Book Review : The House That BJ Built

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the-house-that-b-j-built-400x400-imae6zqyqg4tnprf“I’ll make my sisters squirm like well-salted earthworms. I won’t sell. Even my jutti wont sell. And if I die na, then even my ghost won’t sell!”

The late Binodini Thakur had been very clear that she would never agree to sell her hissa in her Bauji’s big old house on Hailey Road. And her daughter Bonu, is determined to honor her mothers wishes.

But what to do about her four pushy aunts who are insisting she sell? One is bald and stingy, one is jobless and manless, one needs the money to ‘save the nation’ and one is stepmother to Bonus childhood crush-brilliant young Bollywood director Samar Vir Singh, who promised BJ upon his deathbed that he would get the house sold, divvy the money equally and end all the bickering within the family.

The first word baby Bonu ever spoke was ‘Balls’ and indeed, she is ballsy, bs-intolerant, brave and beautiful.

But is she strong enough to weather emotional blackmail by the spadefull? Not to mention shady builders, wily politicians, spies, lies and the knee-buckling hotness of Samars intense eyes?

Sharply observed and pulse-quickeningly romantic, this is Anuja Chauhan writing at her sparkling best!


Picking up a book by India’s one of the most popular contemporary authors, Anuja Chauhan, was a mighty task. I hadn’t read her before, but knew that her novel ‘Those Pricey Thakur Girls’ has been adapted into a television show. ‘The House That BJ Built’ is presumably the sequel of Thakur Girls.  The blurb seemed quite grippy with catchy lines and the promise of a ‘joint family’ story. So I began reading the book like unwrapping a lovely glitzy Diwali gift.

Few pages into the story and I was growing a fondness for Bonu. She’s fierce, that’s probably the best adjective to describe her persona. She’s an entrepreneur, in whatever crooked way it might be, and is making her mark slowly into the lives of people she has employed. She lives with Bauji, taking care of him in a huge dilapidated house, with very occasional visits from her four aunts and his hotness, Samar Vir Singh. Now about Samar – he’s the stepson of Bonu’s eldest aunt, and an epitome of hotness, besides being a young filmmaker in Bollywood. The aunts arrive after Bauji’s death, each of them with their kitty of problems and a common cause – to sell the house.

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From Good to Gold Mornings

There are good mornings, and then, there are gold mornings. A morning should be as refreshing as compared to the dew drops that make the nature look fresh every dawn. Since we are in a jet age where the sleep cycles have been violated in terms of work and entertainment, mornings have ceased to be golden ones that build the day.


Hamper from #Colgate360GoldMornings

I have never been a morning person. According to my parents, it was hell of a task to wake me up before school (and, well, college). Mother was the impatient one, and also burdened with all household work early in the morning. She would nudge me a few times, and if I didn’t respond, kept waking me up in high pitch from whichever part of the house she was. Father is always the calm, composed one in our nuclear family. When I was a child, he would cuddle and coax me to wake up for school. Gradually, he too became impatient. But the tactic he employed was beyond my irritation tolerance level. In summers, he would switch off the ceiling fan. In winters, he would snatch away my quilt. As I’m quite sensitive to both the extremes, I would be compelled to wake up immediately.

These days, I have a household to run myself. So the alarm clock is my only saviour. Though I resented it all my life, as I’m growing older, waking up early in the morning instills such a calmness that it lingers all through the day. A satisfied and relaxed session of brushing teeth, followed by a cold splash of water, and my morning cuppa makes a good morning. But recently I received a mighty surprise that turned good mornings definitely into gold ones. Take a look.


The hamper from Colgate is stunningly golden, with the new Colgate 360 Charcoal Gold toothbrush in a lovely black box, a beautiful golden scroll, a golden coffee mug for the cuppa lover in me, and a handy golden sipper bottle.


I’ve been using the toothbrush for some time now, and it’s one of the best. The reach and contour of the brush is very scientific and unique. It fills the mouth with freshness after each use, adding a golden hue to the morning. Try it, and you won’t regret.

Visit the Colgate India page for details on #Colgate360GoldMornings

Book Review : Lead Tin Yellow

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Image Courtesy: Amazon

Image Courtesy: Amazon

Robin was stunned! Why should his father chuck a bag of old newspapers over a bridge moments before he was shot? He was just a retired small-town engineer, so what secret was he hiding? He had lived all his life in a small Midwestern town and led a dull, gray-flannel life. The police were curious too. There was a ghastly murder on their hands. When Robin found a key with a tag in his raincoat he knew his father had deliberately secreted it for him. Now he had a clue, but where would this take him? There was something his father wanted him to know, and he had to get there before the police. It was now between him, his father, and his killers. The secret lay in Robin’s discovery of how lead and tin were combined by sixteenth-century artists to make a brilliant yellow. In his pursuit of his father’s killers, Robin puts his journalistic career on hold to enter a world of corporate thugs, unrequited love, and medieval art. He pursued his quarry, just as his quarry pursued him, from the East Coast to the Midwest to Quebec and back. His partner, a high-end fashion designer, and his quarrelsome but astute half-brother step up to fill in the blanks that help Robin get closer to his target. Events build up to a dramatic climax at which point Robin and the police have identical interests. The showdown is on the same bridge on which Robin’s father was shot. In his lifetime, Robin hardly knew his reticent father. But after his death, as he unpeeled his father’s life, he got to know of the courage and affection this man was capable of. A grave tragedy helps a near-dysfunctional family to rekindle an absent affection that should have always been there.


The book mentions an interesting factoid in the inside back cover – that the author is a renowned sociologist. Few pages into the story, and I have a glaring suspicion that his intentions in writing this book might be a sociological experiment. The premises seem to be exciting, there’s an anticipation of a taut thriller, a glaring mystery that compels anyone to pick up the book.

The story is about a journalist, Robin Miller, who is grappled with a sudden situation of his father’s death. As the blurb tells you, Robin unravels a mystery that leads him to his father’s secrets through a big maze of events. There are guns, paintings, a little war history, dysfunctional families, love affairs. It’s a mishmash of stuff the author wanted to fit into his story. The story is credible at times, but at other times, it would seem a bit loose. There’s a definite plot and thankfully not-too-many subplots to make things more complicated.

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