Apoorva’s Fat diary is an immensely entertaining journal of an ordinary (did I mention fat?) school girl and her take on her school, family, the people around her and, of course, food.
Apoorva begins writing this diary of hers only because her mother wants her to improve her writing. The exercise initially begins as a record of the twelve tastiest meals that she promises to write about as and when she eats them, but soon incidents from her daily life also pour into the pages of her journal along with her laments and complains and small successes. In the end, the diary turns out to hold an excess of such incidents, only interspersed by one or two of her twelve legendary meals.
The diary, being her own, obviously revolves around Apoorva, who is, as she isn’t afraid to admit, abnormally large. She has a gorgeous sister, Avanti and a rather annoying younger brother, Ashu, both of whom don’t hesitate to point out her many faults and the amount that she eats. The head of the family, Aji, is Apoorva’s grandmother, who disapproves of Apoorva and rambles on about how absolutely no one would agree to marry such a girl. Her mother, who Apoorva claims, is the most tiresome, as she makes poor Apoorva go for a morning jog. Her father is a rather forgetful man, yet very hospitable when it comes to inviting guests over, which doesn’t usually work well for Apoorva’s mother, who is forced to host a man by name Rakesh, whom no one really knows too well, for multiple days. Apoorva suspects Rakesh uncle of being a rather devilish man. The question is, has she judged his character well, or not?
At school, she has many friends, and does acquire many more, due to her ability to laugh at herself, and not only hear jokes at her own expense, but crack such jokes herself! Her best friend, though, is Avi, who is more than willing to exchange his colourful lunch of salad and pasta that he doesn’t quite enjoy, with Apoorva’s home-cooked meal, which, rather conveniently, she doesn’t enjoy.
The many plots of this story include the intentions of the seemingly omnipresent Rakesh uncle; Ashu’s new best friend, who constantly visits Apoorva’s house, but strangely enough, not even Ashu knows who that kid really is; and the sports day in her school.
Overall the story was gripping, short and sweet. It gave a good picture of life from Apoorva’s eyes and good tips on how to deal with criticism and make the most out of it. It also enlightens readers on how to convert their greatest faults to their greatest gifts! At the end of the day, her siblings have a renewed respect for Apoorva and so do her classmates. As she writes about her last best meal and ends up by answering a few important questions that you might have, her shot at diary writing comes to a close. The illustrations from Lavanya Karthik are also very nice, funny and make the book more interesting.
Book Review by Yamini Prashanth, author of Mishti