Glitter And Gloss

Misha is ‘garrulous, geeky, gawky and gainfully employed’. She works at a small M.A.C store in a mall and is a makeup artist who does models but aspires to do brides some day. She is funny, humorously portrayed; her reasoning will make you laugh out loud. Her parents are modern brained and divorced. Life changes for good when she falls for Akshay, after the many wrong relationships. It seems kind of a fairy tale twist. But she has to be accepted by Didi to be a part of the Agarwal family. So she behaves to be everything that she is not – idealistic Bahu material, pure vegetarian, and sanskari. She spews out so many lies in the process that it will make you as a reader cringe with embarrassment and humiliation and end up rolling over the bed laughing your stomach out!

Akshay is tall and handsome, heir to the Agarwal Jewellers. He is kind to Misha’s misdeeds and loves her to a fault. He is an orphan and regards his elder sister ‘Didi’ and her husband ‘Jeejoo’ as his third parents. I think he is a hundred times more sensible than Misha. ‘Chortle’ has become my favorite word after reading the book. Winks!! I am swooning over the endearments ‘Mishkin’ and ‘KishMish’.

Poulomi is Misha’s bestie. The perfect bestie that every one of us should have! I could relate to Poul a lot. She is caring and still can act badass when things go wrong. Sammy is Misha’s guy roommate owing to their modern living arrangements in Mumbai. He’s fun, kind of a house husband who has a knack for cleanliness and order. He’s a savior in many ways – when Misha needs a listening ear to tattle about her boyfriend issues, when she has nothing to eat, when she forgets to buy groceries. A perfect roommate indeed. Other characters like Didi and Misha’s mom too are quite fun.

I surprisingly love the narration. Yes, I say surprisingly, as I never thought chick-lit was my cup of tea. After reading a few books in the genre, I was almost convinced that this was not meant for me. Thank goodness I picked up ‘Glitter and Gloss’ – many thanks to the author Vibha Batra for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review. I loved the way the events are narrated in the book, loved the characters, and the plot too. I enjoyed the Mom meets Didi scene the most. It was hilarious.

Besides the fun and entertainment, the novel subtly draws our attention to the stereotypes prevailing in our society, the mannerisms expected from a bride-to-be and the prejudices everyone has about a perfect family or life. That sends a good message, as Misha is a total opposite of what is expected of her. She accepts herself in the long run, instead of dwelling in others’ acceptance of her.

I would rate this 4/5 stars. 

Vibha Batra is a copywriter by profession and a popular fiction writer too. Her literary pursuits took off when she translated her grandfather Late Shri Vishnu Kant Shastri’s book on the Ishaavaasya Upanishad. Among her recent titles are Sweet Sixteen (Yeah, Right!) and Seventeen And Done (You Bet!), published by Penguin, Tongue in Cheek, a collection of poetry and A Twist of Lime, a collection of short stories. Another collection of short stories, Family Crossword, will be out in October 2015.


Queeristan by Parmesh Sahani

  Queeristan (Amazon Link) Thanks to Audible Free Trial I listened to this amazing non-fiction on LGBTQ inclusion in Indian workplaces. Author Parmesh Sahani identifies as gay Indian, working closely with Godrej higher management and employees for years to create an inclusive workplace, both legally and in spirit. This book is a result of those years of experience, research, collaboration with individuals from difference spectrum of the society and organizations who has successfully transitioned into a queer friendly one.   Indian history is inclusive. From the Khajuraho temple architectures, to Konark to the Rig Veda, there is existing proofs even 2000 years ago of Indian inclusiveness of queer. It’s the draconian British law that criminalised it, which was scraped in 2009, came into effect once again following a sad judgement in 2013 and eventually was scraped off for good in 2018. I am in awe of the lawyers who fought this legal battle- colleagues and partners – Arundhati Katju

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