It is not just the name, Parshuraman, which is rather unusual for a Punjabi family. As an IT professional chasing dollar dreams, he is also the most unlikely protagonist for a book that captures love and longing in times of recession.
Set in the backdrop of Chandigarh, The Recession Groom, the debut novel of Vani, 35, who left business journalism to pursue an MBA from Kingston University at London in 2008 -- takes us back to the time when global recession had hit the Western economies and top multinationals were declaring bankruptcies and handing pink slips to their employees.
The book delves into how these macro-changes changed the small world of an Indian IT professional overnight -- from a sought-after bachelor who is in no hurry to find a bride to one who finds himself desperately longing for one.
Vani chose Chandigarh as the setting for her novel as her protagonist prefers the pace of a small city to the humdrum and chaos of a metro. For someone who did her schooling from Chandigarh, followed by working as a business journalist for a newspaper here, Vani understands the nuances of City Beautiful. “I grew up loving this city and wanted my readers to know about it and then fall in love with it,” she adds. She studied at Bhavan Vidyalaya, Sector 27, and graduated from Government College for Girls, Sector 11.
On being asked what made her take to writing a book after quitting her job, Vani said writing had always been a passion for her. “After I completed MBA and was working in England, I realised I did not want to be in a routine 9 to 5 job. This was also the time I saw friends and family lose jobs in the land of opportunities and it became an inspiration for my first book.”
Interestingly, Vani also tries to break the stereotype of the usual brash, brazen and macho Punjabi male that our movies love to portray or we see around us. Parshuraman is shy and rooted in tradition and modesty. He endures the many quirks of his marriage-obsessed Punjabi family but is never disrespectful towards anyone, in the least a woman, whether she is an over-zealous aunt, a flamboyant colleague or a dominating sister.
Giving the IT guy his due
But it is not all that he has to deal with. He has quite a few quirks of his own. He is unpredictable and impulsive. But as an IT professional, he is programmed to think logically. So even in matters of the heart, this logical Indian thinks through the mind. Only to find, one does not at times let the other rule! And in the words of Vani, it is high time an IT professional got his due in a novel as the main protagonist...not as a nerd, gamer, hacker or a call centre guy but one who can have a happening life, some melodrama ...all worth a good read.
The book will be launched in Chandigarh on February 7 and in Delhi on February 20 followed by other cities.