Battle For Bittora

Category: Fiction

Price: 299

Publishers: Harper Collins

Pages: 426

Sarojini Pandey or Jinni is content with her life working as an animator in Pixel Animation where she designs 3D kitaanus (germs) for toilet cleaners until one day her grandmother, Pushpa Pandey barges into her office and drops a bomb. Pushapa Pandey, hailing from Pavit Pradesh, is a three time Lok Sabha MP and the widow of a famous Indian freedom fighter Madan Mohan Pandey. She pesters Jinni to contest the elections on a Pragati Party ticket from her hometown, Bittoragarh. After initial hesitations a reluctant and nervous Jinni finally gives in to her grandmother’s wish and lands up in the hot and dusty lands of Pavit Pradesh. Soon she finds herself surrounded by dimwitted party workers, kleptomaniac election organisers and sycophants as she goes from door to door begging people to vote for her. And to make matters worse her main opponent from Indian Janta Party turns out to be her childhood buddy, Zain Altaf Khaan whom she finds extremely hot and attractive. A love struck Jinni continues to battle her way through all the muck that comes her way in the hope of winning the elections and upholding her family’s dignity.

To begin with this book has all what it takes to become a successful Bollywood film. Just add a few sizzling item numbers, get the most glamorous stars to act in the movie, tweak the story a wee bit and we have the script of a potential blockbuster ready in our hands. With love, politics, sex, romance and oodles of humour all packed into a neat little bundle this book is definitely the entire package a film-maker could ask for.

‘Excuse me, beti but my grandson’s wife is not letting him consume.’

I looked rather bemusedly and said, ‘Consume what?’

He looked at me like I was a moron.

‘Consume the marriage, of course..’

The book is centred around the Lok Sabha elections and needless to say the subject itself is attractive enough to draw readers towards the book. You will have no trouble guessing which two political parties are being talked about. Hailing from a political family the author has given us a peek into the backstage happenings of the Lok Sabha elections. We also get to meet several youngsters who want to take active part in Indian Politics.

The portrayal of each and every character in this book is remarkable. While Jinni, the protagonist, is impulsive, confused and on the whole seems a little lost a calm, composed and idealistic Zak has all the traits of being a great leader. But the character that elicited the maximum number of laughs from me was Jinni’s grandmother, Amma ji. Her idiosyncrasies, witticism and crass responses  have never failed to tickle my funny bone.

That ij what you say when you are not having opsun! Now, we are having opsun. Why sud we become dark in the sun growing teenda gobhi instead of fighting election in Bittora if we have  opsun? Hum mentally retarded hain kya?

A liberal use of Hindi words made throughout the book has always managed to create the right impact. The story moves at a reasonably good pace and keeps the readers engrossed.

 The end on the other hand is quite predictable. Almost everyone can guess the outcome of the elections and the fate of Jinni and Zain’s romance.

On the whole the book is very entertaining. If you don’t mind having an occasional laugh on a crowded government bus while your fellow passengers stare at you with strange expressions on their faces this book can definitely go on your “to read” list.