Blurb: don't know if I can do a story like this once again or not. Ajopa Ganguly, a struggling writer, is reeling from the pains of her manuscript having been rejected by all publishers. She knows that making cupcakes and embroidering handkerchiefs is not her true calling. However, she is scared to write anymore and is losing focus. Aniket Verma, is the professor of economics who was also Ajopa's tuition teacher once. Despite their twelve years age gap, with time, they forge a special bond of friendship. Then a misunderstanding! Now Aniket is back and it feel just like old times. With a challenge of finishing a new manuscript in record time and a promise that he will help her to get it published if she does, he asks her to meet him at the publisher's office two days later. Does she write? Does she go to the publisher's office? At what moment does their friendship change? Do they fall in love? My Dream Man, a let-me-tell-my-friends and I-need-to-finish-this-now story, is an insightful examination of how forces beyond our control help us make decisions. As Ajopa says, it is all about 'deep choosing'
I think there is something to be said about the author's merit when you finish their book in one sitting.
Aditi Bose's second novel is like a breath of fresh air.
First of all, this is not like the mostly sub-standard, poorly written gooey romantic nonsense that is flooding the market these days.
Ajopa Ganguly is an excellent character. She's educated, liberated, independent and knows her self-worth. She's sassy, feisty and knows how to stand up for herself. She finds a goal and she goes ffor it. She's not afraid to know and express her sexuality. She tries out different occupations even as she struggles with rejections from publishers for her manuscript.
I liked how, in Ajopa, Bose has etched a portrait of a modern, liberated, self-assured woman. She's not the horribly regressive sati-savitri types who bows down to a society still largely patriarchal except some liberated pockets. I like how she makes her own choices and sticks by them. I like how she's not dependent on a man for validation, and doesn't believe in living by what society expects of her. A woman who knows her mind.
I like how the author describes Ajopa's teenage pining for Aniket- an unconventional hero. And how that pining turns to true love later. Not all teenage relations are puppy-love driven, hormonal fleeting affairs.
That said, I also liked Aniket's character- such gallantry and sincerity, the way he protects Ajopa instead of taking advantage of her. I liked the scenes between Ajopa and Aniket- and some parts where she embarrasses herself in front of him made me laugh.
I also liked the character of Ajopa's father- liberal, supportive and understanding. If more women have fathers like him, society can actually see the true emancipation of the better half.
I liked the confident, original and eloquent voice, the style and the crisp narration. The language is simple without being pedestrian and the prose flows quite well. The plot is crisp and well-done. The characters are complex and colorful.
There are no major issues with editing except a few typos here and there.
I have an issue with the cover though- it could have been better- more colorful. This one is a little off-color when compared to the lively, colorful story inside.
We need honest, original writers like Aditi Bose to fill the market with quality work.
I wish her all the best with her next book and hope that she will keep writing.
If you want a light, feel-good weekend read to go with your Sunday morning coffee, go buy this book here My Dream Man