Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Prearranged Love - Anusha Vishnampet

'A Prearranged Love' is a breezy, love story based in Hyderabad in this debut novel by Anusha Vishnampet. Now Hyderabad being my home city is a place close to my heart, and I was really glad to note that Anusha set her story in our city where not too many novels are. Wonder why. The other two novels that I read recently are the Eighteenth Parallel by Asokamitran and Hussaini Alam House by Huma Kidwai.

Anyway Anusha takes us go headlong into the story of Rekha and Arjun, two young, twenty somethings, who are set up by their parents (read as mothers) who are good friends themselves. The two, Rekha the firebrand advertising professional with a mind of her own, and Arjun, the handsome (perhaps arrogant) software techie, get into a love-hate relationship that starts with the latter and progresses to the former. From a matchmaking date which goes all wrong to an accidental meeting as professionals - Anusha representing the service provider and Arjun the helpful client - the two go on a roller coaster ride in their short relationship that could end up anywhere given their unpredictable temperaments. The duo keeps going around Hyderabad as they meet one another and I wished Anusha had described a few more places in the city to give the Hyderabadi readers a stronger feel. 'A Prearranged Love' is funny, visual and a nice quick read.

Anusha writes well with an ease that is rare for a debut novelist, and I am sure she will produce many more stories. The characters are well etched out, the conversations are zingy enough and she does not shy away from the odd passionate kissing scene which is a rarity in itself in Indian Writing in English. I felt another thirty pages could have given it more depth really, the characters and the supporting characters, their motives and their challenges. But on the plus side she does not complicate the plot too much and keeps it straightforward which is nice. The scenes are highly visual and stay which is another huge plus for her. The book itself has an attractive cover and is well produced by Jaico which has now ventured into popular fiction.


Rajendra said...

The novel-ty of the setting is enough to read it. Particularly for a Hyderabadi.

M.C.Mohan said...

Glad to know that u read Ashokamitran's 18 parallel.Gifted to me (1993?)by artist Atchutan whose painting graced the english version,it gives a vivid picture of the times of transition and the laid back culture. There was another one by Vanaja Banagiri- barbed wires? presents a graphic picture of the cultural changes of 60's. nile Green's work on sufy's also throughs light on unexplored areas of hyd history. Would like to know any more popular lit.on hyd.