Tuki’s Grand Salon chase is a Chick Lit by Parul Sharma of the Bringing up Vasu: That First Year fame. Tuki is a talented hairstylist who is working steadily and diligently towards The Plan of her life, opening her own Salon Blues. When catastrophe strikes she realizes that she has nothing to fall back on; she doesn’t have a Plan B. She escapes to Goa and tries to pick up the pieces of the Jigsaw puzzle called Life. This is a heartwarming story of dreams, love and friendship in Tuki’s life.
The starting of the book is fairly interesting as I immediately wanted to know the reason why somebody will be screaming like a banshee inside an upmarket Salon like The Factory. The intriguing start, however, was lost on the numerous characters I was immediately heaped with starting with the minions to the senior stylists. I kept going back to read who was who and If the book cover hadn’t told me that the protagonist should be someone called Tuki, I would have missed her appearance altogether. It took the fun element out of the story but things soon picked up as the characters became more well-rounded, interesting (and few).
Tuki as the protagonist of the novel is a well-sketched out character. While I loved her empathy levels and her fierce sense of pride, I sometimes wished she would stand up for her rights or speak her mind. I understood, of course, that nobody is perfect and this makes reading the story more fun when we root for the characters, when we plead to them to stop doing something obviously stupid or when we cheer them on to go do it. Of course I was urging Tuki to see through the facades people (like Renee or Sweety Bhabhi) put up and urging her to speak her mind to her love interest. The men in the story were absolutely delectable too starting with the eccentric writer Bijoy to the neighborly and well-meaning Faraaz as well as the sexy and suave Arvind. Even though I wanted Tuki and Arvind to pair up, I couldn’t help but feel sad about Faraaz too. Even peculiar Bioy and formidable Paromita were well-liked characters. After reading the book I can confidently say that I love ALL the characters in this book.
The story itself was full of twists and turns and there wasn’t a dull moment. As soon as I thought I was on familiar ground, Parul Sharma would fling a twist at me and I was left wondering “what next?” Tuki’s grand Salon chase is a wonderful read and I would highly recommend it to lovers of this genre.
Parul Sharma grew up in the small towns of Uttar Pradesh. This was fortunate because it ensured that she ran into some rather quirky characters pretty early on in life. Once done with schooling, she made the rather dubious choice of studying Economics, a sentiment with which Economics agreed, no doubt. This made way for a degree from Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad where many inspiring cups of tea were consumed, among other things.
She has worked with the corporate sector for several years in companies such as Genesis Burson-Marsteller (New Delhi), Arvind Brands Ltd (Bangalore) and Indian Market Research Bureau (Mumbai) in marketing communications and qualitative market research, but she also writes novels.
The bestselling Bringing Up Vasu: That First Year was her first book and described the travails of Mira, a young, first-time mother. Her second novel was By The Watercooler – the story of Mini and Tanya, young women who find that the corporate ladder is actually a greasy pole. All her books have been published by Westland. She has also contributed stories to the Chicken Soup For The Soul series and to Femina.
Parul lives in Mumbai with her husband, two children and sometimes, if she’s lucky, Kittu, the street cat.
Parul is passionate about animals and their welfare and would like to open an animal shelter in the future.