Battle For Bittora traces the journey of 25 year old 'kitaanu' animator Jinni aka Sarojini Pande. From her peaceful office existence Jinni is transported to the dusty mofussil town of Bittora by her very bossy ex MP grandmother, to contest
elections. What's worse, her main opponent is the handsome ex-royal Zain Altaf Khan.. a childhood buddy/crush/sweetheart. The stage is set for some amazing electoral action with a bit of romance thrown in.
Anuja Chahan borrows her characters heavily from the current Indian political milieu which makes it an even better read. Her parties are called Pragati (which has a dynasty leading it) and IJP (with its Hindutva agenda), the state is Pavit Pradesh and there's even a filmstar Salmon Khan who drops in for campaigning! Her hilariously stereotypical characters and the quaint brand of English had me laughing out loud at places.
The book offers a closeup view of life in a North Indian town and Chauhan does it like she'd lived there not merely researched for the book. Laced with wit and enough twists and turns the book is a great read.
It might not be a second Zoya Factor but it does hold it's own. Wonder why someone doesn't take it up and make a film instead of rehashing painful ones like Himmatwala?
Red Chillies has bought the rights to Zoya Factor. Wish they'd hurry up and make the film. In the meanwhile Flipkart delivered Anuja's third book today - Those Pricey Thakur Girls. Looking forward to it.
Labels: Books, reading, review