“There are too many complications now!” she says. ‘One, Bonu doesn’t want to sell, two, the tenants are refusing to vacate, and three, Chachaji says we don’t own this house only! Where’s that vodka bottle?”
‘The House That BJ Built‘ is Anuja Chauhan’s sequel to ‘Those Pricey Thakur Girls’. The story follows the five sisters twenty years later. This novel introduces us to two new characters, Bonita Singh Rajawat and Samar Vir Singh. Bonita or Bonu is the daughter of Justice Narayan’s second child, late Binodini Singh Rajawat while Samar is the step-son of Anjini Singh, who is the eldest of the Thakur sisters.
The plot revolves around the selling of the Thakur house on the posh Hailey Road. Justice Laxmi Narayan Thakur or BJ, as he is fondly called, wants the house to be divided equally between his four daughters and grand-daughter and just before his demise he bestows the responsibility of doing so on Samar. But it isn’t as easy for him because Bonu is a tough cookie to crack as she remembers how her mausis refused to sell the house when her mother was desperate to. And to make things worse, there are some unexpected plot twists that will surely tickle your funny bone.
The characters of Anjini, Chandu, Debjani and Eshwari are explored as the situation unfolds. We see how each of them changes when it comes to selling their hissa as they are getting a large chunk of money for it. Chandu, for instance, who thinks that ‘money is mael’ is the most money-minded and shrewd of all Thakur sisters.
Humour is sprinkled throughout the book as Chauhan gives us a glimpse into Samar’s work life as a film director. She goes all out on Bollywood and makes us laugh with her witty item song lyrics filled with puns and innuendos. She also uses humour to depict the relationship between Bonu and her mausis which helps to push the plot forward.
Anuja Chauhan writes about family property disputes just the way we hear of them or read about it in the newspapers and this makes the novel more relatable. She writes exactly the way her characters would speak if they existed and after a certain point you even start to hear them. The mixture of Hindi and English may confuse the reader from time to time but it serves to make the novel more flavourful. The story is thickly layered and can be finished in two successive evenings because it is difficult to put down. With its family drama and moments of romance and hilarity, the sequel indeed lives up to the expectation of its readers.
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