Glitter and Gloss, published by Bloomsbury, is author Vibha Batra‘s fourth full fledged novel after her Rinki series featuring 3 books : Sweet Sixteen (Yeah Right!), Seventeen and done (You Bet!), and Eighteen and Wiser (Not Quite!) and a couple of novellas published by Indireads.
Glitter and Gloss, as the name (and cover page) itself suggests, is a story surrounding cosmetics and beauty salons and seems to be sponsored by M.A.C because you will probably read the names of M.A.C products more than you will read the word love in the book.
Misha Chaturvedi, the female protagonist, is a saleswoman at a M.A.C store in a Mall at Mumbai and harbors the dream of doing brides some day (pun unintended). In her words, “there is something so pure about doing up a bride. Making a woman look beautiful on her biggest day.” She is a blabber mouth and often ends up putting foot in her mouth.
Akshay Agarwal, aka Akki, is the most sought after bachelor in town and heir of Agarwal Jewellers. He is smart, well-built, sauve, intelligent, successful and everything that can compel the blabber-mouth Misha to become uncontrollable and go into an overdrive.
If you have watched enough Bollywood movies, you’d know what would happen next. Yes, they bump into each other in a hilarious fashion and end up falling in love. After the love-birds are done enough boinking, they want to settle down with each other. No prizes for guessing, there is a hurdle.
Akshay’s parents had passed away early and he was brought up by his patriarchal Didi who is in search of a dignified, homely and khandaani bahu who will bring more shaan to the name of Agarwals. And Misha is everything that she didn’t want her bahu to be.
So, Misha wants to impress Didi and wants to be accepted. Thus starts the roller-coaster ride where Misha commits blunders, one after the another, including calling off the engagement with Akshay and ends up realizing so much more about herself.
Will Misha be able to gain Didi’s acceptance? What blunders did Misha commit? Why did she call off the engagement with Akshay? Do they get back together? What does she realize about herself? Answers to these and many other questions are in the book.
If you have already read Vibha’s The Activist and The Capitalist, you’d know the Bollywood connection. Vibha’s biggest strength is romance filled with humor, a la Bollywood style. There’s a touch of movies everywhere, be it in casting, scripting, direction or screenplay. Especially in dialogues.
Glitter and Gloss has various instances which will make you ROFL and/or guffaw loudly. So, read it in public places at your own risk.
Vibha’s prowess also lies in making the proceedings more lively and real. One can easily identify with the characters and also instantly like them. Poulomi and Sammy, Misha’s bestie and room-mate respectively, evoke much laughter and are also Misha’s support system. Patriarchal Didi and submissive Jeejoo and Misha’s wacky mom are other importance characters in the story.
On the downside, some may lament that the book was predictable and that it was like an old wine in a new bottle. Way more hindi words and extra letters in a word for that effect are cool with the younger generation, but the purists may resent them.
In a nutshell, it is an outrageously hilarious book with a hint of romance making it a must read for all romance fanatics.