Tag Archives: India

Under Delhi – Review


Let me start this review by being brutally (honestly?) honest here: I’m a huge fan of Sorabh’s work. On the screen and stage mainly as a standup comedian. And I’m aware that this is not his first book. But to be brutally (!) honest again, I could not make much out of his first book – The Wednesday Soul – though it had the similar Delhi Belle vigilante as the protagonist/theme. But maybe it was not meant for a mortal like me. Having said that, I can surely his next – Under Delhi – makes up for my experience in so many ways. And I’m also being brutally honest here! (!). I have always known that the best standups are also among the best writers. And Sorabh proves that no less with this cracker of a pre-Diwali read in Under Delhi. For those (which surely includes zillions of people) aware of his razor sharp jokes and sketches, this is more of a treat since the one liners and metaphors are trademark Sorabh Pant.

And this is totally besides the fact that a lot of the latest standup shows, including Sorabh’s, have been talking about women’s safety in India and especially in Delhi. Much as I hate to stereotype the national capital, having lived there and so on, the fact remains sadly that the city’s men (most, NOT ALL, please read between the lines before you plan to kill me) are Yo Yo Honey Singhs in real life. And so are a lot of men in other cities but yes, I agree that the Capital gets more media attention than other cities and towns. Besides, some of the offenders are actually from the heartland like Bihar and UP, as the book also shows. I found shades of Lisbeth Salander (Dragon Tattoo) in Tanya Bisht – the protagonist of Under Delhi and I liked that. I also loved the characters that defy the so-called Delhi man stereotype. And many words and phrases across characters and chapters in the book clearly show the author knows what he’s doing. That classic head vs heart struggle of a vigilante is also portrayed nicely. All in all, an awesome reading experience because dark humour is one of the toughest genres to excel in yet gives highs like no other!

So, if this review proved helpful then go right across to Flipkart and buy the book!


How to be an Indian hunk within Rs 500

Still waiting for that college PYT to for the movie show? Or, haven’t mustered enough courage to even say hi to the office chick? And the that ‘hunk’ stealing all your would-be thunder right under your nose? Well, is it because he is the resident room freshener, drives that SUV and has a swagger that will put even George Clooney to shame? Well, you have not lost your chances yet. Here’s a quick guide to how you can be an Indian with your pocket being pinched for less than Rs 500:

1. Axe/Set Wet Deoderant: topmost on the list because this will have women/girls/ladies of all shapes and sizes running towards you – Rs 160

2. Emami Fair & Handsome – all the ‘cute’ ones will treat you like their male alter ego – Rs 5 (chhota pack)

3. Dollar Club underwear you can fight the bad guys even with your eyes closed – Rs 150

4. Close-up toothpaste – you can keep laughing with your lady without embarrassment – Rs 50

5. Start motivating yourself by calling yourself on the phone – does not require money but some imagination – and say this to yourself at least a dozen times – “I’m not a loser”

6. With the change, treat your lady to streetfood and sit together on the river/seafront – this is a tried and tested formula

I added the last point since it’s not so bad to have that experience after all, even if your means to that end differ.

(Prices are as accurate as possible)

Mister God, This Is Sachin

When this novel by Fynn, aka Sydney Hopkins,  Mister God, This Is Anna, was published in 1974, Sachin Tendulkar was a year old. But the timeline of the novel dates to the 1930s, when Sachin was not born and cricket meant Bradman and the sensationalism in the sport was restricted to Bodyline. Years later, Bradman was to praise Sachin in no uncertain terms. Cricket pundits revelled in it as the ultimate ‘endorsement’. But, in hindsight, is it really fair? No harm in Bradman comparing himself with Sachin. But, where comparisons end, Sachin’s act begins. The double ton in Gwalior has proved just that.

In an era when Twenty20 is a synonym for speed and multiplexes cannot decide if they want to screen more movies or cricket matches, Sachin Tendulkar still remains the currency – for an economy that takes its major stakeholders (read: cricketers) with equal pride and cynicism. Last December, when the man nearly got to creating this record, the whole 22 yards seemed to have become a pitch for endless debates on his performance. Today, reading a front page piece on him by Imran Khan in The Economic Times, the entire debate seemed to have been turned on its head. For someone who retired at the age of 39, Sachin’s brilliance could not go unstated. Since an early age, we are taught to achieve maximum success in whatever we do (read: cram). The movie 3 Idiots may have done its bit to tweak that notion. But, that’s about it. Passion for anything can at best be fine-tuned, but never drilled or taught. This is where Sachin Tendulkar proves what passion is all about. Not just about making a first-class debut at the age of 11 or facing Waqar Younis at 16, or not just about overcoming personal tragedy to make the team shine in a World Cup. It is nothing but living life on the whole 22 yards, and not off it, whatever may the critics say.

After the show of brilliance, many have likened Sachin to God himself who plays for a nation where cricket is religion. Social networking sites and blogs (including this one!) were agog with the enigma of the man and could not stop eulogising him. In all fairness to them, they are not far off the mark. But then, it is only human to err and you don’t make mistakes unless you even attempt to immerse yourself in whatever you are doing, cliches be damned.

Maybe, what is God-like is, knowing where your mind, body and soul lie – where your life is what it is meant to be. Just like Anna, who at “at five years….knew absolutely the purpose of being, knew the meaning of love and was a personal friend and helper of Mister God. At six Anna was a theologian, mathematician, philosopher, poet and gardener. If you asked her a question you would always get an answer—in due course. On some occasions the answer would be delayed for weeks or months; but eventually, in her own good time, the answer would come: direct, simple and much to the point.” Just like Sachin, who may not be afraid of saying “Mister God, This Is Sachin,” even if he is divine in his own right.