So, I was in a bargain shop the other day and was glancing through the books, when a bright book cover caught my eye. I thought to myself, “Hey, that looks kind of Indian!” I dug a little deeper (not an easy thing to do when you have a baby hanging on for dear life in one hand and balancing a purse on the other shoulder!) Anyway, I found the book and flipped it over to check it out… sure enough the book jacket promised that it would be a tale of arranged marriages set smack in the middle of India. The book was deeply discounted, which was too tempting, I took the risk and brought it home with me.
It didn’t sit on my shelf too long, I started reading it that night after Miss A went to bed. It did not take long for me to get sucked into the plot.
The Marriage Bureau for Rich People is first in a light and fun series by Farahad Zama. It is set in modern day India and tells the story of Mr. Ali, a newly retired man with too much time on his hands. It is witty and funny at times and the characters are well developed. Mr. Ali, a Muslim, decides to start a marriage bureau from his front verranda. He soon finds success and has more business than he can handle alone. Enter Aruna, a sweet Hindu girl with amazing organizational abilities, who becomes very valuable to Mr. & Mrs. Ali and the bureau. Farahad Zama weaves in several characters who become customers of the marriage bureau. Add in a tale of forbidden love and Mr. & Mrs. Ali’s own son who is a political activist (against their wishes) and lots of Indian culture, and you get a plot that makes for very entertaining reading!
What marks the sign of a good book? I didn’t want to put it down, but at the same time I didn’t want it to end! Thank goodness Mr. Zama has planned ahead and written 3 more installments in the series. Although I found the first book in the series at a discount shop by chance, I’m planning to order the next installments in the series from Amazon – I want to find out what happens next!
1. The Marriage Bureau for Rich People (2009)
2. The Many Conditions of Love (2009)
3. Not All Marriages are Made in Heaven (2010)
4. The Road to Happiness (coming later in 2011)