Book Review: I Am Big So What?!
Author: Shuchi Singh Kalra
Publisher: Fingerprint Lite
Rating: Four and a half stars
The funny woman is back. I am Big So What! Plus Size! Body shamers trolling you! It ain’t Marilyn Monroe in reverse but if it does with a desi version of keeping the extra fat and flitting comfortably, who gives a fuck! Yeah! Right! Who gives a godamn rat ass bout it! Shuchi Singh Kalra tells you with a bang the story of a big girl, Roli Kapoor in I am Big So What! The story of Roli Kapoor turned down by a lover and she meets unwanted jerks on planet earth, the irritating aunty hell-bent to save all girls in distress to get them married. IBSW is not just about body shaming but romance, love, break-ups and crisis that a big girl or any girl for that matter, goes through.
Shuchi takes IBSW to another level, raising the bar a notch higher to an octane level to make IBSW a blockbuster hit. She is not yet Done with Men for there is love and romance in the most untoward situations. You loved ‘Done with Men’ for its effortless and intelligent humor but IBSW will make you drool over the fun quotient. The one-liners are kick ass right from the first lines where Shuchi packs a punch that marries humor, romance and body shaming in the most powerful manner.
IBSW is romance served on a hot plate of sizzler, a heady cocktail of friendship with a Papa don’t preach tag that Roli loves to spread. Shuchi churns a new tale in weaving Roli, the alligator and the sensual humor, swing and sweeping words that makes one choke with laughter. IBSW makes laughter an aphrodisiac minus sex. Suchi Singh Kalra redefines fatness that shames the trolls to give them a taste of their own silly medicine and it’s no Viagra.
Roli is one of a kinda woman in her 30s who has mastered the art of attracting jerks and worms wherever she stomps her foot. It makes her character endearing, fun-loving and totally crazy. Enter the world of Roli and you have Orange aunty, the typical preening neighbour with roving eyes hell-bent to get her married as if she is a fat damsel in distress. The best thing about the book is that you see Roli through Shuchi’s eyes and the digs she takes at the folks is terrific like art on canvas. “I can make my own money aunty. And a softie won’t do for me.” She takes the software, swings it like a ball and turns into a softie.
Trouble has a name when Roli meets her suitors, right from the ‘smug jerk’ providing wholesome entertainment that will make Rohit Shetty’s flicks fade in comparison to Mr Money Bags fleecing designer stuffs borrowed from someone or the Xmas tree dude. IBSW is pure fun with oodles of hotness where Shuchi effortless packs a punch, with statements like, ‘Why can’t we call people smug jerks..?’ or the reference to bf bbw from porn site. ‘Why watch TV when we have so many cartoons here? or read this discussion with suitor when Roli smacks his head with, ‘I can lose the weight but can you grow a personality?’ This is what humor is all about, appealing and hitting you on the face when you least expect it. But, you need a brain to get them, right Shuchi!
Roli’s journey is kicked off in the most unusual fashion when she meets Kabir, the dishy Kebab Platter and the time they are reunited in the most untoward manner which is nothing short than an anti-climax. The momentum is kept going when Roli meets Malati, a blind school girl who gently reminds her a life-long lesson about battling the odds or the showdown sequence with bestie Monica whose boyfriend she abhors. “I hate smug morons,’ Roli says as if she is waving Hi and bye. Simple and effective.
IBSW is the perfect mix of romance that hits the altitude while at the same time, is a strong and much needed statement on society. Roli’s show down with her Dad on the losing weight kind of crap leaves a powerful impact in this rom-com filled with humor. Mind you! Ekta Kapoor soap operas’ makes a comeback in Roli discussion with Rinke with the Pehle aap philosophy of elder sister taking the plunge. Super efficient narration that portrays a society stuck and hanging to the dark ages.
The description and adjectives such as ‘cute like a polar bear’ or sketching of the erotically intimate scenes between Kabir and Roli are pulled like the waves of slow music, stirring to life in a poetical and lyrical manner. There are very few authors who get love making scenes right like Shuchi does.
“His lips were pressing against mine and his tongue had begun to explore the deep recesses of my mouth…he made me discover the erogenous zones that I knew never existed…”
I always believe that a writer is an artist, basking in aesthetic senses painting the union of two souls made for each other and gyrating to dance steps. . That’s Shuchi Singh Kalra for you. There is also Roli’s boss, Divya, who shines as a very strong woman and laid back at the same time, painted in a sensual manner in the way she laze around with her laptop. Shuchi gives so much dignity to her characters be it, Divya or Roli.
I AM BIG SO WHAT! is sensual, engaging and honest to the core narration that it makes it a tough business to draw faults. However, I feel that Divya is one hell of a character who should have been given more mileage in her interaction with Roli as she is quite complex and of course, a woman of substance.
“Don’t run after love, it will come after you.”
Soppy kisses, flower haters and anti climax with Rohit resurfacing which brought father and daughter together, makes IBSW a powerful reunion about life and relationships. The climax is heart pounding and expressed in a super entertaining way with the love chase and big fat Punjabi wedding. The last lines, ‘Two shows on a single ticket’ is very Punjabi that makes life grand and King Size. If you think, Shuchi Singh Kalra is done, she gifts readers thought-provoking poems where every word weaved rekindle passion and reminds you to love yourself, ladies. ‘Body shaming is not cool! Just STAAPHH! Winks!! Stop measuring your boob size and go on a rampage, ladies or dudes, who wanna their chest become blouse. Pun intended! I am very sure that Shuchi Singh Kalra’s I Am Big so What!! will set a trend and don’t be surprise that books on being big fat romance will flood the market. One of the best books I’ve read this year and the best thing to happen to romance literature is Shuchi Singh Kalra.