Title: 50 Cups of Coffee: The Woes and Throes of Finding Mr Right
Author: Khushnuma Daruwala
Price: Rs 250
50 Cups of Coffee: The Woes and Throes of Finding Mr Right by Khushnuma Daruwala sounded intriguing. I was looking forward to it. The first chapter was a breeze, it set the context and premise for the book. It was light, tongue-in-cheek writing, akin to a conversation across the table with an old friend.
The book is a narration of Dia’s (Daruwala’s friend) fifty dates, all described in Dia’s voice. I particularly love the disclaimer that Daruwala inserted in the lines:
“While this book will do absolutely nothing to allay her fears regarding the paucity of good men, it hopes to lift her spirits and offer a kinship to all women who have suffered similarly disastrous dates.”
And kinship it offers with the many hopeless conversations and incidents that Dia shares with us in the subsequent pages.
Daruwala warns you of the non-linear flow, making it easier to jump in at any chapter. The book also answers why coffee shops are preferred for most first and early dates: “They are casual, allow for quick exits and more importantly, the unlimited flow of caffeine and sugary treats help soothe frayed nerves.”
The chapters are short reads with snappy titles, almost like a compilation of blog posts. Daruwala covers a range of issues: from men with mommy issues to stalkers.
The book held promise. But I ploughed through most of it. It was funny and humorous, but it told me nothing that I didn’t already know. The writing is cheeky and clever but there’s a lot of drama and hyperbole within the pages. A tinge of despair, too. And after a while, it got frustrating to read Dia’s stance. From being a sympathiser in the first few pages, I got almost exasperated in a few instances towards the end. Some chapters just didn’t make any sense and seemed like a forced insertion to touch the number 50.
But 50 Cups of Coffee left me with one insight: Why do the good bits outshout the bad? The answer lies in the theory that negative memories (unlike the positive) “get fragmented into different parts—the feeling, the visual, the sound the sensations, etc. are all saved as different ‘files’ in different parts of the brain. Which is why when you try to retrieve a negative memory, you merely retrieve one part of it and not the whole memory. Which in turn makes it feel weaker and less intense.”
That’s my takeaway from the book. I was hoping for a nice warm, fuzzy read. What I got were a bunch of exaggerated reflections, which led me to wonder why Dia was still out there in search of Mr Right, when she could have just gone on with life unscathed.