Indireads, $2.25, ISBN 978-0-9919600-2-6
Contemporary Romance, 2013
Now, I can appreciate a well-done Bollywood romantic comedy because it is 70% camp, 20% sexy leading man gyrating his hips at the screen, and 10% wondering how I’d ever look as good as the leading lady. The music isn’t bad either. However, take away the visual and aural elements of such movies, and I will get something like Madhur Nevatia’s Yours Accidentally: a boring, meandering tale that demonstrates how something that works for one medium may not work as well in another.
Gautam, a handsome wealthy young man who doesn’t own anything that comes with an expensive label, is also at the same time socially awkward. Given that ladies apparently throw themselves at him all the time, I suppose it has to be his wallet that is the main attraction, as this guy demonstrates zero charm in this story. Early in this story, he is complaining about the heat in New Delhi when he spots a hot lady taking a little too long to load her stuff onto a taxi. He automatically assumes is vapid, shallow, vain, and hence ugh. He makes such a judgment while practically listing down to me all the expensive brands of things he owns and uses when he’s not telling me how handsome and hot he is. Sure, that poor lady is the vain and vapid one. Carry on then.
Well, it turns out that the lady, Sameera is a fashionable, independent doctor who is also a guest at his BFF’s wedding day. He generally glowers at her, complains to himself about her immodest clothes, and then acts outraged when he overhears her telling a friend that she thinks that he’s quite rude and boorish. But events, coincidental ones mostly, will conspire to keep throwing them together for the rest of the story, so… haw, haw, haw?
Yours Accidentally features a popular trope in Bollywood romantic comedies: a couple who stumble and pull hairs like kids all the way into love. But, as I’ve mentioned, those movies inadvertently feature shirtless hot guys in tiny cut-offs or tight pants thrusting their hips at the screen while lip-syncing to some cheesy fun tune. In a medium that is purely words on paper, such comedy doesn’t work. The main characters’ childishness stands out like two red thumbs poking at my eyes, and it soon becomes apparent that that is all there is to these people. They are constantly finding excuses to act like kids. Worse, these two rarely speak to one another, and when they do, they talk around rather than to the other person. For way too long, these people assume the worst of the other person without any reason to do so, and they are a tedious kind of boring as a result.
Worse, the story just goes on and on. Weeks can pass from one paragraph to the next, and there are no plot directions. Things just happen out of the blue whenever the author feels like throwing up some drama. In fact, many of the plot developments here come up out of the blue, as if the author is just making things up as she goes along.
The author has a bouncy kind of verve to her writing that I quite enjoy… but that’s about it as far as Yours Accidentally is concerned.