biren Tringji (their song is one of the funniest sub plots in the book) make the plot zanier and funnier.
In short, a peppy book, best read on a lazy afternoon or on a holiday. Be sure to read out the funniest lines to your fellow book lovers!
“I am a lawyer by training and a full on book lover from as far back as I can remember. I live in Gurgaon, India with my husband and twin boys. Every year, I resolve to finish reading the books I have before buying new ones, and every single year my resolution fails”….Sapna Khajuria
Artika Aurora Bakshi
Artika Aurora Bakshi is the author of three well-acclaimed children’s books,My Little Sikh Handbook, My Little Sikh Handbook 2: Ardas, My Little Sikh Handbook: Travel Journal, and an anthology of stories, Hold On To Me. Her first story, set in Amritsar, during the pre-Partition period, All She Had Left, was published on Story Mirror.
She co-manages thegoodbookcorner.com, a manuscript help and book review site. Her passion for reading has led her to helping other writers with their manuscripts.
She comes from a family of lawyers and has a master’s degree in International Banking & Finance.
Currently based in Sri Lanka, she teaches Commerce and History on a part-time basis at an international school and enjoys being part of the literary scene in Sri Lanka. A regular at the Galle Literary Festival and other literary events in Sri Lanka, Artika’s articles and book reviews have featured in the Daily Mirror, Daily News, The Ceylon Chronicle, and various blogs, such as, talkingcranes.com, sikhchic.com, sikhnet.com.
She was actively involved with SAARC Women’s Association of Sri Lanka and was President of the Association in 2016.
An avid reader, Artika runs an online book club with a membership base of over 600 members.
Her quotes are featured under soul.nightingale on Instagram and on Soul Nightingale by Artika Aurora Bakshi on Facebook.
Artika is also working on her fourth children’s book in the My Little Sikh Handbook series and a second anthology of stories for adults.
You can reach Artika at firstname.lastname@example.org .