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November 28, 2010




Page: 18/43

Home > 2010 Issues > November 28, 2010

A hilarious novel on the travails of a youngster
By Dr Vaidehi Nathan

Bala Takes the Plunge, Melvin Durai, Hachette India, Pp192 (PB), Rs 195.00

BALA, short for Balasubramaniam, a young and ambitious Tamilian after duly finishing his engineering course in one of the mushrooming colleges in Tamil Nadu lands a job in the US. And that’s when life begins. Brought up under the strict watchful of his father, Bala enjoys his life abroad, unfettered. And at the right age starts feeling the pangs of youth. Inhibited and introvert, Bala is unable to strike friendship with the opposite sex. He reads up books avidly that prescribe measures to win girls.

Written in a lighthearted tone, the book Bala Takes the Plunge by Melvin Durai is a hilarious read. Bala’s account of his father, his mother, his home and relations are utterly humourous. Bala’s father is a civil engineer. Seeing his father’s behaviour, Bala wonders if he is civil engineer or uncivil engineer. Wisecracks like this abound in the book. The scene of Bala’s interview in the US embassy for a visa takes the cake. Bala buys a dog and names it America. There are a few jokes at the expense of America.

Originally Bala had dreams of becoming a film director, casting Rajnikanth as hero. It is a dream he nearly forgot till his ladylove Priya reminded him. In fact it is she who pushes him to take the ‘plunge.’ He gives up his job in the US and returns to Chennai to settle into a ‘happily married life.’

(Hachette India, 612/614 (sixth floor), Time Tower, MG Road, Sector 28, Gurgaon - 122 001)




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