Gurgaon Diaries by Debeshi Gooptu is an entertaining and endearing read containing some heart-breaking, some funny, but all thought-provoking stories about life in the glitz of Gurgaon.
The stories, or rather personal anecdotes are a compilation of the blog articles she wrote as a result of the experiences and instances she encountered as a resident of Gurgaon in the twenty years that she worked and lived there.
The book is divided into three sections – life, work, and play, with each section pertaining to stories from that aspect of life.
The first few stories were light and set the pace of the book as light, funny incidents. How mistaken i was! The stories get darker, grittier and expose the side of the town that reveals itself after the lights have been turned off. I loved reading about Bengali quirks and having some wonderful Bengali friends could even relate to some of the stories.
This section obviously contains stories about the office and work culture in Gurgaon. Some of the stories were interesting, and some outright funny. The stories covered the aspects of an office-goer’s life like cab trouble, weekend dressing, parking woes, traffic snarls etc.
This section was about stories on the ‘fun’ part of living in Gurgaon. Subjects like dining out, Tattoos, coffee dates etc are covered in this section.
I honestly did not understand the need for having three different sections especially work and play, as the stories could well have been included in the life section itself.
Unfortunately, in some of the stories, I found the narrative to be a bit presumptuous. This added a bitter taste, especially since the high handedness and judgemental tone seemed, to me, an attempt to present more humour, albeit at the cost of someone’s expense. But once you get past that, and start to read the book without much analysis, you start to see the humour, and even ignore the judgemental tone. The number of stories in this section is intimidating and after a while, even get tiresome. After a while, the number of stories seemed overwhelming and caused a sense of fatigue to set in. They also started to come across as mundane and the subjects start to come across as overlapping one another.
The stories are laced with humour – sometimes satirical and sometimes slapstick funny – and manage to bring a smile to your face. I liked how some of the stories dealt with social issues like women employment using humour, and even made some thought-provoking observations albeit in a funny way.
Overall, it definitely was an entertaining read, except for the minor flaws which certainly can be overlooked. A must-read for the slice of life it offers of the crazy pace of a bustling millennial town.
Author(s): Debeshi Gooptu
Publisher: Rupa Publications
Release: January 2018
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