Conditions Apply – Novel review

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Blurb :
Romance is in the air when a workaholic corporate genius is besotted by a shy and charming banker. They marry for love, but their diverse ambitions threaten to eclipse their happiness when the latent actress inside his better-half is awakened by a crazy, voodoo-obsessed filmmaker. Meanwhile, a fiery yet somewhat aimless journalist settles in with an unaccomplished dance instructor, and they make peace with their unrequited dreams, limited means, and unlimited beer. And there are those self-proclaimed righteous neighbours who can’t get enough of the profanities practised by the outsiders settled in their neighbourhood.

Conditions Apply is a comical exploration of modern social values as seen by its outrageously funny yet endearing characters, who struggle to find love and peace amidst the endless pressures of a metropolis. Borrowed from the hushed discussions you may hear at your favourite coffee shop, this is a story where you are the audience as well as the subject.

My review :

This novel is more or less like that bollywood movie which begins tremendously, is good until the interval, but looses it’s sheen in the post-interval parts only to resurface with a fitting climax.

The author is a keen observer which is clearly shown in the maturity with which he has written this novel. It’s not a teeny-weeny romantic story, but it’s a story dealing with the periods post-marriage. The relationships and the difficulties in maintaining them are beautifully described in the novel.

It is a humorous tale of 3 different couples and how their lives are inter-connected and how their attitudes towards life differs.
Mohit, workaholic, works for a junk-food manufacturing company as an assistant to a demanding boss, Karan, gets married to Neha, aspiring actress, a banker by profession. Soon you-don’t-understand-me, you-don’t-have-time-for-me tussles begin between husband and wife and slowly a “wall” seems to be developing between them.

Cedric, Mohith’s only friend in the town, runs a gym and is also a passionate dancer but dispassionate towards life. Nandini, a reporter of a silly channel with even sillier shows, moves into the apartment with Cedric to make the ends meet. Eventually they both fall for each-other in spite of so many differences between them.

Amit, colleague and neighbour of Mohith, lives happily with his wife, Amita, children, parents and uncle-aunt, who are at logger-heads with Mohith for no particular reason, in a small crumpled apartment without any difficulty as they are people with “limited means and limited desires.”

The post-marriage tussles between a couple are nicely described. How the incessant calls from wife annoys the husband and how he begins to tell short, harmless lies to get his “me” time. How their work timings and traffic keep them away for long times and how the husband-wife consider themselves to be more of room-mates than a couple, few months post-marriage. How the Sundays become the only days when they finally get some time to “talk” to each-other and how their busy lives lead to many disputes and debates between them which eventually result in lesser and lesser talks.

The character of Cedric is the one that provides loads of laughter. He lives with a care-free and whatever-happens-will-be-seen attitude. Nandini is just “different” and she doesn’t care much either. Where any other girl would throw tantrums and make a scene, she just doesn’t give a hoot.

Amit and Amita are devoted husband-wife, devoted father-mother and devoted son & daughter-in-law. They are middle class people who respect morals and values more than the monetary gains and don’t give much importance to unnecessary social visits and dos and are happy and content living in their confined spaces.

The best part of the novel is the climax, where Mohith stands up for Amit in spite of they sharing not-so-cordial relationship and Amit’s father finally acknowledging Mohith and stops dissing at him for no particular reason.
Also, there is no definite end to the story of the husband-wife and is left hanging. The end is either implied or can be continued in the sequel if the author wishes to pen down one.

The only trouble with the novel is it gets a little preachy in the latter parts of the story. (The parts that are preachy are very true, nevertheless) Apart from that, the novel is a perfectly readable and gift-able for any occasion and to person of any age.

Highly recommended.

Connect with the author here : Nishant Kaushik

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