Nidhi Bruce’s ‘A Slim Chance at Love’ is a laugh riot. The book is aptly sub-titled love, longing, and lots of money. It’s a quirky and fun read that offers a window into the lives of the uber-rich, their vulnerabilities, and their eccentricities. The vivid description of the extravaganzas of the elite is jaw-dropping; cosmetic procedures, celebrity performances, destination parties, million-dollar weddings, world-class designers; the list is very long.
The lead protagonist, Sooraj Sanghani, is the scion of a billionaire family and is blessed with everything ‘extra’ be it wealth, connections, privilege, or weight. His mother, the matriarch of the Sanghani household, Nina Ben, persuades him to drastically lose weight before his sister’s wedding as all eyes would be on him, the Sanghani heir. To appease her, Sooraj takes on the challenge and accepts an ambitious target for weight loss before his sister’s D-day.
Adding to Sooraj’s woes is the tension between Nina Ben and Nivriti, his best friend, whom he loves, yet cannot bring himself to express his feelings for her. How Sooraj navigates through his family’s crazy wedding partying, his fitness regime, his relationships, and his business deals form the rest of this page-turner.
Despite being the quintessential Richie Rich, Sooraj comes out as an endearing character. He is a shrewd businessman with an eye for new opportunities and wants to make it big independently. His troubles with his weight and his emotional struggles hit a chord. The peaks and troughs, the sugar cravings, and the weight loss plateaus, all have been portrayed very realistically. Money can buy a lot of things, but can it guarantee happiness?
The portrayal of the quirks of different characters is the winning ingredient for me. Nina constantly nags her son and points out his flaws, making him feel inadequate. She is a dominating personality who hijacks the entire wedding planning of her daughter. The family does care for one another, but they are also very intrusive and over-protective. Nina Ben is hysterical, and so is Sarla, Sooraj’s nanny, who tries to motivate him to lose weight while stuffing him with ghee and chocolate.
This story does have a stark resemblance to a contemporary billionaire family. Reading the vivid descriptions was like viewing the feed of a celebrity wedding with all the glitz and glamour. I would have enjoyed a little more on the romance angle, but this story was about the protagonist learning to love himself first, and the book is successful in doing that.
The irony is also highlighted; the rich have money, but rather than eating what they want, they choose special restrictive diets and cosmetic procedures. The wry humour infused throughout is the icing on the cake. Many lines had been chuckling aloud.
This is an easy, breezy, and enjoyable read, especially if you are a fan of page three and celebrity sightings. I am hoping to see this story made into a Bollywood movie one day!
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