Wednesday, 26 June, 2019, 7:55 PM
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Our Start-up Affair

Sheila Kumar

Published : Saturday, 4 May, 2019 at 12:00 AM  Count : 604
Reviewed by Dyuti Mishra

Our Start-up Affair

Our Start-up Affair

A love story that will make you wish the lead characters had never met...

In order to be a success, romance as a genre has to play on tropes. But Sheila Kumar's romance takes the formulaic bits a bit too far, resulting in a
parody.
It starts off as any good romance novel should - girl meets boy. Set in Bengaluru, the start-up capital of our country, the meet-cute occurs in a cab. Given Bengaluru's traffic issues, this is a plausible setting. But things soon derail, making you wish our lead characters, Aditi and Aditya (Team A-A, as they are referred to midway through the story), had never met. As soon as Aditi gets into the cab, she realises the driver is attractive. She finds his chiselled jawline so alluring, she concludes that this guy couldn't possibly be a cab-driver. I'll leave you to ponder over that borderline elitist assumption our leading lady makes.
As it turns out, the driver is not a cabbie but the son of an industrialist trying to make it on his own. Both our leads are start-up owners, which makes for a perfect career choice given they are millennials. Aditi and her roommate love cooking up Italian feasts every night, washing it down with some good old rosé, while her start-up splashes around to stay afloat. Aditya's indulgence is his Ducati, while his cab service Caboyea is in desperate need of CPR, so much so that he and his brother take turns filling in as cab-drivers.
If you think this is a millennial fairy tale, you wouldn't be too off the mark. There are, in fact, instances where Aditi's "good angel" speaks to her. And she always replies.
In true Manic Pixie Dream Girl fashion, our dear Aditi feels sorry for Aditya (it must be so repressive to grow up with all that privilege) and takes it upon herself to fix him.
The few erotic bits of the book are surprisingly good, making one wonder if the author should have just stuck to her strengths.
If one is to prove that millennials killed romance, among other things, one has only to read this book. But then, the force-fitted phrases like 'dayum' and 'bae' will also make any self-respecting millennial cringe.
From a business perspective, Aditi's master stroke of launching an entire line of snacks based on olives doesn't sound very viable or appetising. The author's attempts at humour don't land too well either.
Needless to say, this book fails the Bechdel
Test too.

Courtesy: The Hindu 



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