March 13th, 2010

face off, kitties

May I Hebb Your Attention Pliss

As the miniscule few who read this blog know by now, I'm an ardent follower of @greatbong aka Arnab Ray. So isn't a surprise that I pre-ordered his book. And to my utter delight I received the signed copy on Tuesday, which I couldn't lay my hands on until night, that day.

Thus began the journey of reading the debutant writer's work - May I Hebb Your Attention Pliss. The book is not a novel, not an art of fiction, and doesn't lie in the genre of non-fiction either! It is an analysis of all that's Indian, written purely the way only we Indians can relate to it.. that too the ones who've witnessed the 90s, 00s and more so been teenagers in that golden period. Each chapter dedicated to a different aspect.

Writing with humour comes naturally to Arnab and it is not surprising to see how he sees humour in the most insipid and lesser inspiring happenings in and around us. Be it the Bollywood movies Loha, Gunda, Mithun da's acting prowess, Ektaa's saas bahu soaps and the reasoning behind the way they are made, the terror attacks, the take on why we've so many engineers or the Indian wedding - the attention to detail is awesome and the analysis so true and yet so funny, that it has you in splits.

It is not for the elitist, who thrive on classics and all that's inspiring; but those in search for their own 'true identity'. You might have missed it, but not Arnab. Case in point being the analysis of the movie Clerk and Arnab's take on how it shaped his ambitions for the future. I'm sure there are such moments that led you to be what you are today. Read the book, take a cue and maybe you'll realise how much the Indianness around you shaped you, the person! It is rib tickling funny and the more you read it the more you agree!

Not without its flaws though. There is overstressing of some points. The innumerable dialogues of Hindi movies at times were an overdose, though hats off for remembering and giving out the translations in English. I would've been lost without that. Blame it on not knowing or understanding such pure cinematic chaste Hindi. Nevertheless can be overlooked for the overall fun in reading.

I'm already looking forward for his next offering. What is it going to be? With Arnab Ray at helm, it will definitely be one joyful ride!

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face off, kitties


Dork by Sidin Vadukut.

Another of the blogger turned writer. Was reading @greatbong's interview on blogadda and he happened to mention Sidin as one of the fellow blogger whose style he admires. And ofcourse that set me reading his blog and I found that Sidin recently has had his first book published. And going by the blog I knew the style would keep me hooked. I was already waiting for @greatbong's book to be delivered by flipkart and I had no patience to wait for another book. So I decided to pick it up from the nearest bookstore myself... that the nearest bookstore is 6 kms away didn't deter me.

Dork is the journey of the average and goofy young grad into corporate world. His (mis)adventures are hilarious and all in such a serious tone that it keeps you hooked. The language is very contemporary, never too demanding and easy to read. The diary format sets the narration from the character's perspective and thus it is totally left to the reader to figure out what 'make'th and 'break'eth the character, what are the highs and lows, good, bad and ugly. This is very unlike other writers who describe and form a picture of the character in your mind. A very effective and interesting style. Each to his own - all will go back forming their own ideas about what they've read. Awesome.

The situations and the outcomes are outrageous but being a pure work of fiction and with humour as the subtext, the book engages you throughout. The ending was a little abrupt. Even before I knew, the book was over leaving me wanting for more! Read in (Sidin's blog) that he intends to extend this to a trilogy and probably that is the reason. Nevertheless would have preferred a better paced ending.

Readers are definitely having a blast! With such variety, new genres being tapped, new styles being adapted, humour being used so effectively; be it Arnab Ray or Sidin; Indian writers seem to be doing a marvelous job and here's hoping that this is just the beginning of the fun.