Five years since the Indian audience’s in-flight companion took a pink turn to address everything from low-waist jeans, shopping bags, lipsticks and stilettos through its pages, here comes a breezy blue turn. Taking a cue from desi Bridget Jones is debutante author Chanchaldeep Singh Sandhu.
His latest offering, I Never Thought I Could Fall In Love, touted to be a dude/lad-lit, features leggy models, lips, hearts, and a hulky Punjabi boy. Sandhu is not entirely unnerved with this categorisation. “It doesn’t matter whether the book is chick-lit or dude-lit as long as it is entertaining and readers can relate to it. Most Bollywood movies are male-oriented and we enjoy them. Why should it be different in case of books?” he argues.
The book is part of publishing house, Penguin India’s latest offerings that feature books aimed towards the youth with stories about teenage lives, college and relationships. Ask the Ludhiana-based writer how a married man from a corporate background came to write about a teenager’s sexual tryst and he laughs, “I wrote it before marriage,” adding, “The idea of writing a novel came to me after I got my appraisal. It was not on the better side of the bell curve, and I was annoyed. To distract myself, I began to read a popular novel and after finishing it, confided to a close friend (now my wife) that I could write equally well. She believed in me and the book is here because of that belief. I wrote 80 per cent of the book in two months but it took me a year to finish it.”
Sandhu’s 164-pager novel, set in Punjab, deals with the story of a playboy Ronnie, his friend Mickey, Ronnie’s love for cricket and his sexual escapades that come in the way of his hostel life. The young, hip world comes tumbling down in true Bollywood style when the Punjabi lad falls in love. “It’s filmi. I am getting this a lot from people. Some are actually suggesting the name of the actors who can play the roles of Mickey and Ronnie.”
I Never Thought I Could Fall by Chanchaldeep Singh Sandhu is out, and can be bought at Rs 99.