A Romance of Advertising and Cricket

New Novel by JWT India Executive Is a Big Hit

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Mythili ChandrasekarMythili Chandrasekar

A few months ago an Indian chick-lit novel called "The Zoya Factor," published by Harper Collins, had the unique distinction of having a first print run of 20,000 copies. An advertising agency executive who was born at the exact moment India won the Cricket World Cup in 1983 finds herself pegged as the lucky charm when, coincidentally, she eats with the team and the team wins -- and when she doesn't the team loses. Cricket-crazy India does the rest, and she is forced to accompany the team as it plays for the World Cup in Australia in 2010.

A cricket team, a handsome captain, a cricket board, mass hysteria, cola majors, advertising's idiosyncracies, bold and blase language, large doses of "hinglish" (the mix of India's national language, Hindi, and English), lots of local flavor, quirky characters, laugh-out-loud humour and, of course, the agency girl's romance with the cricket captain, replete with soppy SMSes.

The book is a rollicking success, and Red Chillies Entertainment, Bollywood king Shah Rukh Khan's production company, has bought the filming rights.

And the author?

JWT Delhi Executive Creative Director Anuja Chauhan -- who is known for her work on the Pepsi brand and many of its memorable taglines -- and has just won Cosmopolitan Magazine India's "Fun Fearless Female Award" for literature.

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