Category: General Fiction
Publisher: Rupa & Co.
With new talent shows popping up like mushrooms on different TV channels and thousands of contestants waiting patiently in lines that extend upto several kilometres, we all know that today’s youth is deeply fascinated by the thought of making a career in one of the performing arts. In her debut novel Live From London Parinda Joshi introduces us to one such character, Nishi Gupta, who is an aspiring singer and is struggling to make it big in the music industry.
Nishi Gupta, a 21 years old girl who lives in London and has big dreams of becoming a singing sensation suddenly finds herself on the stage of Britain’s Got Talent where she messes up her performance and receives harsh reactions from the judges. After the fiasco a devastated Nishi, who is unable to cope with the humiliation she had to face on TV, is determined to leave her mark in the music industry and starts interning at Hues, a record label company. She hopes that her new job would help her build contacts in the music world which would foster her dreams of becoming a rockstar. At Hues she happens to me meet Nick Navjot Chapman, a half Indian, half Canadian singer who oozes charm and is totally irresistible. Soon Nishi and Nick become an “item” and Nishi gets the break she had always wanted, a chance to sing in Nick’s debut album. At this point Nishi is confident that she is all set to become the next big thing in Britain’s music industry. However, fate has something else lined up for her and all of a sudden Nishi lands up in India, trying to get accustomed to a life which is entirely different from the one which she had in London. With this sudden turn of events Nishi finds herself struggling to keep her dream alive.
The book is set against the backdrop of the British music industry and is neatly divided into two parts, the former dealing with Nishi’s life in London and the latter, her struggle in India although second part is limited to the last fifty pages of the book. The choice of the words is simple and the sentence construction is lucid and easy to follow.
The novel is targeted at the urban youth, especially girls in their late teens and early twenties who are obsessed with rock-bands, pop stars, metrosexual hunks and a glamorous lifestyle.
To her credit the author has built upon the character of Nishi Gupta really well. Being in my early twenties I could easily relate to it. Nishi is smart, sassy, confident and defiant. She lives with her parents in London and craves for independence and privacy just like most 21 years old girls do. Her dream to make it big in the performing arts is also understandable.
I looked like any other young woman in college in London with heavily layered razor cut, dyed with three different colours- copper auburn and a hint of blonde. It was the kind of funky look everyone was sporting and I was no different.
We also get to meet Nishi’s friends Sarah, Riya, Zac and Arjun each of whom is stylish and delightfully quirky. Nishi’s parents are the stereotypical Indian parents- nagging and overprotective.
Another aspect of the book which impressed me was the author’s attempt to give us an insight into the British Music Industry which forms an integral part of the book.
The UK music scene is quite different from the US. The Pink Floyds and the Deep Purples had once taken the country by storm with ever increasingly progressive elements like obtuse lyrics. Then came Punk rock with their loud and rebellious lyrics which spawned Goth, alternative rock and many more sub genres.
The individual situations, on the other hand, were not well elaborated. At various places in the book I felt that paragraphs lacked completeness. The transition from one scene to another seemed a bit abrupt.
The ease with which Nishi grabs an internship at a record label company is incredible given the fact that she is a newbie and has no prior experience. Her relationship with Nick is also a little rushed. Detailed description of events could have rectified these minor flaws.
I personally feel that the book has a good storyline. Had the author not wrapped up the novel in a hurry and paid more attention to details the book would have been quite gripping.
Nevertheless, the book is enjoyable and makes for a light and pleasant one time read. If you are apprehensive about getting bored on your next train journey you might consider taking this book along with you.
To know more about the author log on to www.parindajoshi.com
I sit in my balcony, with a Nicholas Sparks in my hand. A steaming hot cup of coffee is placed on the side table. Gentle breeze caresses my face; the jasmine tree in the neighbour’s compound sends out a sweet fragrance which treats my senses. The protagonist of the novel takes his lover in his arms and wipes away the tears from her cheeks. He is about to plant a kiss on her lips and my heart goes awww. Just then, at that precise moment, some irritating soul rings the doorbell. I curse him for having done so, grab a spoon which is lying on the side table, place it between the pages and rush to open the door.
Spoon? Yes. A spoon.That serves as my bookmark. I can be quite innovative when it comes to remembering the page at which I have left a particular novel. I know for a fact that I cannot rely on my memory as it is lesser than useless when it comes to remembering anything. I have difficulty remembering the names of all my relatives, people whom I have known for ages. As far as using a conventional book mark is concerned, I am too careless to keep it safely and too lazy to buy or make a new one when the previous one gets lost. I can’t remember the last time a used a traditional bookmark with “Books are your Best Friends” or “Scorpions are determined, passionate and obstinate” printed across it. I was probably in the 6th standard when I used it. So, now I use my improvised bookmarks (basically things that are placed at an arm’s length). Cheap, easy to use and readily available. 🙂
What else do I use? Here’s the list.
Pens: One can always find a pen lying around. I think it one of the most obvious things one can use.
Money: I often place a 10 or 20 rupee note between the pages. The next time I open my book these hidden treasures give me a pleasant surprise. 🙂
Room Keys: An inconvenient choice I must say. I often spend hours looking for my keys afterwards.
Earrings: It might be hard for many of you to assimilate this news, but I did use one of my earrings on one occasion. I was wearing only one earring for the remaining part of the day Trendy, isn’t it?
Pendrives: My very own digital bookmarks. 🙂
Boarding Passes: “Recycle paper, reuse your boarding passes”.
Kajal Pencils/Combs/Lipsticks/Goggles/Bracelets: Who says that these are nothing but fashion accessories?
Chocolate Bars: Now you know the secret to my ever-increasing weight. 🙂
Spectacles: The mark of a true bibliophile. “If I can’t look at my books I won’t look at anything else” 🙂
These were some of my rather unusual bookmarks. Do tell me about the peculiar things you use. 🙂