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Book Review: Just Married, Please Excuse by Yashodhara Lal

Title: Just Married, Please Excuse
Author: Yashodhara Lal
Paperback: 258 pages
Publisher: HarperCollins (July 1st 2012)
Genre: Romance
Read: Paperback
Stars: ***/5
Buy On: Amazon | FlipKart
Summary: (Goodreads)
Caution! Marriage Ahead-

Yashodhara, a quick-tempered gal from the big city is hitched to Vijay, a laidback desi boy from a small town – in one word – Trouble!
The young couple must learn to adjust to married life and to each other – whether it is Yashodhara’s ‘temper tantrums’ or Vijay’s foot-in-mouth syndrome – with a little help from their idiosyncratic staff, Zarreena and Vinod, their nutty friend Vivi and, of course, their respective families.

With the unexpected arrival of baby Anoushka a.k.a. Peanut, the battles escalate, fuelled by their vastly divergent views on raising a child. Will their many differences – so endearing at the start of their romance – actually turn out to mean that they are just incompatible? Will they ever manage to agree on anything? Or have they just bitten off more than they can chew?

My Review:

Cover: The cover reminded me of the posters of movies like Bombay to Goa (old); simple and bright. Could have done without the hand showing fingers crossed though, that looks a bit out of place.

Paper and font: Easy on the eyes!

Readability, language: : Simple language makes for a fast read.

Why did I choose this book: The title and blurb had me looking forward to a lot of marital drama. Being married myself, how could I not want to hear someone-else’s.

A quick and short romance leads Yashodhara to the doors of marriage and before she knows it, she has been carried over the threshold. And there starts the drama of two people living under the same roof. Marriage is like a tug-of-war, only here the objective is to keep the marker dead-centre. It takes a while for each side to figure out just how much to pull and how much to let go. Just Married, Please Excuse is a retelling of Yashodhara’s first three years of marriage; her trying to find equilibrium with surprises like a relocation and a child thrown in.

The title and cover had me expecting a lot of Just Married drama but the honeymoon period of marriage turned out to be just one part of the book. The blurb also let me believe there would crazy-ass fireworks in the story but alas, there were more sparklers than rockets.

The initial years of marriage is an age-old plot that doesn’t age as long as you have a good storyteller and Yashodhara is that. She weaves the story of two people of different minds and backgrounds coming together and finding the peace such that there is rarely a dull moment. The conflicts between Yashodhara and Vijay are things any married woman would associate with and had me chuckling often through the book.

Set in Bangalore and Mumbai the book took me down memory lane to the days when the Old Bangalore Airport was still on Airport Road and at a walk-able distance and in Mumbai there was a possibility of wrangling a flat at Bandstand with a sea view and claiming you had Shah Rukh Khan as your neighbour even if you never really visited or saw him.

Yashodhara does justice to each character in her just married story, describing them well not only in looks but also mannerisms. I laughed along as Vijay the quirky guy with foot-in-the-mouth syndrome learns to navigate the choppy waters of marriage and pregnancy. He has an awesome sense of timing and humour that brings out many a chuckle as long as you are not the wife at the receiving end. Zareena is the quintessential bossy Bombay maid. Kajal the fifty something maid from her mothers house makes for some hilarious moments of misunderstanding. Not to forget the families of both Yashodhara and Vijay that hold true to the saying “In India you don’t marry the boy/girl, you marry his/her family”.

The story has three parts – getting married and the honeymoon period, realising that wow, you’re really married, pregnancy and early baby days, and what follows the introduction of a third character in a two person equation. Yashodhara and Vijay share moments of bliss alongside some nasty friction as through the three years they slowly learn the art of being happily married. Yashodhara ties it all up well to end on a high note.

Written in the first person, Yashodhara uses simple language that keeps you engaged through the book. Her usage of languages and accents along with her sense of humour and wit add to the the comic timing to make the book an enjoyable read.

If you are in a relationship, just married, or ‘plain’ married, this is a book to pick up for an entertaining evening filled with nods of ‘having being there’ and many a laugh.

About the Author:
An IIM Bangalore graduate with over 10 years of work-ex, Yashodhara Lal started out as a writer with her blog – Just Married, Please Excuse is her first book and I’m definitely looking forward to more books from her with similar wit and humour. She currently lives in Gurgaon with her husband Vijay and three children – Peanut, Pickle and Papad.

Buy On: Amazon | FlipKart

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