Five Foolish Virgins by Mohan Deep is a story that only a Bollywood insider could write. The story begins with Sita who lives with her parents in Lahore during the pre-independence times. With an English father and an Indian mother, young Sita Shanthi Lawrence finds her world shaken when her father dies bravely while trying to save the British Flag from the savage riots that marked the independence.
She witnesses her own mother killed savagely by mobs in Lahore. Orphaned and alone, she joins the thousands of refugees who came to India leaving their hearth and homes. Living with a distant and lecherous uncle, she dreams of a life that is beyond her means. And then she falls in love with Yuvraj. A man with a dubious past…
Five Foolish Virgins is a saga of generations juxtaposed beautifully with Bollywood as a background. Glamour, affairs and many sordid tales Mohan Deep says it all. Sam Arora is Sita’s son, who starts off as a film journalist and ends up a director. Using him as a mouthpiece, Mohan Deep exposes many untold and forgotten tales, affairs and scandals of Bollywood.
There are also many characters in the book that might look clichéd, but that’s bollywood for you. It thrives on cliches.
From casting couches, to how to sabotage a film, the book reveals many age-old scandals that would make you curious to check its veracity. But Mohan Deep is a veteran writer and his research is impeccable.
Overall Impression: I have always loved Mohanji’s style of writing. I loved the plot and the characters and the way he brings the real Bollywood sans glamour to his readers
Plus Points: Interesting plot, characters
Minus Points: Wish it was a bit more longer. There are gaps in the narrative that might leave you wondering what happened in between. For example, How did Sita become a writer? What happened between her and Yuvaraj? Do they still meet once a year?
Why Sam didn’t get married? Did he have any connection with Yuvaraj after he becomes the director?
Verdict: A must read!