The House that BJ Built by Anuja Chauhan
I enjoy reading Anuja Chauhan. Her writing has a spunk that keeps you entertained; Anuja’s characters are people you know around you and her stories move at a pace that keeps you engrossed till you reach the last page. Her plots have a Bollywood script inbuilt in them. The House that BJ Built is the third book of Anuja Chauhan. I have read, The Zoya Factor and Those Pricey Thakur Girls. I enjoyed this one as much as I enjoyed the earlier books.
So, this story begins a few years after the story of Those Pricey Thakur Girls took a pause. Thakur Girls are grown up women now, the next generation is coming of age and the grand old man is about to leave the world. He is worried about his house getting equally transferred to his 5 daughters and that is where the whole story is pivoted around. The man dies after the clean division of his huge house into five equal parts – called Hissa.
In a plot full of twists and turns that come equally from the past and the present – Anuja showcases the strange families that we have. We live together while we are fighting cases in the court. The family covers the deeds of people we despise the most. People feel love and disgust in equal proportions for our siblings and the people who belong to us through them. We remember our bad times but never the bad times we might have given others in the family. Even when blood ties bind us, we think first of ourselves than about anyone else.
Anuja Chauhan displays a knack for showing our darker side through the lens of humor. A romantic track has to go parallel to the whole story and it does. Court cases and courtships, religion and greed, people who refuse to age. And people who are mature beyond their age – all coexist in her story. This story has some heavy dosage of Bollywood – the dirty politics pivoted around the new age meaningful cinema type of directors. There is enough masala to keep you guessing what is going to happen next.
In her own quirky way, the author gives an insightful peep into the dirty business of glamor and how it is manipulated and how it manipulates. If it is Delhi, politics can’t be far away. She brings out how the small time politicians leverage the minorities. Or even make the minorities out of the mainstream for their benefit. Thankfully, she brings this all in without ever saying a preachy word. Or without even making you think that some sermon is on its way. To me, she inspires to see a brighter side in the darkest of places as well.
It would be nice to read it as a sequel. Though Anuja Chauhan has put in efforts to make it a standalone readable story. If you do not have the patience to read 400+ pages, wait for the Bollywood to make a film on it soon. Although I must add that I have been waiting for a film on her first book for many years now. But we are yet to see the film.
Anuja, I am waiting for your next book. You guys go and read this one till then.