Click here to read reviewer Luan Gaines' take on Salaam, Paris.
Perhaps I was expecting too much from a desi chicklit. Or perhaps the recent flood of works from South Asia, most of which are almost sans stereotype, had given me false hopes. Whatever the reason, Kavita Daswani’s Salaam, Paris woke me with a rude shock. However, once one is reconciled with the watered-down version of Mills and Boon romance meets traditional South Asia while traipsing around the globe, it is an entertaining read. In other words there is amusement aplenty when beautiful chaste woman hits the spotlight of the Paris fashion world and romances wealthy handsome man of noble lineage, all the while being chaste and tied to her traditional roots.
The story revolves around Tanaya, a girl raised in a conservative Muslim family in Bombay. Tanaya is an exquisite beauty and aspires for the world of Paris, a world that comes alive for her in Audrey Hepburn’s Sabrina. Her chance arrives in the form of an arranged match with a highly prized catch. Tanaya reaches Paris, but once she’s there she avoids the arranged mate: tall, dark, handsome Tariq. With a little help from lady luck, she becomes a top fashion model, hobnobs with the glitterati, and zips around the world. However, her roots and her tradition beckon (as usual), and when she falls in love with the same man she was betrothed to, Tanaya has to make a tough choice between her life of glamour and her life of tradition. No prizes for guessing, since this is the world where handsome princes and their beautiful princesses ride their way into sunset. Always.