Declining fortunes of a groom: The Hindu (Book Review of ‘The Recession Groom’)

Finding inspiration in the real world, Vani chose recession as the subject for her debut novel “The Recession Groom” launched recently. The former business journalist had witnessed first-hand the effect of this economic phenomenon in 2008 while pursuing masters in business administration inLondon. “I would hear and read stories everyday about redundancy but at that time it never occurred to me that there was a story in it. After completing MBA, my friends and me, contrary to our expectations of getting hired in big companies on huge salaries, struggled and had to make compromises. It struck me what if I write of a young person, who is very capable and has attributes much sought after in the employment market, facing the change in his fortunes due to recession,” explains the author.

The Leadstart publication revolves around Parshuraman, a 27-year-old IT professional settled in Canada making him hot on the Indian wedding market and how his world falls apart when confronted with global credit crisis and how he copes with it. Besides it also zooms in on his search for a perfect partner. To her credit the writer avoided infusing the story with details and jargon about recession and stuck to neat characterization and simple language. “I wanted to write an exciting and entertaining story aimed at a wide spectrum of audience. Recession is a dry subject and I did not want to portray it in a very complicated manner. The intention was to enable common people to relate to the small world of Parshuraman affected by the macro world.”

As a sizeable portion of the narrative is located in Canada there are several characters of foreign origin in it including the main female lead. Why so? Vani says, “I was trying to pitch my novel to publishers around the world and wanted it to have an international flavour and cast which blended with the Indian ones. It also helped in creating confusion and complications in the male protagonist’s life besides depicting the differences in the cultural values of the West and India. The feedback from foreign readers and authors suggests that they were able to connect and relate to the story due to honest and relevant depiction of characters.”

What is sure shot to interest all readers is the vivid description of many aspects of Indian society like portrayal of arranged marriages, family support systems etc. “Our marriage system being unique was bound to be stirring and compelling for readers specially non-Indians besides informing them about a slice of our life. Similarly, differing perceptions about janitoring and bartending bring out the contrast in the two societies,” comments Vani. In tune with this, it also shows how close-knit Indian families support their kith and kin akin to their western counterparts albeit with a difference. “They respect personal space and do not encroach upon it allowing you to make your decisions.All this is not a commentary on what is good or bad but just outlining what is true in a subtle way,” explains the writer.

Vani gives a surprising twist at the end of the book. Terming it “uncharacteristic” she reveals, “It was to keep enough turmoil in my male protagonist’s life going to enable writing about him in two or three more books and also force my reader to think about.”

Be assured she is already working on the sequel to the book.

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