In her latest book My Brother’s Wedding, Andaleeb Wajid takes the concept of blogging to a different level. For the protagonist Saba, a 19-year-old Muslim girl, blogging is not a medium to rant, rather it is her window to the world.
Wajid is a prolific storyteller. Filmic in nature, the story is juicy, racy and tight. The author sure knows what the younger generation agrees with. She hits the right chords when she describes at length what makes teenagers see red.
Although subtle, the element of humour has been intelligently woven in the story line. Colours of sarcasm find place in the plot, but only in doses.
However, in the second half, the story takes a filmy turn; the events become too overt. It is almost like the author has written keeping in mind Bollywood celebrities.
Saba’s troubles start when she is jolted out of her world that revolves around books and poetry and is forced to partake in the preparation of her brother’s wedding. The book has been written in a unique way. It fluctuates between Saba’s blog and the author’s narration in third person.
Q,Y,X,T, in Saba’s blog represent her family members. The youngest out of three siblings, Saba has always found herself sulking away in corners, getting a cold shoulder from her self-obsessed kin. She only finds solace in the company of her cousin Shahid (a distant relative). Later it is revealed that this cousin is head over heels in love with her and an affair ensues.
Entwined with this is the story of her siblings. Zohaib (brother) is having his own issues with the wedding and Rabia (sister) is battling to save her marriage. The end is obviously a happy one, with the wedding, which everyone had abhorred initially, bringing together all the characters. The blog acts as the catalyst, bringing an end to confusions and misunderstandings.
Overall, it takes time to get a hang of the style; the first few chapters are a little confusing. The best part of the book is the love story between Saba and Shahid. It is written in a way that will make any teenager go weak in their knees.
The book also gives an insight into Muslim culture. How a youngster struggles to keep alive her love affair regardless of family norms and rules.
My Brother’s Wedding makes for a compelling read only if you lock your intellect in a safe locker. It takes you on a roller coaster ride (with a few bumps here and there) and tells you the story of love, hatred and life.