Book Review: The House that BJ Built by Anuja Chauhan

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I have never read an author with such devotion as Anuja Chauhan. Undoubtedly my favourite, I have found myself totally mesmerised by her books. A creator of four stories set in different times and backgrounds, her latest is a sequel to Those Pricey Thakur Girls. A prodigy in the advertisement industry, the lay-man can also remember her for her works like Pepsi’s ‘Oye Bubbly!’ campaign.

Those Pricey Thakur Girls ended with a short paragraph to excite readers about what is coming next. It had been two years since I had read Pricey, and in the period I was waiting, I reread the three books again and Googled the release of this book. Much to my delight, she failed to disappoint me!

The book begins with Samar, the hot-shot new director in Bollywood and quickly leads to the inhabitants of 16, Hailey Road, Delhi- Bonita and her tailors. If you have read the previous book, you would know who BJ and Mamta was, and the ABCDE daughters. Bonu was orphaned at a young age and adopted by her maternal grandparents. She is all grown up now and runs her business.

But BJ’s death turns the story as he leaves asking Samar to divide his house into five hissas for his daughters A,B,C,D, and E. The story cleverly and interestingly revolves around property disputes, family disputes, fake wills, illegal acquisitions, courts, property dealers, and item songs (or, a party song). In between all this drama, bloom two love stories- of the two step-cousins Samar and Bonu, and of childhood friends Steesh and Eshwari. Chases, denials, psycho sisters, pervert friends this book is a complete package.

Not revealing too much of the story, I would recommend it for a good read. Anuja’s USP for me is that she has till now based stories on a variety of backdrops- politics, cricket, media, real estate. Yet, I have enjoyed reading the technicalities with such interest that I might have never read Harry Potter with. However, the fact that her story is based mostly in Delhi makes it more enjoyable, because one can relate it to places one has seen.

Carefully chosen words, not too fancy that I am forced to use a dictionary, anyone can read it. It is one of those books that you just cannot put down. The story has its twists, just when you thought that the kiss means everything is going to be all peaches and cream, the love birds split. She calls out to your imagination, and you realize her stories are so natural and so real! This is one book that provides closure to the story, you are not left with an imagine-yourself ending. Her writing style is what I admire the most- Hindi + English, and my favourite is the funny, but now commonly used obscene words, with utmost causality. Because only in an Anuja Chauhan book will you find, “Tu chutiya hai!” written in a common dialogue.

So, whether you are happy with life or not, read it! I have, and I know what effect her stories can have on the mind. However, be cautious, there is no clue to another book, so you may be left wanting for more. Until then, do it my way, re-read it!


Featured Image Credits:

Ayesha Sareen

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Pursuing Economics Hons. from Indraprastha College for Women, Ayesha is a creative person to the core. With a mind that is like a cauldron brimming full of ideas, she has a suggestion on almost everything, and an affinity for Psychology. A movie buff, who loves to explore places, she finds solace in the company of good friends, who mostly find her lurking in the English Fiction section of the library. Possessing a strong and powerful voice, she has been an orator all her life. She believes in the Gandhian ideology of "Whatever you do in life is insignificant, but it is very important that you do it, because nobody else will." Getting published recently has inspired her to give her writing some deeper thoughts.

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