Book Review: Battle for Bittora

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While the Congress and BJP were busy battling it out in the elections and the whole nation was watching with bated breath, I was busy in a political battle of a different sort – Battle for Bittora. Another laugh riot by Anuja Chauhan! With this book, I complete reading all the books by Anuja and I must say that she never disappoints. The political battle between the young scion of PP party Sarojini Pande and Zain Altaf Khan, young Royal of the IJP party for the prestigious Bittora seat is worth a read.

Sarojini Pande aka Jinni, an animator working in Mumbai has a family history in politics. She is the granddaughter of the fearsome political matriarch Pushpa Pande. Succumbing to her grandmother’s pressure, she files nomination for Bittora constituency. Her opposition is the handsome, idealistic and universally loved Zain Altaf Khan who is an ex-royal of Bittora  and also Jinni’s childhood friend. Meeting after nine years, Jinni and Zain realize that the attraction which they felt as teenagers still exists. Who will win- their mutual love or their political ambitions?

This is yet another hilarious book by Anuja Chauhan where she pokes fun at Indian politics. PP party and IJP party represent the two most influential political parties in India- the Congress and the BJP. The story spirals through India’s election scene through funny incidents and quirky characters like Jinni’s grandmother Pushpa Pande and her crack team. Anuja has deftly used the experiences from her political lineage (her mother-in-law is Margaret Alva) and written a commendable story-  humorous, dark, quirky and satirical with dashes of a subtle and sometimes passionate romance.

Reading an Anuja Chauhan book is like watching a Bollywood blockbuster- a total paisavasool masala entertainer where the focus is more on the female protagonist. It has romance, comedy and enough of emotional drama squeezed in. I love the way she uses twisted Hinglish with spicy garnishing of local dialects to create a delightful comedy. She successfully captures the flavours of rural India, blends it with a host of laugh-out loud caricatures and tops it up with a stellar lead pair to create a thorough entertainer which has all the drama of a Bollywood movie, sensual Mills & Boon kind of romance, humorous satire on Indian politics and glamour from the Advertising world.

We get glimpses of problems in Indian politics and society in general- Politicians who treat their constituencies as golden goose, votes being bought through bribes, caste politics, inter caste marriages & honor killing. The story is fast paced and the narrative is light. The only downside is that the book is mainly written for Indian readers with a lot of Hindi words and references which only Indians can understand. This is the case with all of Anuja’s books.

On the whole, the book was enjoyable with many laugh out loud moments. Anuja Chauhan is my top favorite in contemporary Indian writing. I absolutely loved the book and would definitely recommend it to all those looking for a light, fun read.

Title: Battle for Bittora

Author: Anuja Chauhan

Genre: Fiction, Chick-lit

Page Count: 426

Publisher: Harper Collins

Published On: 4th Feb 2009

©2019 Shaloo Walia All rights reserved



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