Title: There’s Something About You
Author: Yashodhara Lal
Price: Rs. 175
There’s Something About You by Yashodhara Lal is the story of Trishna Saxena, a twenty-eight year old content professional, in Bombay, Bandra Bandstand to be specific. She lives in a rented sea-facing matchbox, with her dependent parents. She is Trish to everyone else but her ailing father, who has Alzheimer’s. The book begins with her losing her job and having to break that news to her parents, specifically her mother. In the next few months, we see Trish save a man from drowning and take on some freelancing assignments, a short gap measure, she keeps reminding herself. But fate has a way of making its presence felt in numerous ways. And both these incidents go on transform her life in ways she couldn’t have fathomed.
Trish is a very likeable character. It’s easy to identify with her fears, insecurities and self-doubt. And she is armed with loads of weight and sarcasm, both of which are of great annoyance to her mother. Trish’s father is like a balm to her soul. Warm and comforting, the few times he is calm and lucid in his interactions. His character was the high point for me in this book. Lal does a fantastic job of portraying the father-daughter relationship. There is warmth, much banter and a quiet understanding between them. And likewise, it is easy to understand why Trish and her mother aren’t the best of friends.
Shades of this book reminded me of the popular Bollywood film, Piku, which so beautifully wowed all of us just some weeks ago. Trish is devoted to her father.
Her part-time freelance assignment soon turns into a full-fledged project, thanks to her wit, sarcasm and cynicism. And fate also leads her to a charming Sahil Sabharwal, who just won’t take no for an answer. He is blessed with immense patience and special powers. It takes Trish some amount of time to accept and come to terms with the latter. Sahil, on the other hand, decides to stick around, breaking past the many barriers that Trish had erected all around herself.
As Trish gets busy with work, she is also visited often by her neighbour, Akanksha, and her seven year old Lisa, whom she unwillingly begins to babysit. As a result, she also finds herself getting involved into their personal lives more than she’d have liked.
Work which initially made Trish happy also gets fairly messy and complicated. She is at constant war with her editor over the project. And when it threatens to consume her entire life until she decides to be brave and stands up for what she believes.
It is largely a rough ride for Trish who is just hurtling from one disaster to another. But Sahil is her solace. He seems to have the answers for most of her dilemmas. And for that she is grateful.
There’s Something About You is a light engaging read. But I felt that it was packed with too many sub-plots. And Sahil seems to be the convenient panacea for most of Trish’s problems.
Trish’s father is beautifully etched but I wouldn’t say that for the other characters. I also enjoyed Lal’s depiction of the corporate workplace, made complete with the snooty editor and the obnoxious boss. And I would recommend There’s Something About You for that alone!
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