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Friday, January 26, 2018

Book Review of Two Plus Half Maniacs by Vinit Patel

Genre : Young action comedy
Source: Review copy

If this was not a novel, it would have been a movie that critics would have called a masala blockbuster.

It’s the story of Vansh. He gets his clothes torn, pushed into a pond and almost killed on his first day in college. A shock for someone who has had a near-perfect school life. Does this rollercoaster end? No, it doesn’t. It actually gains momentum. When he befriends what the author so lovingly calls the other two maniacs

Then there is a girl. The heroine. This girl has issues. And just when you are getting to know her... bang... she is kidnapped. Read the book to find out the who and the why.

I pity Vansh. Every character in the book has only one job. That of causing him discomfort. He has it bad from page one. The action is so nonstop that the reviewer lost the thread many a time but, like our hero, laboured on.

Well. It all turn out super for Vansh. But you have to go thru the 243 page to find out how.

This book is written in delicious Indian English. And in its own way it tickles your funny bone. And all that with a conscience and soul.

All in all. A brave effort by debutant Vinit Patel.

Hemant Singh


Thursday, January 25, 2018

This is the story of Mani.

Mani is a cook. And worked at my friend’s hotel at Kolar. And so great was his cooking that vehicles passing on the highway took a detour to visit his hotel.

He was really good at his job. He could make Andhra Pulav, Hyderabad biryani, Ambur biryani, Kadai biryani. All at the same time and each will be a mouth-wateringingly different dish. North, south, east or west- name a dish and he could make it.

But there was a catch.

They say na... Too many cooks spoil the broth. Mani was a firm believer of this.

He did everything by himself. Buy the things. Chop them and cook them. He hated assistance. He got up at four. Went to the vegetable market. Brought vegetables. Came back and slept. Got up. Went to the meat market. Bought meat. Cleaned and cooked. Its ready for lunch.

Slept at four. Got up at six. Cooked dinner. Slept at 12.

Cooked all alone. Hated when anyone came to assist him. You should have seen him working. He looked like a drummer in those rock bands. He would sit in the centre and have four stoves around him all in full swing.

But there was another catch.

He drank from morning to evening. While cooking there was that inevitable bottle somewhere nearby.

When he went on leave. The hotel closed down. And when he had a tiff with the owner and left for his village in Tamil Nadu. The owners parents went to the village and coaxed him back to work.

Its here I saw firsthand how the cooks are the backbone of this industry. And good cooks, like good actors, are not made. They are born with the gift.

Despite have such a cook, the hotel went under. Coz the owner had an addiction for gambling. But that’s another story.

Wonder where Mani is today. Making mouth-watering treats for someone somewhere -for sure.


Friday, January 19, 2018

Pappu or Feku

It’s a sad fate for us Indians that of the two parties that want to rule India, one is led by a pappu and other by a feku.

Pappu has not grown out of middle school. But my gut feel says that he will one day rule India. Coz feku will ensure.

And my gut doesn’t lie. Burp. I do. Not my gut.

Feku is worse than Alice in Wonderland. He is a character from the classic Lilliput. Where he is the Lilliput. And his worst is the bullet train. For only a small segment from Bombay to Ahmadabad he is willing to spend 100,000 crores. All to be paid back when he is dead and gone. The same money can be spent to overhaul the entire railway system of this country.  Yes, the entire railways.

Somehow the corrupt congress seem great guys when compared to feku. They took money but they delivered too. And feku does what he pretty well fancies. None what India wants or needs.

Feku took the Japanese PM to the den of bhaktas, Varanasi and for three hour saw some aarti being performed. When he has such free time why does he need a bullet train.

But thats not the point.

The Gujarat election is a great victory for the congress. Have shown the chinks in the BJP armour. The way poor Rahul fought with great valour an army of maharathis was worth watching. It was like fighting Alexander in central Greece. Surrounded by Greeks. Some bearing gifts. And his own commander turned out to be a neech kanimey kutthey. But he went ahead and came out stronger. I predict ache din for congress.