Manasi Vaidya's debut novel delves into the pressures of seeking intimacy in the world of high pressure jobs, says Nupur Sharma
Manasi Vaidya's novel No Deadline for Love (Penguin) is the latest in the burgeoning genre of chick lit/ rom-com reads. The book features a spunky protagonist called Megha who has for most of her life done what was expected of her: graduation in economics, MBA in marketing and then a straight-laced job in a high-profile FMCG company. There comes a point where she starts to wonder if this unending routine of juggling late hours and unreasonable deadlines is really her life's calling. Her mother's desperate attempts to put her on the ‘marriage market' are not making life any easier. And to top it all, Megha's latest project has been bogged down by a complete dearth of creative ideas, giving her nasty boss the perfect excuse to disregard the blood, sweat and tears she's poured into her job so far. Add to this volatile mix, Yudi (the team's new creative consultant) who is gorgeous, sardonic and only too eager to disagree with Megha and trample upon all her ideas. This sets the stage for a quirky battle of wits and some unexpected romance.
In the deluge of writing in her genre, how does Manasi locate her work? “My novel is essentially a story about having the conviction to follow your heart. Sure, it's also a romantic comedy and it has a liberal dose of corporate dynamics, but at its heart it is the story of a girl who is struggling to fit into a place where she is increasingly beginning to feel like an outsider and about how she finally finds it within her to follow her heart,” Manasi says.
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