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Title: Manhattan Mango
Author: Madhuri Iyer
Publisher: Fingerprint Publishing
This book was on my to-read list for a long time. The title caught my eye for two reasons. Firstly, it was about Manhattan. Secondly, the "mango" in the tittle suggested that it would be a sweet Indian-ish story. I was sold! I had to finish the books that I had already started, so I waited. The summary of the book enticed me enough and I knew this was going to be one good read.
The story is about the lives of three friends. Neel, Shankar and Shri live and work in Manhattan who have shared a beautiful friendship right from their college days back in India. They are the Indians but love the American way of life. One rainy day they meet Shefali, who is from an affluent family and she joins the group. Soon Shefali and Neel are a pair. Vivian, a Chinese girl, is Shankar's colleague whom he begins dating. The addition of the girls to the "Ganpat Gang" results in them becoming close knit buddies. On the other hand, Shri has a secret that he rather not speak of but it is only matter of time when the beans are spilled. Shankar's mother and grandmother arrive from India and when they find out about Vivian, all hell breaks loose. Shefali and Neel call is quits due to Neel's weakness for women, followed by some pretty nasty implications for Neel. Meanwhile, Shri's parents push him to get married and after some thinking and re thinking, he decides to tell them the truth. A couple of characters like Ryan and Dr. Natasha enter the story to add to the drama. That brings us to the climax of the story where there is a heap of trouble to be sorted.
I know I haven't really revealed details but consider it crucial and would want to find out on your own while reading. The bottom line of the story is friendship and it is beautifully expressed by the author. Realistic events that we all can easily relate to, the Indianess of it all, the confusions and frustrations of the twenties something people, everything is believable. The writing is simple and the narration flowy. Nothing too complicated but keeps you hooked on till the very end. When I turned the last page, I was like, "wow! That was a good one!" Altogether, a breezy read.
I would sum it all up in three words. Smooth, engaging and unputdownable.