"Spicy Bites of Biryani" because life needs a little masala is a book about relationships - serious enough to get married to actually being married types. Its written by a debut author - Ashwina Garg. This books depicts the life of people getting into relationships and how their life changes thereafter. Its also points out reasons why people avoid getting into serious and long term relationships. All this is shown through different characters who are important to the plot. One look at the cover page and you will know what I am talking about. A couple sitting near a beach, with greenery around, car parked nearby, discussing what we can safely assume to be an open ended one (typical of a relationship).
1. Indian audience - as some conversations in the book are in Hindi
2. Readers who love novels based on relationships
3. Readers who prefer a straight forward book without too many twists and turns and a start-to-end read.
Plot: This book is all about relationships. One guy comes back from the United States after selling his company and a relationship to Hyderabad in search of a wife and has intentions to settle down. There's a couple in Hyderabad who are his friends. Husband wants to start a family (Read: be a father), but the wife is not sure if she can cope with added pressure. They have a common friend who is a writer and prefers to have meaningless relationships rather than getting married. The guy from the US is Sanjay and the writer is Aditi. This book is about how they meet, become friends, gets into a relationship (with major differences, like marriage, aside) and moves on. Sounds simple right? Now let's include Sanjay's ex from the US and Aditi's exes too. And you have 225 pages of a book worth exploring. Now you are thinking!
Writing: The writing is simple and easy to understand - something you expect from a debut author from India. Since the reader contingent is growing everyday in India, it makes sense to cater to most of them. The author has focused more on Aditi's character making her the central to the plot. There are characters developing around her. The climax is somewhat unexpected though. I understand the author's intention to spring a surprise and end it in a way the story is forever remembered by the reader, but the way it ended somehow didn't fit the complete storyline. This is just my opinion. Most of the readers might feel otherwise.There are some grammatical errors (relatively much less) and some typos too. However, if you are deeply involved in the plot, there are chances you will miss / ignore them.
Relevance in today's times: Since its a take on relationships, its relevant (and will always be). "Spicy Bites of Biryani" shows a way in which committed people interact and make decisions. Include the culture diversity and you have the right masala that will make the Biryani yummy!
Overall, it's a fun book and if you have 3-4 hours of free time, that you can read it at one go. No regrets, go for it.
My Rating: 3 / 5