There?s more fun watching a ghost movie than reading a scary book. But Annie Zaidi?s novel, Gulab, ticks all the right boxes for an entertaining read. To start with, the book is all of 184 pages, it is a love story, it has a ghost, it has intrigue and a twist in the tale.
One summer day, Nikunj arrives in an unknown city to attend long-lost love Saira?s funeral after receiving an anonymous telegram summoning him to the graveyard. But just as Saira was not to be found after a powerful earthquake years ago, her grave also eludes Nikunj.
However, in his search for the grave, he encounters two other men who have come to pay respects to their respective wives.
All three of them zero in on the same grave, claiming it to be the one. Arguments and fisticuffs later, the mystery is still unresolved. A mysterious woman claiming to be Saira?s friend also arrives and the arguments escalate. In places, things actually get funny.
As they go to one man?s house for proof that the grave dweller is, indeed, his wife, Nikunj realises in horror that the woman both other men are claiming to be their wives is none other than Saira.
But one?s wife died years ago, while the second man?s wife died just a day back. All three men are hopelessly in love with Saira, or the illusion of her. In another twist, Nikunj discovers lookalikes of his children in one man?s kids.
What is happening? When did Saira actually die? Is any man really her husband? Who is the mysterious friend who claims to know Saira well?
As we get answers to all these questions as the book progresses to a finish, Zaidi delivers another punch with an unexpected ending. A book to be read in one go!