Sreemoyee Piu Kundu has been a popular and bold writer with a voice for books like Sita’s Curse. Her latest work ‘You’ve Got The Wrong Girl‘ is termed as a lad lit. Let’s read what Sree has in store about the book for us.
You’ve Got The Wrong Girl is a rollercoaster ride – sometimes bumpy, sometimes beautiful, sometimes bizarre – filled with interesting and relatable real life characters.
Why a lad lit?
Actually, just before writing You’ve Got The Wrong Girl I was reading Shakuntalam, Kalidasa being one of my favorite writers. And also, I happened to be in Kolkata at that time, watching a bunch of commercial films that are usually always on my itinerary when I touch down in the city, being starved in Delhi. After one particular film, I remember asking myself why it is always the girl who falls in love hopelessly, then is forced apart from her lover by circumstance and fate, faces familial pressure, then decides to marry another guy (usually the villain/his son) and then in the last scene, dramatically there will be a re-entry of the swashbuckling hero who rescues her in the end as they live happily ever after.
Kalidasa and his creation, as I have said before are only an inspiration for You’ve Got The Wrong Girl, so naturally the story is not a direct lift, and neither is the larger plot. My motivation here was to see a classical romance from a more male perspective – and being a woman I have loved the process. Because we are all biased towards our own gender and naturally assume women to be more the emotional, and men to be practical and worldly wise.
King Dushyant vs Dushyant Singh Rathore
I correlated the Bengali movie to Shakuntalam somehow. Dushyant the man who screwed up, falling in love with Shakuntala first seeing her in the forest, love at first sight as he was struck by her beauty and grace, indulging in a passionate, timeless romance saga, making torrid love, composing love sonnets (akin to songs in contemporary films), having a Gandharva Vivaha, after which he must leave to take care of affairs in his kingdom. She is given a ring by the mighty scion, to be presented to him when she appears in his court so that she can then claim her rightful place as queen. But, cursed by the anger-prone sage Durvasa, Dushyant forgets her existence, the only cure for Shakuntala being to show him the signet that he gave her. She has to cross a river to reach him where the ring is lost, a clever twist in the tale, so on arrival Dushyant naturally refuses to acknowledge her. Fortunately, the ring is discovered by a fisherman in the belly of a fish, and Dushyant also realizes his mistake – too late and there is a proper ending.
I saw King Dushyant a tad differently, wondering if he was the typical, confused, apparently metrosexual man searching for true love in an age of instant hook-ups and easy sex – if Kalidasa’s eternal romance could be seen as Dushyant’s story? Instead of being identifiable as Shakuntala’s soiree, alone?
Our modern day Dushyant is as macho, as he’s messed up. As genuine, as sometimes messing up in the love department. As much in need of a soul-mate, as he is bored easily. As much childish as a grown man. Love really is genderless – and love stories can be a man’s domain too, albeit written by a woman. Maybe, that’s how we will win this so-called battle of the sexes! By accepting there are no rules and strict borders.
Why do you think readers will like the book?
Look at Mills & Boons or chick-lit for instance, always it’s the woman finding herself, having body issues, the quintessential obsession with the bad boy, the Darcy prototype – the unassuming knight in shining armour who finally saves the damsel in distress.
Romance is generally perceived as a woman’s territory and I think that’s where we have got it wrong. This gender ghetto needs to be broken out of.
Personally, to me these are contrived social constructs – because in love men can be as emotional, as stupid and also men too can make/say/do silly and impulsive things that later regret, just that popular culture tends to only portray women as say running away from the altar, being indecisive about two men courting her, falling apart when an affair of the heart sours.
Why the ‘Wrong Girl’?
Because love is far from perfect, and it takes us many wrong twists and turns before we stumble upon the right person who fits our bill romantically. Also, I think men too are as emotional and confused creatures as we are, and they also go through many trials and tribulations before they find who is right for them and why.
About the author:
Sreemoyee Piu Kundu has been a lifestyle editor and PR head, and is now a full time novelist based in Delhi. She is the author of three novels, Faraway Music, the bestselling Sita’s Curse, and is planning her fourth novel a political tragedy titled Rahula. Her first non-fiction title, Status Single, will be published in 2016.
Author: Sreemoyee Piu Kundu
Publisher: Hachette India
Release: February 2016
Genre: Fiction / Romance
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