Book Review: The House that BJ Built

“Il make them squirm like well-salted earthworms. I won’t sell. Even my jutti won’t sell. And if I die naa, then even my ghost won’t sell”

Daughter of a Pricey Thakur Girl, sitting in dark thinking about her mother’s words when her sisters didn’t want to sell the house that BJ Built. When they did not care about her financial crisis. And then she died. But Bonita Singh, Binni Thakur’s daughter is still alive, living at 16, Hailey Road to fulfill her mother’s wish. Will she be able to do it?

Bonita Singh, the one whose first word was “Balls”, who never gives up, is ballsy and intolerant towards bullshit, will she be able to overcome her Mausis plan to sell the house? Starting from Mausi Anjani, the famous beauty of Hailey road who now wants to Save the Nation, Mausi Chandralekha, who is a self-proclaimed monk, and Mausi Eshawari, who is jobless and manless. And the Mausis are not the only problem, AN Thakur, BJ’S brother who wants the property, some spies and lies and tenants who want 10 lakh hits on their YouTube video are other factors that will drive her crazy.

The House that BJ Built is a story of a daughter living between Crazy Thakur girls, her Mausis, who make her climb and scratch walls. After the demise of BJ Thakur, all three sisters now horde together at 16, Hailey Road to sell the house, but Bonita Singh refuses, clearly remembering her Mother Late Binodini Thakur’s words. But then things turn into one romantic chutney, when Bonita’s childhood crush, her Mausi Anjani’s stepson, Samar Singh comes back to 16 Hailey Road. BJ on his death bed makes Samar promise to sell the House and divide it equally amongst all her daughters. But will Samar be able to fulfill his wish when Bonu “Balls” Singh stands in his way? Who will win, Hormones or Genes?

A sequel to “Those Pricey Thakur Girls”, Anuja Chauhan has been true to her Delhi-pann while writing this book. From Hinglish to describing the nature of each character, she makes them stand true to their Delhi-based identity. Each and every character has created a perfect balance of rom-com. For Example; When Samar’s intense eyes are looking at Bonita, he suddenly reminds her that she is the same kid who used to run after him with Jars full of Susu (urine)! Phrases like this have made the book come alive with happiness and romance.

One of the best things about Anuja Chauhan’s writing is that she has a flare of making her characters relate to readers. When you read about Thakur Girls, they may remind you about someone who used to be just like them. Some relatives who are just like them, jobless, manless, spiteful and hypocrite. This genuine nature of characters makes her novels such a success.

The best character in the book is of Chachiji, AN Thakur’s wife! Sleazy and one who makes the most of an opportunity, her timing for dialogs and gossip is perfect in the book. When you think that dust might have settled down a bit, she jumps out of pages again and reminds you that she is still there. Her “Haw ji” and “Hai ji” act like extra masala in maggie, making it spicier and bone tickling. Samar takes away the award for the Hunk in the book. A famous Bollywood director with scruffy looks, one’s imagination may provide them with quite a delightful picture when you think about him.

Overall the book makes for an excellent read. I was glad that I took a break from all the heavy reading and ordered my copy on time. Although one thing that bothered me was dragging the story a little bit. Anuja might have altered at least 50 pages of the book, but then the overall composition is also worth reading. A book that may brighten up your week with Bonu Singh’s Chammak wali bangles and Thakur Saga at 16, Hailey Road.

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