The Zoya factor by Anuja Chauhan, Finished reading on 14th July 2009 (Around 6 AM)
“Khoda said, his voice deceptively casual,
‘So you think the only reason we’ve been winning is because you’ve been gracing our breakfast table before the matches, do you?’
I opened my eyes very wild
‘Surely you weren’t thinking it was because of you?’
When the younger players in India’s cricket team learn that mid-level advertising executive Zoya Singh Solanki was born at the exact moment that India clinched the World Cup, back in ‘83, they are intrigued:when eating breakfast with her is followed by victories on the field, they are impressed:and when not eating with her results in defeat, they are convinced she’s their lucky charm. Between them and the eccentric IBCC president they coax Zoya to accompany the Indian team to Australia for the tenth ICC World Cup on an All-Expenses-paid holiday, on the condition that she breakfast with them before every match… worshipped by her Indian fans, and vilified by the other competing teams, Zoya struggles valiantly to do her bit for Indian cricket in the thick of the World Cup action. It doesn’t help that she keeps clashing with the erratically brilliant new skipper Nikhil Khoda who tells her flatly that he doesn’t believe in luck”
I liked the book, In fact loved it. I did not put down the book till I reached the last page. I read even the Acknowledgment part, which I never do normally. Oops, Am I creating a hype for this book? Let me make this clear. Its a very normal book with a typical middle-class-heroine-meets-the-handsome-prince story and that too with very predicable twists. But you will love it, I am sure. We all love the Cinderella stories. right? Well I do.
The loves-me-loves-me-not storyline is the only week point in this novel. But the uncommon setup the author picked to tell us the story is interesting. The advertising agency adventures are quite interesting even to a novice like me. All the characters, including the ones in Indian Cricket team, are interesting. My favourite is the five-year-old sex maniac Armaan. Funny at times, touching in a way and above all romantic, that are few words to describe this book.
If you are a intelligent-don’t-like-fancy-stuff guy, then don’t bother. You could try it , if you are a huge fan of cricket. Despite being neutral to all these cricketing hypes, I enjoyed all the cricket matches thoroughly. So there is no that kind of dependency also. One think I must mention is the superb language. With a bit of Hinglish spread over here and there, the presentation is very catchy and simple.
I think I need to mention something about the author as well. It might be interesting to know that, author Anuja chauhan is the one behind a few the famous one lines in India Ads like the all time hit ‘Yeh Dil Maange More’, ‘Mera Number Kab Aayega’, ‘Nothing Official About It’, and ‘Oye Bubby’. And its hey first attempt to write anything more than 60 secs. Anyway the first attempt has itself hit the eye of the bull.
Result of the night out: Puffy eyes, A head-ache-day, Missed two deadlines (Which, anyways, I don’t regret). Tickled few search engines, to know M S Dhoni’s past/present/feature. Learned the meaning of VPL. 🙂 . (In fact now I know both the meanings).
Quote from the book: Truly spiritually evolved people behave exactly the same way when they meet kings as they do when they meet beggars (Not applicable when I meet Shah Rukh and M S Dhoni)