Those Pricey Thakur Girls


The Indian writer Anuja Chauhan visited the University of Delhi campus to endorse her new publication, Baaz, on 25th August, 2017. Her three-tier book tour encompassed stops at Gargi College, St. Stephen’s College, and Miranda House.

The day started off from Gargi College at 12:30 p.m. She was welcomed enthusiastically at one of Gargi’s lecture halls by the English Department teachers and students. Ms. Chauhan was introduced as the renowned author of Those Pricey Thakur Sister, The House that BJ Built, and The Zoya Factor, and the winner of various accolades. Followed by the introduction, the author read an excerpt from her new book with all the rhetorical expressions and dramatics including on the Hindi dialogues. The author walked down the memory lane and reminisced of her school days, the fun of an army childhood, her Miranda House memories, and giving advertising a try as a job because it helped her to write which is what she always wanted to do. She confessed that she chose Economics for ‘keeping her options open’ as was the trend those days and being job-oriented unlike the ‘career-oriented’ kids these days.

Ms. Chauhan emphasised that she didn’t release her book, whose story revolves around an Air Force guy, at this time when there is a wave a nationalism in the country, but it usually takes a year or two for her to complete a book. This was followed by an interactive question-answer round where she expressed her dislike for Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice for the message it proffers. She commented that ‘creative artists should only create and not give their political opinions’ in lieu of her contemporaries. At the end of the discussion, she let her fans buy their copies and signed each one’s copy. Everybody left happy from the book discussion and she for her next destination, St. Stephen’s College.

Ms. Chauhan has incorporated the Stephanian persona in most of her characters like Ishaan from Baaz and Dylan in Those Pricey Thakur Girls. She spoke to the crowd about this, saying that most of her family members, including her husband and daughter, went to St. Stephen’s and this provided her with a familiar attribute that could be assimilated into her novels. She spoke of Baaz and explained how she related to the protagonist Ishaan in the Air India Force due to her much similar army childhood background. She also justified why she decided to kill off Ishaan (yikes!), saying “A happy ending doesn’t necessarily mean a glorious one and even if you do think it is necessary for a glorious ending, I think Ishaan had his fair share of glory. And it is also necessary for a light reading to have an undertone of dark narratives, similarly how the brightest lights also bear the darkest shadows.”

Like Baaz, she also mentioned that most of her other works were partially autobiographical because they were a product of much of the things she had experienced in life. There was a question and answer round that followed where she answered the queries of all the zealous fans, with witty and chuckle-some responses. This was followed by a round of photographs with the fans and an interview for the English Literary Society Journal. Next, she headed to her alma mater, Miranda House.

Chauhan’s experience at Miranda House was memorable. She walked around campus and took pictures with the iconic red brick walls. She happened to pass by the classrooms she sat in, and remembered the time when she flunked her Microeconomics paper back in the first year. Before heading to the venue for the talk, she stopped by the canteen and sampled the good ol’ samosas which she remembers gorging on during her days as a student. Her talk with the students was an interactive session where she answered questions about her life in Miranda House, her memories of North Campus, her career as an advertiser to an author, and her story characters that have been picked up from her life. She then went on to talking about how authors should not be labelled, as she has often been labelled as a ‘chick lit’ author. She went on to say that as an author, if one is labelled then they are not able to expand their writing genre, that is why Baaz was a masculine addition to the stories she wrote about women in Those Pricey Thakur Girls series and The Zoya Factor. Anuja Chauhan also placed great emphasis on the importance of strong female protagonists in all her books, each of them, being people whom she has encountered in her own life. The session went on with laughs, smiles, and candid secrets about her life. Everyone was completely enamoured by Anuja Chauhan’s exuding charm and grace (along with the very quirky outfit!). The session ended with a lot of chatter, book signings, and pictures. As she walked towards the gate to return, she again walked by those corridors and those lawns, which signify innumerable memories she created in those ‘red brick walls’.



Feature Image Credits: P.V. Purnima for DU Beat


Trishala Dutta 

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Prachi Mehra

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Rashim Bagga

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Joyee Bhattacharya

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“Dabbu’s list of reasons for turning down perfectly nice, healthy, decently earning incomepoops under thirty:

(Compiled by Anjini Singh and Eshu Thakur)

  1. He said “intrusting” instead of interesting
  2. He had hairy ears! (like Yoda)
  3. He had uncool bum
  4. He came first in every exam, all his life, from nursery to IIT to IIM!
  5. He wasn’t Dylan Singh Shekhawat.”

Anuja Chauhan is back again with yet another RomCom hit. After patronizing cricket in “The Zoya Factor” and politics in “Battle for Bittora”, the author takes up press in the backdrop pre-liberalization New Delhi back in the ‘80s.

The story revolves around the five beautiful but troublesome daughters of Justice Laxminarayan who lives in the lavish bungalow on the posh Hailey road with his wife and the two unmarried daughters Debjani, our protagonist and Eshwari, the overly popular girl in school while the other three married ones; Anjini, drop dead gorgeous and incurably flirtatious but childless, Binodini who files a case against her own father to get her “rightful hissa” and Chandralekha, the “black sheep” in the family who elopes on the eve of her wedding.

The hero of the novel, Dylan Singh Shekhawat, Debjani’s “honest, brave and kind” Prince charming and highly patriotic journalist who is haunted by the massacre of the Sikhs in east Delhi and undertakes a personal mission to expose the man behind the riots. The plot thickens when in the midst of on and off romance between Dabbu and Dylan, dirty politics takes over fiery Journalism and our hero is framed with bribery and is sent to jail.

Those Pricey Thakur Girls isn’t just a romantic fiction, it takes us to old India, Delhi in particular. The dialect in which the author makes the character speak makes you laugh with “k****a, and M and B and F words and the mantra gleefully recited in unison by all the sisters: “May she die! May she be eaten by worms! May termites gnaw at her anus!”. The book might apparently be called as Pride and Prejudice of India with all the Indian Masalas of Family drama, sibling rivalry, lover’s quarrel and immense humor.

And because Dylan is “tall and sinewy and muscular”, has “lean dimples”, unruly hair and a torso made up of “muscular toffee-brown bits” I am glad a sequel is on its way.