First time author Rasika Bhatia’s book The Great Indian Tamasha - Adventures of a Wedding Planner, published by Om Books International, outlines the author’s zany, compelling and unimaginable experiences as a wedding planner through an anthology of stories. From salvaging weddings to runaway brides and an encounter with a Delhi don, Rasika’s book is a brave attempt at outlining the internal contradictions of the human psyche under the apparent layers of liberalism.
Rasika says her journey of writing the book began in July 2011. After a particularly harrowing day at work, Rasika remembers, “I picked up my blackberry phone and started typing at 1 am on July 19, 2011.”
What followed were only words of encouragement from close friends and family and it led to the culmination of this quirky book. Last week inside the Promenade Mall at Vasant Kunj, the book was launched in a mandap-like setting to the beats of the dhol.
In the book’s preface, the author mentions it is not a work of fiction - thereby grounding the piece in a reality where every day at work is a lesson in life and survival. On being asked if any of the characters in her stories had connected the dots and gotten back to her after reading the book, Rasika responds, “I have written the book cleverly and have changed the names of the characters.” “And why would they even claim it is them? They are not getting an award for it!”, she chuckles.
Each character in the book is captivating. Some are comical while the rest are so comic that they are tragic. The author’s lucid language and refreshing candor makes the characters in the anthology of stories come out of the printed page and live in front of our eyes.
What accentuates the appeal of each personality is the simplicity of the illustrations that complement the stories – each sketch was visualised by the author and later given expression by Vinod Paarth Creations.
Talking about the close connection to Zoya Akhtar’s popular web series Made in Heaven, the author says, “The series was released in 2020 but I started writing my book in 2011. The series presents a glamorous image of wedding planners whereas at work we are totally on ground zero; it is like a battlefield and we have to create Rome in a single day,” says Rasika.
Her close friends fondly call her tentwali, and Rasika says her confidence did quiver before making so many inside stories public but what kept her going was the need to share her lived experiences as a wedding planner and most importantly, as a human being.