Cricket, Romance and Scandals

For a country that thrives on cricket, a new novel like Sowmya Aji’s ‘Delirium’ probably comes as no surprise

Published: 10th April 2014 09:25 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th April 2014 09:32 AM   |  A+A-

For a country that thrives on cricket, a new novel like Sowmya Aji’s ‘Delirium’ probably comes as no surprise. Throw in romance, sex, cricket scandals and you have your very own desi Mills n Boons but with a little more masala, so you don’t fall asleep.

TV journalist Anjana Gurunath instantly falls for cricketer and the nation’s current heartthrob Avinash Katagi. Set in the mid 90s, this is the age of landlines and beepers. So when Avinash Katagi also falls for the married yet besotted ‘Anju’, their illicit romance blossoms through blank calls left in the middle of the night and secret dates in parks.

Through sheer luck, around the same time, Anjana unearths the biggest scoop in the cricketing world, throwing her at the deep end of a scandal.

Her mysterious ‘source’, her increasingly confusing affair, and the weight of her crumbling marriage grip Anju in a free fall and the rest of the book unravels these elements in a fast paced manner, quite aptly living up to the book’s title.

There’s a whole lot of cricket too – from BCCI officials, to drug controversies, to green room trash talk to the practice nets. A well-researched book, Delirium will take most readers to real events that have taken place over the course of the last few years in Indian cricket.

As great as the suspense is, Anjana’s six-year-old marriage to a well known and supportive businessman lacks conviction and isn’t well sketched out. Their conversations come across as strained, formal and minimal, and do not add the desired effect.

An easy read, the book holds your attention for most part but the cricket descriptions could have benefited with some careful editing, with a few bits coming off as a tad too forced.

This one’s best kept aside as bedside reading for one of those sleepless nights. Also, with books being lapped up production houses, don’t be too surprised if this one bags movie rights.



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