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Devapriya Roy - book author

Devapriya Roy is the author of books: The Weight Loss Club, Indira, The Vague Woman's Handbook, Friends from College, The Heat and Dust Project: The Broke Couple's Guide to Bharat

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Author Books

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01
A warm, witty, gloriously realistic novel about living, loving and losing weight.

Set in a middle-class housing colony, this is the story of stay-at-home mum Monalisa, who cannot clean the kitchen counter enough times; Meera, who is bullied constantly by her traditional mother-in-law; college-going Abeer, who isnt sure how to impress the glamorous Mandy; academic Aparajita, who has no takers on the marriage mart; philosopher Ananda, whom no one takes seriously; and Treeza, a former school secretary now sunk in gloom. Into their midst arrives Oxford-returned Sandhya: half hippie, half saadhvi, full spiritual guru. Under her aegis is formed The Weight Loss Club, throwing the lives of our heroes and heroines into utter and delightful disarray.

But while chemistry brews and equations change, one question remains: who is Brahmacharini Sandhya, and why on earth has she moved into Nancy Housing Cooperative?
02
In a government school classroom in Delhi, young Indira Thapa is set an unusual assignment by her favourite teacher: to write an essay around her name. Who was Indira Priyadarshini, the person after whom her grandfather named her? And why her? What is her legacy as India’s first—and only—woman prime minister?

Over the course of a long, hot summer and a curious friendship with an artist who is working on a biography of Mrs Gandhi, young Indira gets tangled up in the life and times of her memorable namesake. Sometimes by design and sometimes by accident, story after story comes alive—about a childhood spent in Allahabad growing the Vanar Sena, of a youthful romance with the charming Feroze Gandhi, of stints in jail and elephant rides through pouring rain, a magnificent audacity that catapulted India onto the international stage, and of the final, tragic end that ripped apart the fabric of the nation.

Real and imagined worlds, the past and present, text and image all entwine as Indira walks us through the most formative decades of political life of India.
05
'We were the usual: nine-to-fivers, investment-makers, mall-goers, office-trippers and city-slickers. We were life-going-to-seeders.'

Living in a sunny barsati in south Delhi, Saurav Jha and Devapriya Roy are your average DINK couple, about to acquire a few EMIs and come of age in the modern consumerist world. Only, they don't. They junk the swivel chairs, gain a couple of backpacks and set out on a transformational journey across India. On a very, very tight budget: five hundred rupees a day for bed and board. And the Heat and Dust project begins. Joining the ranks of firang gap-year kids and Israelis fresh out of compulsory army service, they travel across a land in which five thousand years of Indian history seem to jostle side by side. It is, by turns, holy and hectic, thuggish and comic, amoral and endearing. In buses that hurtle through the darkness of the night and the heat of the day, across thousands of miles, in ever new places, the richness of this crowded palette spills over into their lives. From rooms by the hour to strange dinner invitations, from spectacular forts to raging tantrums, this is a youthful account of wanderlust and whimsy, of eccentric choices that unfold into the journey of a lifetime ... and a supreme test of marriage.