Harsh Warrdhan's maiden book When Hari met his Saali is the usual love triangle but with a lot of twists and turns. The storyline has a simple narrative style. A boy meets a girl, falls in love, prepares for marriage but unfortunately falls in love with his saali (sister-in-law) and that is when the trouble begins for him.
The boy further realises that the girl is all wrong for him and he was just being putty in her hands.
He wonders, “One loved me but wanted to change me. When I changed and became what she wanted, the other had issues with it. What kind of a man should I be?” This perfectly illustrates the dilemma of Hariprasad on the verge of marriage to the domineering Tia, who is bent upon making a life for herself in the United States.
Leaving the small town of Nagpur for further education, Tia lands in America forgetting her past life and her family consisting of her mother and a younger sister.
She is now in love with her career and her lifestyle in America. She is also madly in love with Hari. However, her love life lacks the romance she craves for.
In contrast to Tia's life, Simi is a young girl left behind in a small town. She is a dreamer but does not know what she really wants from life.
In her sister's absence, she has looked after their mother and tried to be a caring daughter, thereby suppressing her own desires and ambitions.
Completing this romantic triangle is Hari. Straight-forward and uncomplicated, it looks like nothing he does is ever good enough for Tia. But doesn't every man want an ambitious and successful wife?
Two sisters with bad family history between them and one clueless man, form a wacky, chaotic triangle.
The book is a perfect take on how Indians like to forget their past, their family, their culture, their upbringing once they settle in the land of dreams and take extraordinary pride in being called Americans.
Set in Los Angeles, Nagpur and Pondicherry, When Hari Met His Saali is about young people and their dreams, longings, aches and heartbreaks. Added to this, are the supportive roles played by Hari's parents and grandparents, his friends, Tia's friends and colleagues in the midst of an engagement ceremony that ends up in break up, tragedy, hospitalisation and realisation. In fact, the preparations by Tia for an elaborate engagement ceremony exposes her character, her whims and fancies while Hari too falters and falls in love with Simi. Being a screen writer first, Harsh Warrdhan has clearly divided the book into scenes.
The comparative description of many events, happenings, people and places also demonstrates the thorough research undertaken by the author. The romantic comedy is readable with lots of trivia.
One feels it has been written for a big box office Bollywood flick.