I love wit, humour, sarcasm. It should therefore come as no surprise that I totally heart Parul's blog. And even that doesn't begin to cover just how much I love it.
It's because of the way she writes. There's a gentle humour emanating from her writing, like a favourite aroma. It makes you want to read her every morning so that you can start your day with a smile. That's the kind of coffee it is.
So when I found out she was writing a book, I knew that I would love it. And I knew that I wouldn't be able to to be objective about it. It's hard to detach yourself from something you love so much and write with a kind of un-sentimentality, but I'm going to try, nevertheless.
"Bringing Up Vasu: That First Year"...yes, of course I loved it! And not just because it's Parul's writing. But because it is really, REALLY good! It is. It's exactly what you would expect of Paurl...funny. And, here's the delightful thing about it, it's all kinds of funny. There's the tee-hee-hee type; the snort-cackle-guffaw kind; the LOL variety and the simple, pleasant, gentle-smile-about-the- lips style as well.
And here lies the problem. Sometimes, only a very few 'sometimes', the funny seemed forced. The spontaneity was missing and you felt that it had been written for funny's sake. Certain dialogues between Mira and her gal pals seemed contrived. As well as some of the New-Age schemes followed by the mother.
But I don't take that away from the book at all. I personally know how hard it is trying to sustain humour from beginning to end. It's a mammoth task and Parul has done a remarkable job!
But that's really nitpicking, because on the whole the book doesn't just work, it rocks. I found myself impatient to get back to it whenever I was away from it. There's so much to love about it! I was totally into Mira's life and adored her relationship with her adorable hubby. I understood her crazies, her lows and her obsession to her first-born, absolutely through and through. I cheered her on during her exchanges with the dreaded PNx. I cheered Vasu on at the Teddy Footprints interview. And I happily read and re-read 'The Letters From the Edge'; they were hilarious, touching and awww-some at the same time.
You will recognise Parul in the book. And I don't feel that that's such a bad thing. When you're writing about a topic that is not just close to home, but IS home, shades of you, your family and your life experiences are bound to pepper the tale you tell. So the Northie and Tamilian references...fine by me. The letters to Vasu remarkably like the ones Parul wrote to Adi...yup, I'm good with that too.
I'm good with the whole thing. More than good, actually! I'm so totally, absolutely, crowing-from-the-rooftops, jolly, damn good with it that I am hoping and praying for a sequel!
Parul, get cracking already girl!