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The Windfall

3.52  ·  Rating details ·  6,780 ratings  ·  1,047 reviews
For the past thirty years, Mr. and Mrs. Jha’s lives have been defined by cramped spaces, cut corners, gossipy neighbors, and the small dramas of stolen yoga pants and stale marriages. They thought they’d settled comfortably into their golden years, pleased with their son’s acceptance into an American business school. But then Mr. Jha comes into an enormous and unexpected s ...more
Hardcover, 295 pages
Published June 27th 2017 by Crown Publishing Group (NY)
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Average rating 3.52  · 
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Carol (Bookaria)
Aug 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, fiction
This is a wonderful rags-to-riches story filled with lively characters and humour.

The novel starts with Mr. and Mrs. Jha preparing a dinner for their neighbors to inform them they will soon be moving away to an affluent neighbor in New Delhi.

Mr. Jha is a self-made man who recently achieved financial success and wants to upgrade everything in his life including his surroundings. This is how the book begins and what follows is an interesting, rich, and funny story.

The story is told from different
Jul 05, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
The Windfall by Diksha Basu is a 2017 Crown publishing publication.

What a delightful tale!

Books can take you anywhere and everywhere, without leaving the comfort of your own home. I’ve been trying to incorporate more ‘cultural’ books in my reading diet, and have been loving it, but the synopsis for this book had me feeling a little nervous. I passed on the book several times, because I know so little about the manners, customs and culture of India, I was worried I wouldn’t ‘get’ the humor or u
Rating 3.75

I always enjoy reading about different cultures and especially about India. I am fascinated by India, the food, the customs, Bollywood, you name it. When I saw this one I knew I wanted to read it. I won a copy of this book via #ReadItForward. It took me awhile to get into this one but I laughed and warmed to it in the end. I debated between a 3.5 and 4, so split the diff.

I would sum this up as money doesn't buy you everything you dreamed of and ultimate happiness. No matter what, you
A heartfelt comedy of manners for readers of Seating Arrangements and Crazy Rich Asians, Diksha Basu's debut novel unfolds the story of a family discovering what it means to be nouveau riche in modern India.

For the past thirty years, Mr. and Mrs. Jha’s lives have been defined by cramped spaces, cut corners, gossipy neighbors, and the small dramas of stolen yoga pants and stale marriages. They thought they’d settled comfortably into their golden years, pleased with their son’s acceptanc
Jun 03, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: publisher, reviewed
This book is very lightweight social satire. I would have preferred satire with more bite to it. Mr. Anil Jha made millions of dollars when he sold his website and now he and his wife Bindu are moving to their first house in an upscale neighborhood in Delhi and leaving their apartment and neighbors behind. Their son is going to business school in upstate New York, where he is in danger of flunking out. He can't bring himself to tell his parents about his school troubles or his American girlfrien ...more
Sep 19, 2020 rated it liked it
[2.8] I yawned more than I laughed while reading this satire about a newly rich family in Delhi. Some good moments, but by the end I was skimming.
Book of the Month
Moving On Up ... in Modern Day India
By Judge Rachel Syme

Whenever the weather turns hot all I want to do is read gossipy, effervescent novels about people surfing precarious social tides and trying to make it to dry land in one piece. The Windfall quenches just that thirst: a bubbly, fun, witty comedy of manners about a family attempting a lifestyle upgrade in Delhi. It’s a story about ambition, family secrets, and the pride before the fall.

When Mr. Jha, the family patriarch, sells his website fo
Resh (The Book Satchel)
I loved this read. It is funny, makes you laugh, and constantly giggle. Here are the highlights of the book:

-the book is 'very Indian to the core'; if you know what I mean. It is real the real thing, not a made up face of India that appeals to the foreign reader. Another book that I found to be quintessentially Indian is the brilliant Ghachar Ghochar, which is of a more serious theme.

-This book is the ghost buster of stereotypes : over anxious Indian parents who urge the kids to study, Indian wi
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars. Mr. Jha has found himself newly wealthy, thanks to the sale of his internet business. With this newfound wealth, he decides to uproot himself and his wife to another part of Delhi to a well-off neighbourhood. Mr. Jha's son Rupak is studying, badly, in the US and is involved with a white American young woman.
Mr. Jha meets his new neighbour Mr. Chopra, and the two begin a game of one-upmanship, with each man's insecurity propelling him to either purchase something ridiculous or talk of
Brown Girl Reading
Aug 22, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: wish-list
I really enjoyed this wonderfully told story of the Jha family who has come into 20 million dollars after Mr Jha sells his successful internet website to a multinational company. From there we follow how Mr. and Mrs. Jha navigate adapting to life with the rich on the other side of Delhi. Diksha Basu does a fantastic job of educating the reader on Indian culture while making us laugh and smile. Told through informative lively realistic dialogues you will be immediately pulled into the story and w ...more
Mar 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
A cute book about a family from East Delhi adjusting to life on the wealthy side of town. Mr. Jha has sold his website for a fortune, and moves his family from their middle class life style to an upper class one. Mr. Jha and his new neighbor, Mr. Chopra engage in a series of one-upmanship. Both trying to prove that they are so wealthy they can afford anything. Mrs. Jha just misses her old neighbors and friends. Meanwhile, the Jha's son is studying in America, and is in danger of flunking out. Ev ...more
A. S.
Oct 02, 2017 rated it really liked it

the bandar blog
I requested  The Windfall by Dikshu Basu a few months ago, because I'm not-so-secretly obsessed with books that are heavy on Indian culture. I had this book on my shelf for a while before I finally decided to read it. When I did, I quickly became enamored with it.

the family bond, societal pressures, and Indian culture

5 Things I loved about The Windfall:
1. Its focus on Indian culture. This book's plot is one that could only exist in India. The story revolves around
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
20/8/2017: i wrote an article/different review about this book, and if you guys are interested, you can read it here!

3.5 stars.

Wealth. Humour. Culture. Love. Family. A weird and a wild mix, but a good one indeed.

Thank you Crown Publishing for sending me a free, finished copy of this book in an exchange for an honest review!

The Windfall revolves around a number of different families and individuals whom their lives changed when Mr. Jha gained millions of dollars by selling his website and decide
MaryannC. Book Freak
3.75 Stars.

This was a pretty enjoyable light hearted read. After much hard work and perseverance Mr. Jha has just sold his company, has come into sudden wealth and tells his wife that they will be moving out of the close knit apartment complex in Delhi they have always known into a fancy new home. Filled with a bit of sadness at having to leave their neighbors who have been close friends Mrs. Jha has a hard time adjusting to the new contraptions and quietness of their new home, while Mr. Jha rev
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-review
A wonderful comedy of manners about the life of a family from East Delhi and what happens when a successful business deal allows them to move into the upper class. Basu gives each of her four main characters (Anil, Bindu, Rupak, and their friend Reema) different hurdles with this move. And I have to say, the "keeping up with the Jonses" competition with the neighbors is never old whether you're from Delhi or New York or middle-America. A good book for the summer. ...more
Dec 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A light-hearted satire which lampoons the way Indian society places undue emphasis on "keeping up with the Joneses". Being satire, I would say some of it is obviously exaggerated but it's still good fun to read. From what I can see, it seems that traditional Indian and Chinese families share many of the same "values". An altogether enjoyable outing, though I have to say I have a particular fondness for anything written by Indian authors. [Final rating: 3.75*] ...more
Jul 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars
Evelina | AvalinahsBooks
It took me a while to warm up to The Windfall, but warm up I did. At first I was completely confused about where the book was going. Was it about how happy it is to suddenly move up in the world, or is it about how sad it is, on the contrary? Is this going to be about their life after their move? But if so, why is it taking them so long to move? And ultimately, it turned out this book isn't about life before or after - it's about change in life. And it's got about as many points of view as it ha ...more
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A longer review is available on my blog:

This was a very light, fun read. It had a bit of comedy, a bit of romance and a bit of culture. It also contained an important lesson on jealousy and being satisfied with what one has in life. Mr. Jha spends so much time trying to impress Mr. Chopra that it is hard to imagine that he has any time to enjoy himself and his new life. He is also very insensitive to his wife's discomfort with their newfound wealth. The ch
May 30, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
THE WINDFALL by Diksha Basu
This book is not funny. It is just sad. A bunch of pretentious people trying their hardest to be even more pretentious is just depressing. I would have preferred a book about Mrs. Ray and Uben, somewhat minor characters who serve as foils for the Jha’s and Chopra’s. Mrs. Ray offers a breath of lightness and air in this very arid book. The Jha’s have come into money and are determined that everyone will know how wealthy they are. They wear uncomfortable clothes, sit on
Sep 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
This entertaining novel of family life and social mores in modern India has less of a spotlight on romance than Jane Austen’s books, but if Austen was applying her sly wit and acute powers of observation to contemporary New Delhi rather than Regency England she might write something like The Windfall. The story is centered on the recently rich Jha family and the ways all that money is changing their lives and perspectives. One result of there being less focus on romance than in, for instance, Pr ...more
Kasa Cotugno
The Jhas have lived in the same housing development in East New Delhi for over twenty years, all their married life. When Mr. Jha sells his website for an enormous amount, they think it time to move to Gurgaon, the uber rich neighborhood across town. Diksha Basu has crafted a beautiful novel out of the challenges that ensue when a family finds itself attempting to keep up with the Chopras, little knowing that their neighbors are just as competitive in their attempts to stay ahead of any perceive ...more
Jul 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017, fiction, india
Windfall is the story of the Jha’s, who live in East Delhi in India. Mr. Jha has just sold his website for 20 million dollars. The Jha’s are moving out of their middle class neighborhood, where they have lived for decades, to a rich suburb. This turns out to more of a culture shock than either of them could have imagined. Mr. Jha becomes involved in a very intense “keeping up with the Jones’s” battle with his new neighbors, the Chopras. He is frantically trying to learn how to be a “real” rich p ...more
K.J. Charles
A comedy of manners set in Delhi as a middle-aged Indian couple come to terms with sudden massive wealth, while their son studying business in the US attempts to do the same plus cultural differences.

It's very readable in an enjoyably gossipy way (I love a good soap opera) and there are some very funny observations. Terrific sense of place, also, very well conveyed, and a great depiction of a fundamentally loving marriage where it's been a couple of decades and they both know each other's flaws
Aug 03, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'll start by saying that this story is quintessentially Indian. It captures the idiosyncrasies of middle-class Indians so well; the good, the bad, and everything in between.

"I'm not serving anyone cold soup." Mrs. Jha said. "I don't care what the fashion is in Australia or America, but in India, serving someone cold soup is rude."

It took me a while to get into this story, but once I did, I wanted to know it all - how do Mr. and Mrs. Jha adjust to shifting from their small flat in East Delhi to

There was so much that caught my attention when first picking up this novel and a lot of it had to do with the changes in surroundings, the way someone's life can be turned upside down even when everything seems like it's going towards a much better outcome. It is a story that leads us through all of that from many different point of views, which is always nice to get to see.

"He was fifty-two years old, his wife was forty-nine, and their twenty-three-year-old son was in business school
Jul 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: botm
You can also find this review at

The Windfall is a nice, light book to read when you just need a break from more serious topics (like healthcare or the U.S. government in general). The story follows a family from East Delhi who find themselves suddenly wealthy after the father sells his website for millions of dollars. Now that they can afford to move into the upper class, Mr. Jha wastes no time finding a richer neighborhood that will suit his new Japanese
my favorite read of 2020 so far (it doesn't mean much yet but i'm sure it'll stay that way for a while longer) ...more
Jul 25, 2017 rated it really liked it

Minted in modern India.

The characters fairly leap off the page in this thoroughly engaging “keeping-up-with-the-Chopras” novel by Diksha Basu.

Mr & Mrs Jha have been content for decades living in their cramped flat in an East Delhi block that has seen better days. It’s the kind of place where people are in and out of each other’s front door and each other’s lives. When software engineer Mr Jha sells his start-up for an unexpectedly vast sum, he’s thrilled to bits to be going up in the world. But
Feb 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
excellent! intelligent, subtle and fun to read. great story about the jha’s, a lower middle class family in india who becomes rich after the husband sells a website he has constructed for a multi million dollar sum which catapults them overnight into another world. they buy a large house in the rich part of the city, a designer sofa encrusted with swarowsky cristals and start encountering a whole new set of problems which leave them missing the old ones.
mr. chopra, the new neighbour, becomes th
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Diksha Basu is a writer and occasional actor.

Originally from New Delhi, India, she holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University and now divides her time between New York City and Mumbai.

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