Photo: Daily Hunt

Everything about this book is quite interesting…starting with the cover. I only picked it up because a) It was recommended by people whose opinion I respect b) There was a freakish book deal on Amazon Kindle, where nice books were available at Rs. 49 and it was just too tempting.

‘Ghachar Ghochar’ is a study of relationships in a joint family. The family is initially struggling to survive, but things change and they are now well-off. How the change in the finances affects the family members is the theme of the book.

Vivek is an extremely insightful writer. Some of the idiosyncrasies that he describes are spot on. If you happen to be an Indian and also a South Indian, you will totally relate to the awkward moments in the book.

Shanbhag talks about the ugly monster that lurks behind the “happy Indian family”. Sadly, most people let money control them and in turn, money ends up controlling their relationships with their loved ones. But is it their fault? It is easy to judge people when you are not in their shoes. What Vivek successfully does is create a sense of empathy for the characters. You kind of hate them for their hypocrisy, but you also see that things are not black and white.


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