‘Half Boyfriend’ takes on Chetan Bhagat’s novel

Half- Judy-webNEW YORK: Judy Balan is back to doing what she’s best at – writing a parody! This is the genre in which she first tasted success. Popular blogger and writer Judy Balan’s first book Two Fates, a satirical take on Chetan Bhagat’s Two States was an instant hit.

The author followed it up with Sophie Says and Nina the Philosopher series, which both received similar acclaim from fans. For her next project she has decided to parody yet another Bhagat novel. The new book is titled ‘Half Boyfriend’ and Judy has co-authored it with Kishore Manohar.

She’s treading on tested waters this time. “It’s another CB parody, but it’s entirely unlike Two Fates in terms of treatment. With Two Fates I had parodied CB’s style (as opposed to just plot elements) and I thought I was being clever. But since it was my first book, most people ended up thinking it was my style. So, it was a lesson in humility.

“But that was always something I wanted to straighten out, so when my editor at Bloomsbury asked if I’d do a Half Girlfriend parody, it just sort of fell in place. I’d honestly be flattered if I were Chetan Bhagat!” says Judy.

Bloomsbury India is presenting the latest parody in town, Half Boyfriend by Judy Balan and Kishore Manohar – a fun, clever and shameless take on Chetan Bhagat’s infamous novel. Sharp, funny and warm, Half Boyfriend works not just as a parody and a gentle takedown of mainstream Indian pop culture but as a story in itself, says Samit Basu.

Village boy meets pretty girl in a city college. Since we live in dramatic times, this can no longer go unnoticed. He decides to marry her. She runs away as fast as possible. He, however, has recently read a similar sounding book that tells him that this is all part of the game. Emboldened, he doesn’t give up. She doesn’t give up either.

A chase that takes them across the world ensues. Replete with archetypal villainesses, cheesy sidekicks, manic cross-country chases, and plenty of opportunities for item numbers, join our anti-hero as he arm-twists the all-powerful, and defies laws and logic in an attempt to end the book by sleeping with the girl.

What happens finally… will blind stalker love prevail? Will the name dropping of some of the biggest people in the world not impact sales? Only time will tell.

Half Boyfriend is a book brimming with a series of pointless events and unbelievable coincidences in a dead-end plot that is bound to tickle your funny bone.

Judy Balan is the author of five novels – Two Fates: The Story of My Divorce (Westland), Sophie Says: Memoirs of a Breakup Coach (Westland), How To Stop Your Grownup From Making Bad Decisions (Harper Collins) which was published internationally in 2016, Tweenache in the Time of Hashtags, and of course, Half Boyfriend. Judy writes comedy almost exclusively. She writes books, blogs, columns, plays, has had her own radio show and is currently working on her next novel.

Kishore Manohar has a bachelor’s degree in Physics and his attempts to complete this were what pointed him to a completely creative career as a writer, designer and eventually Creative Head. Today, he runs a brand consultancy business in India working primarily with healthcare and service businesses, is a founding partner of a tech start up in the US and also runs India’s largest student health program.

A mixed skill set often finds him working on creative projects with friends and people with interesting ideas. Half Girlfriend is his first book and if allowed he might actually write more. He has a deep passion for museums, hospitals and public spaces and is looking to contribute to experiential design and branding of cities.