In a world replete with grimness - a pandemic, conflicts playing out not far from our borders - Gauri Sinh's crime thriller The Bollywood Affair allows for relief by channeling the nostalgia and simplicity of the 1990s, a less complicated era where we could indulge in our pleasant pastimes. Among them - the larger-than-life magnetism of commercial Bollywood!
So, what's haunting B-Town's reigning king?
Late 1990's, Mumbai. Superstar RK is traumatised by the inexplicable wails that have begun echoing through his sprawling heritage home. Is he really being haunted, or could the sounds have anything to do with his latest movie, a blockbuster about a haunted house?
Enter former supermodel, the glamorous Akruti Rai and the street-savvy Parvati Samant, private investigators with their own detective agency.
As the plot thickens, and those around RK begin succumbing to what seems like supernatural malice, Akruti and Parvati must solve a crime set against a backdrop of suspicion and fear. Afterall, they wouldn't want RK's lady love, the stunning screen ingenue Alena, to become the next victim.
It's 1995. The finale of the nation's biggest beauty contest, Miss Glamour Princess, hosted by the mega media conglomerate Eye India, is only days away. In the running are twenty-one beautiful contestants, including India's sweetheart and reigning model Akruti Rai.
The final dress rehearsal ends on a nightmarish note as the sensuous and ambitious 'Lajjo' is murdered right on the ramp. Soon, Akruti and her fellow contestants become prime suspects in a case that gets increasingly macabre as bodies pile up - the gossipy, affable pageant hairdresser Doreen, the self-assured mean-girl Nuzhat ...
Amidst massive public outcry and searing press coverage, Akruti is convinced by an enigmatic fellow contestant, Parvati Samant, to help her investigate the murders. But who, really, is Parvati? And can Akruti help unearth the sinister truth, clear her own name, and also keep an eye on the prize?
Praise for the book: 'Thrilling ... has beautifully captured the glamour world of the 90s'. Madhu Sapre, Supermodel.
A racy, pacey page-turner of a book which has enough twists and turns in its plot to keep you hooked till the end, while giving the reader a peek into the tantalizing world of high fashion and beauty pageants, and making the crime and its unravelling a nail-biting centerpiece to the novel.
"What would you do, should the world as you know it break down abruptly? You're seeing changes already. Weather patterns gone awry - Intense heat waves when there should be winter, devastating floods in summer, unseasonal super storms levelling lives and livelihoods indiscriminately... What would you do when it is finally upon you?
When Sitara sees the mysterious Garud for the first time at age five, she does not yet know the terrible secret he conveys to her telepath elder sister Padmini. When she learns the truth it is only so she can participate in a desperate race against time as the elements wage war. A race for survival that tests endurance, filial and societal bonds and spells sacrifice for Sitara, her siblings and her betrothed. Will they make it?
This is a story of three sisters. Their unorthodox early years, the secret they struggled with and their desperate fight for survival, told in individual voices with timelines alternating between past and present. They are not entirely ordinary. They have unconventional help in their odyssey, help that is mystic and ancient, the way all unexplained energy is. Even so, their journey embodies the story of the universal human condition - man's eternal waging against forces beyond his control, his struggle to conquer his demons, to rise, using the inner force more powerful than any other, one available to not just the gifted, but to all - love."
Various motifs used in The Garud Prophecies, Sitara's story have interesting legends surrounding them, in reality and myth.
Some of the number motifs used in the story have a mystic base.