First things first, there is not much of a difference between a novel and a novella except that of length. An average novel usually ranges between 75,000-90,000 words or is about 200+ pages, whereas a novella is more of a long short story of about 20,000-40,000 words and anywhere between 50-100 pages.
Shuchi Singh Kalra, a freelancer who started writing in 2005 and writes for various blogs and magazines, is debuting in the fiction category with her to-be-published novella Done With Men. When I read the blurb of the novella, I was more than interested in reading the whole of it.
Kairavi Krishna, who is often lovingly called as Kay by her BFF cum flat-mate cum relationship-expert cum bi*ch-buddy cum caretaker, Baani, works as a travel-writer for a magazine run by Ravi (whom they call Ed), her boss, with whom she had had a sexual encounter on a work assignment. Although, they weren’t ‘together’ they both were matured enough about it and didn’t let it hamper their professional relationship.
Kay dumped Ricky not so long ago for being possessive and clingy. She was really depressed about being single again and she was fed up of the kind of men she had been with. She wasn’t depressed that she had been with a douche, but was depressed that she had lived for a quarter of a century and was yet to find the ‘true love’. She had almost given up the hopes of finding it too.
Baani who was Kay’s ‘oxygen’ and knew ‘her to her intestines’ realized that Kay needed a break and that Goa would be perfect holiday cum work for the New Year’s Eve. So she makes Ed appoint her some work at ‘The Sunburn’ festival in Goa. So, Baani and Kay set out to Goa.
Kay wanted to let go of her past and move on and have a good time at Goa, but fate had different plans for her. Ricky was moving around with a skimpily clad woman at the same pub at which these three (Kay, Baani and Kapil, Kay’s boy-friend) had arrived to party. She wasn’t jealous about seeing her ex with someone else but angered that she had to see his sorry face. She somehow managed to keep her mind off Ricky by downing shots of Vodka. Needless to say, the alcohol does what it does best and she has a ‘What Happens In Vegas’ moment and lands herself at the hospital the next morning with a shoulder dislocation and a minor fracture and a “Done With Men” tattoo on her arm.
The next day when she comes to, she finds Dr. Vivian on his daily rounds. He appears smug, arrogant and indifferent to her in their first meeting. She wishes never to see his face ever again. But slowly she warms up to him as she gets to know more about him. In no time, she goes from developing a small crush on him to falling madly in love with him, so much so that she deliberately extends her stay at the hospital in spite of being fit enough to be discharged.
Just when she was sure that she was in love with him and that she ‘believed’ that he too had some feelings for her, she learns about the rumors going about in the hospital about his engagement and marriage to the daughter of the co-owner of the hospital and is heart-broken and wants to go back to Mumbai.
What is the story behind “Done With Men” tattoo? Does Vivian love Kay too? Were rumors about his marriage just rumors or is the saying that ‘There is no smoke without fire’ always true? Know about these in the novella.
Although Shuchi Singh is a debutante, she writes like a veteran. From the very first page, it is pretty evident that this is going to be a humorous and joyous ride with corpulent amount of drama. She has a flair for writing in spite of being a debutante which is pretty evident in her writing. Her writing is brilliant with standard English unlike most other chick-lit or romance novels being published as of now in India. The tender romance grows as the novella progresses and the ‘activity’ part isn’t just for titillation either. It is more of an old-wine-in-a-new-bottle and the bottle is not only attractive but also interesting.
Simple writing, humor with mushy romance makes it a nice read.
The novella is to be made available on 14th Feb. It is being published by Toronto-based publishing house Indireads which exclusively publishes e-books and was started with the aim to revolutionizing the popular fiction genre in South Asia.
Connect with the author here : Shuchi Singh Kalra