Audiobook: The Bollywood Affair

bollywoodaffairby Sonali Dev
Read by Priya Avyar
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Content: Oh there’s some sexytimes in this one. One on-screen, and a couple of off-screens. Not to mention being littered with f-bombs (one character in particular!). It would be in the adult fiction section of the bookstore if we had it.

I was in the mood for something Indian, and this one had been on my radar thanks to the YAckers (even though it wasn’t our book group book) and I got an unexpected credit on, so I thought I’d use it for this. I had no idea what I was getting into.

Mili Rathod hasn’t seen her husband in 20 years, not since their wedding when she was 4 years old. She’s spent her whole life working to be the best wife, serving his family, being a dutiful daughter-in-law. Now she has an opportunity to go to America for an eight-month class, and she takes it, thinking it will help make her a desirable, modern wife.

Samir Rathod is a hotshot Bollywood director, and playboy, not really caring about the hearts he breaks. The only people in his life he truly cares about is his foster mother and his half-brother. And so, when his half-brother sends him to America to get an annulment from his “wife”, Samir willingly goes, thinking it will be an easy task.

But once in America, Samir gets pulled into Mili’s orbit, and ends up taking care of her (she falls off a bike fairly early on), cooking for her, helping her help her friend elope, falling in love with her. And soon, their lives are so intertwined that they realize that they just can’t live without each other.

On the one hand, this was SO bad. Mili’s a cry-er (seriously: SO. MANY. TEARS.) and I swear if I ever hear “his bulging muscles” or “her tender golden eyes” or “flashed with anger” again, I might just scream. It’s totally a bodice ripper with saris. But, perhaps, that’s what saved it. I loved all the little details from the food (yum!) to the culture to the interactions between the characters. (Not to mention the narrators spot-on Indian-English accents, all of which were different and unique.) And yes, I did find myself (in spite of the sappy language) rooting for Samir and Mili, wanting them to put aside their differences, their cultural hangups, and just GET TOGETHER ALREADY.

Even with all the tiring romance-y language, it was a ton of fun. And I’m glad I read it.


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