Marriages in India are no less than a circus, the bride and groom being the clown of this circus. Sadiqa Peerbhoy’s Marry Go Round revolves around this circus. The story is set in Hyderabad where Sartaj, a desperate, orthodox Muslim mother wants to get her son Riyaz (who is working in America) hitched to a nice Indian girl. The son on the other hand is in a live-in relationship with an American girl and at the same time, thanks to his dark skin, enjoys the attention of all the white girls. 

The melodramatic Sartaj fakes a heart attack and calls Riyaz to India to blackmail him into getting married to a girl of her choice. Riyaz comes home and gets caught in the web of looking at girls. While he is juggling from one tea party to another his girlfriend follows him to India making his life messier.

There are some very good cultural references in the writing and the author has described the Nawabi way of living in a funny manner. There are nosy and selfish relatives who get on your nerves but apart from a couple of stereotypes the book is not entirely funny. 

As a reader I couldn’t connect to any character especially when they entered and exited the story abruptly. Riyaz’s dwindling mind doesn’t make him a favourite. Sartaj who is hellbent on getting a daughter-in-law of her choice and is extremely orthodox, suddenly melts which is unbelievable if you know Indian mothers well. The only thing that’s constant is Riyaz’s father’s nonchalance. After a lot of hiding, running around, melodrama and chest beatings the end is a bit surprising and I must add, little immature.

Marry Go Round is a decent light read but if you are looking for a laugh riot I woudn’t recommend it.
Book: Marry Go Round
Author: Sadiqa Peerbhoy
Publisher: Leadstart Corp.
Price: Rs 145
Pages: 223