Yet another debut novel by an Indian author. But Broken News is more than a college-goer’s love story. It gives you a peep into the world of news, the world that lies behind the TV screens in our drawing rooms. Oh yes, that’s what they say, even though I sometimes wonder if all people keep their sole television sets (India has multiple cellphones in every home but TV sets are still, majorly, single) in their drawing rooms. At least my parents don’t. And I don’t have a TV set of my own yet.
So coming to the book, Amrita’s Broken News reminds me vaguely of Bridget Jones’ Diary which I had read long back, mainly because both of them talk about thirty something single women, and in some way, have a similarity in their tones too. But then, while Bridget is obsessed with her love life, Amrita’s character M is not much involved in a relationship and talks about life in general, focusing on the work part of it.
While the book starts quite casually, and has a ‘bitchy’ tone in the beginning chapters, it gets more serious as the life of the character, M, gets more complicated and her problems start outgrowing her. She starts with the small trouble around her in the office and gets on to more difficult things, even murder/suicide which make things difficult to cope with.
And then, there are some interesting things too. I mean, apart from the main text of the book. Like before every chapter there is a ‘What We Learn’ where u get three lessons from the chapter. For example, the first chapter starts with
- We all sit in judgement
- Post-colonial angst’s still alive and kicking
- Gods no longer smile.
Well, I think I have told you enough about the book and if it’s difficult to continue without a spoiler. Hence I will stop here. To summarize, I would say that Broken News is not a path-breaking story but if you want to see the Television News Industry from a been-there-done-that girl’s eye, it’s certainly not bad. A good debut.