Saturday, July 11, 2015

Book Review: Bombay Duck Is A Fish: Kanika Dhillon

Bombay Duck Is A Fish Kanika Dhillon

Bombay Duck is a Fish by Kanika Dhillon described in a first person narrative is the story of a small town Amritsar girl, Neki Brar who moves to Mumbai, foregoing her creamy job in an MNC to pursue her golden aspirations, albeit with ease due to the recommendation of one of her roommates, Shikha’s connections, little does she suspect that one day she will be contemplating leaping off the terrace.

While scornfully sipping a bottle of wine and browsing through her diary ‘Nano’ in which she has faithfully recorded all the disasters she faced in her personal life and her career as an assistant director Nano bears the harsh testimony of Neki’s everyday adventures at home, Rose Mahal with her three roommates just like the misnomer that people have about Bombay duck being a duck but in reality is not a duck but a fish.

Neki gleefully arrives at the film set of Fiza Kareem’s directorial venture, Hare Rama Hare Krishna as the sixth assistant director. She was the junior most members of the crew and to begin with was welcomed with scorn by the fourth AD, who assists the other AD’s and is also both of her room-mates boyfriend playing kind of gharwali and baharwali role.

Neki sees the world changing around her rapidly where people take credit for others work but safely blame others for trouble they themselves have created and who would love to disturb others while they are working comprising of Kriti, a Bollywood producers daughter carrying acting aspirations, Shivani, a shrewd woman who always loved to hate her, Sam, the prop-in-charge PJ, a guy who would speak weird things at weird times and had his eyes on her and Karan, the senior most assistant director who always had doubts on her skills and treated her with contempt.

Too add to the drama in her life, Neki also ends up falling into the charm of flop star, Ranvir Khanna, the second lead actor, while fully aware of his relationship with a politician’s wife who had pushed him in his acting career. The relationship complicates her life further, and only add owes to her misery.

She is confronted with the competition among the resistant line producer, the attention grabbing junior artists, privileged class foreigners, but in the middle of every disaster that happens on the film sets, it all finally comes down to her. She realises that she seems to be at the centre of the wrong place at the wrong time, but it is also she who becomes the saving grace for many.

And to unravel the entire mystery of the life of Neki and finally what happens in the terrace, you have to leaf through the entire story to know it. And there are a lot of surprises in store from Neki’s further career progression to her tryst with the Baadshah of Bollywood.

A small town girl, Neki has one dream to reside in Mumbai and craft it life-size as a film-maker. As soon as Neki Brar moves to Mumbai to make it as a filmmaker in Bollywood, slight does she imagine that she will come across herself footing on the porch of her house, with a bottle of mauve and her journal in hand, manoeuvring how best to jump.

As she comes nearer to her reverie, she is as well faced with a new truth. The play-acting sets of Bollywood, the confined way of life with her three roommates and the mêlée for authority on the sets of her unveiling motion picture as an assistant director compel her to identify with the ground rules where if you don t become skilled at the knack of endurance, the train back home is your lone alternative.

Falling in love with the second lead actor, the charismatic Ranvir Khanna, further complicates her existence, by the side of with the understanding that she seems to have an only one of its kind aptitude to be present at the off beam consign at the incorrect point in time and in the centre of each debacle that happens on the movie sets.

Battling biased playoffs, competition, adore, unfaithfulness and smouldering egos of silver screen stars, she discovers the splendour of her individual aspiration and the repulsiveness of spot on love. The stakes are far above the ground. The thoughts are life-size. The demands are incredible. If discontented thoughts stay you animate, can conked out imaginings press on you to finish it all?

Title: Bombay Duck Is A Fish | Author: Kanika Dhillon | ISBN: 9789380283876 | Publisher: Westland | Paperback: 320 pages | Published: May 2011 | Category: Fiction