Nishant Kaushik’s third novel Conditions Apply resembles a rather clichéd Bollywood chick flick but it does have many good moments here and there which keeps you going till the end.
The book is around the life of Mohit Sinha, a marketing manager and his wife Neha, a banker. It follows them as they get married and also get used to each other’s ways. In a year or so, the romance starts fizzling out of the marriage as priorities change and promises are broken. Suddenly simple fibs, long evenings at work and daily chores become more frustrating as they both struggle to accept each other without giving up their own dreams. Towards the end, the couple is on the verge of splitting up. Will they get back together to give their relationship one last chance or will they walk away, their head held high by arrogance and pride to admit their mistakes?
The subplots in the story include the blossoming relationship between Nandini, a journalist with a messy past and Cedric, an insensitive playboy who happens to be Mohit’s best friend. To add to Mohit’s problems are his neighbours who seem to have been taken right out of a Hindi serial just to plague his life with their self claimed righteousness.
The plot is very relatable and showcases the general problems that all modern couples of today face. However there is a certain monotony that carries throughout the book which gives one the feeling that he already knows what will happen through the book. The writing style is simple and easy to understand. The small romantic anecdotes and the small verses of poetry do allow you to sink into the romantic mood that the book has tried to capture.
Overall, the book is about an average middle class man who struggles between work and love. You might enjoy reading it if you’re a quintessential romantic but if you don’t manage to catch it, you aren’t missing out on much.