As an inveterate people watcher, beauty salons have always held a special fascination for me. All my good intentions to get a big chunk of reading done while in the hair stylist’s chair usually go right out of the window. It is so much more fun to watch the patrons and stylists out of the corner of my mind and make up interesting back-stories for them. It doesn’t help that in the last decade or so, the stylists themselves have gotten so much more interesting.
Parul Sharma’s third book Tuki’s Grand Salon Chase was therefore right up my alley. The book starts off in a bustling hair salon in tony Bandra and we get a peek into the workings of the place with a cast of characters (both the staffers and the clients) that keep things interesting and offer loads of fun insights into what makes them tick.
The book follows the adventures of Tuki, a young girl with big dreams of opening her own salon. Her dreams run into many a speed bump along the way and her adventures take her to Goa and London before she finds love and success back in Mumbai.
I have to say that this is my favorite of Parul’s books yet and I really enjoyed it. All the characters are written really well – they are quirky enough to be fun and interesting but stop short of becoming caricatures or stereotypes, which keeps them real and believable. The story itself is written in a witty, fast-paced and engaging style that kept me turning pages well past my bedtime.
It is peppered with witticisms and insights about beauty, love, people and behaviour that make you go ‘Word!’ or ‘Amen!’ My favourite: ‘A girl with a new haircut. Nothing could touch her.’ Word!