BOOK REVIEW: TICK-TOCK, WE'RE 30!
"Tick-Tock, we are 30!" is a contemporary book about interesting, liberated youngsters who start off as close college buddies, and end up being cosy couples by the time the story ends. The USP of the book lies in the surprise element that comes forth when the most unlikely pair end up being attracted to each other, unknown even to themselves, thus giving credence to the fact that “Opposites Attract”, and always will!
The title is based around the thirtieth birthday bash of Lara Bagai, the main female lead of the story and the youngest in a group of about dozen outgoing batch mates. The plan is that the group of "now-scattered-around-the-globe" friends from Delhi's Sarva Niketan locality will catch up on the eventful occasion of Lara turning 30, and take it on from there. Each of the friends is partially in the know about what's happening in the lives of the others, at least the crucial snippets! What they do not know is that Lara had secretly, and un-optimistically(about the validity of the pact) entered into a pact with Nishad, the Mr. Practical in the group, to get hitched with each other if both were still single by this time. And the fact is, both are......and Lara is vehemently and shadily denying it. That's mostly because Nishad's super-cool disposition, and the ability to unmistakably rub upon a raw nerve upsets Lara to no end. She feels exposed by his uncanny ability to see through her lies and bluffs and also point out her mistakes even beforer she's about to commit them, her last goof-up of an affair, for instance. And hence Lara is all set to show him that she is into a serious relationship, even if it means hiring a skilled bartender with smashing looks to play the part of her love interest! Needless to say, Nishads sees right through this bluff, and what follows is an interesting and emotional revelation of sorts.
The story also has other interesting characters who are as different from each other as chalk & cheese, yet bonded in a way that's hard to break. Reeta & sita, Daniel & Maneka, Nanhi & Sai to name a few to end up being twosomes as the story unwinds.While the guys are constantly pulling pranks on the girls, and getting back witty wisecracks laced with sarcasm, there is that undeniable out-in-the-open friendship & supportiveness among all members of the group, which is what makes the story likeable. The characters touch a chord in your heart when they stand up for each others steadfastly, allow for momentary lapses in behaviour and even tolerate the whimsical partners that some members bring to the party (example- Kalyani)!
It's also easy to see why Lara Bagai slowly but surely falls for the charming Nishad who seems to always be there for her during her weak moments, and surprisingly offers understanding in the most unusual ways (such as be-friending the fake boyfriend, or handling Sita's mom, now-senile but still-so-affectionate towards his pals), thus showing his mature and sentimental side to a very surprised Lara. Nishad himself has always been sure of his attraction for Lara and confesses that he was always taken in by her simple, unpresumptious ways.
The story is like a journey of revelations about Lara and Nishad's love for each other as well as that of other members, who did not have the faintest idea that this is where they would end up with! There is a liberal dose of typical college anecdotes, knee-jerk reactions, characteristic mannerisms of each the group members which endears the reader to them and unfailingly takes back to those college days where hanging out was the highlight of life and everything ele came later. It also reminds us some our friend's super-strict dads, mellow-mannered mums and home-based hang-out sessions that lasted into late nights with high levels of music, food, booze , gossip and chaos in general! The book is a modern and practical love story without the candy floss about chocolates, teddy bears and the works! It is a more identifiable and achingly tale-spin about a much-awaited rendezvous of a varied group of individuals who meets after a decade since their college days together, and you can expect a roller-coaster ride of emotions, memories and crazy times while reading this seemingly real story!
Makes for a light-hearted, weekend read without taxing your thoughts too much,yet keeping you engrossed throughout.