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Indian chick lit?

Launch of Rajashree's "Trust Me" that uses a Hindi-film style narrative

PHOTO:R. SHIVAJI RAO

FILMI FUNDAS At the launch of the book

"Paro stopped listening to me," said author Rajashree of the protagonist in her novel "Trust Me." Rajashree has loved the movies since her five-hour wait, years ago, for tickets for "Sholay." She hates Paro's condescending attitude towards the film industry.

"Being in the film industry (Rajashree is a director too), she has managed to distance herself from it and see it from a lay person's point of view," said Suhasini Mani Ratnam, at the book launch held recently at Crossword. "The book is not on the intricacies of the industry. The industry is a prop she has used to tell a simple love story."

"It is Indian chick lit told using `a Hindi film style' narrative structure," said Rajashree. So she has not given depth to the characters and has deliberately used clichés, she said. She chose this narrative style influenced by her stint with MTV working on its show "Filmi Fundas."

In the book, Paro enters the film industry to earn her keep and bitter from her experiences with love. By the 242nd and last page, she finds love and learns to trust again.

Realistic touch

Though it is a love story, Suhasini was quick to point out that she does not agree with the way the film industry is portrayed. Lecherous men do not abound nor are young starlets coquettish and try extra hard to please. "When you begin, you are so scared that you are just hoping to get the lines right and not get scolded by the director." The transformation of the flippant and mean Paro to a trusting one is what Suhasini found interesting. Some of the scenes that were realistic to her were when Rahul (Paro's love) changes his tone to impress the director and when he mentions a pancake that Suhasini used to apply. Actor Narain, who also read out passages from the book, said he enjoyed the humour in it.

Rajashree has also directed a film "Rebel", which won her a National Award and was screened at many film festivals. The book is priced at Rs. 95.

ASHA S. MENON

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