The Zoya Factor

The Zoya Factor by Anuja Chauhan

One of the best chick-lits ever written by an Indian author, The Zoya Factor will glue you to itself. Anuja Chauhan, the mastermind behind lines like Yeh Dil Maange More, Oye Bubbly! and Nothing Official About It, has come up with a different writing style altogether.

By some twist of fate, advertising executive Zoya Singh Solanki was born the exact moment that India clinched the World Cup back in 1983. While on an ad shoot with the Indian cricket team, she breakfasts with them and the team scores an unlikely win. Some of the players start thinking that Zoya may just be their lucky charm, as they are defeated by the weakest of teams in her absence, and indeed, that IS the case. Whenever Zoya breakfasts with any team before a match, they win. Pressurised by the eccentric IBCC president and the repeated requests of the team, Zoya agrees to accompany them to an all-expenses-paid trip to Australia for World Cup 2012.
But whats a story without a sprinkle of romance?
Indian skipper Nikhil Khoda flatly tells her that he doesn't believe in luck; only hard work. Nevertheless, he is amused by the quirky and obsessed-about-being-cool Zoya.

But the best thing about this book is the hinglish language. For example,

'Wahi ki Zoya ko Australia bhejo, we will take good care of her and everything.'
'Complimentary hai jee, waiting de vaaste.'
I read an excerpt of it online, and bought the book the first chance I got. But as soon as I got it, we had to leave for Jaipur. All through the journey, my head was buried in the book. Dad kept saying, "Bahar dekho! Look outside! Look at the people and everything" But I couldn't. To hell with Jaipur-shaipur. Zoya had me hooked.

Here are some excerpts. Hope they get you interested too.

'Which is agony in advertising because when all the snooty ad people think Karol Bagh-type, they imagine a pushy wannabe in a chamkeela salwar-kameez with everything matching-matching. Someone who says 'anyways' instead of anyway, 'grands' instead of grand and 'butts' instead of butt. (As in, she has no butts, earns twenty grands a month, and lives in Karol Bagh. Who does she think she is, anyways?)'

'Any time an auntie at a party asked him, 'Beta, vot you wantu be ven you grow up, hain?', he'd chirp 'I'm-going-to-be-a-soldier-and-fight-for-India!'. And then everybody would go all moist eyed and sigh,'So cute'. While I spent my childhood and adolescence dithering over lawyer/banker/fashion-designer/nurse, he remained committed tp playing with his tanks and singing chal chal re naujavan.'

'No more I've-been-wanting-to-kiss-you-all-evening kind of stuff.
It was depressing, of course, and sometimes I wondered if I had misheard him or something (kick you all evening? kid you all evening?). That one measly remark had fully put me off all the nice, normal, well-to-do boys my dad had made me meet on various weekends, which was, of course,completely pathetic. I kept dreaming these cheesy dreams where Nikhil Khoda, a resplendent in his Indian Blues, showed up with a bouquet of pink tiger lilies at the Mother Dairy booth where I stood in queue with a stainless-steel doodh ka dolu on my arm. Really corny stuff. If anyone ever were to find out, the shame would kill me...'

Read and enjoy!

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12 Reflections:

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rohit said...

Must be an enjoyable read The Zoya Factor by Anuja Chauhan. loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and orignal, this book is going in by "to read" list.

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