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Monday, July 25, 2011

Way to Go

Under very mysterious circumstances, Jamun’s 80 year old, half paralyzed father Shyamlal disappears. Jamun does what needs to be done under the given circumstances and files a police report.
Here we readers get a feel of what to expect in the book- a depiction of what the common man has to face in trying to work his way out of a problem- even if it is an act of filing a simple police report- going through pages of seemingly unnecessary questions which seem to be more trouble than the entire problem in itself.
The mystery remains a mystery till the very end but Jamun goes about the business of life remembering the past, his dead mother and his solitary life with his now disappeared father, flavoured by the presence of the cook who was instructed to cook – anything that does not make them puke.
We come across a host of other characters as Jamun continues to look for any trace of his father- the dhobi Dhan Singh’s brood, his cook’s son Vaman, his ex lover Kasturi who is a famous tele serial maker and bases the climaxes of her serials on her own life with Jamun. Jamun shares an easy and heartwarming relationship with his daughter.
We also have Monga, the builder who in his quest to acquire Shayamand’s house will do anything like-
- become Shyamanand’s 3rd son in his ways and behaviour with Shyamanand
- Take away bits of adjacent land and building and even possibly murder Naina Kapoor his lover and resident in that premises
- Do away with his man Bahadur
Jamun’s brother Burfi also comes over to support Jamun in these difficult times.
And as the story moves from anecdote to anecdote, sometimes adding value and sometimes not, we find that more and more people disappear including the voice of the story- Jamun himself.
The book is quite long and the story winding studded with plenty of dark humour. Lots of potty humour or rather just mention of assorted words denoting that- comparing everything to a piece of shit seems to be the general scheme in the book.
Food is given a little more respect- it is compared to vomit.
And there are other things like mention of body odour, size and type of various vitals of the human body- male or female, lots of dead body and decay.
Overall, it is difficult for even an above average reader to finish the book- especially when the payback itself is not there- most matters, like life itself, seems to be unresolved.

This book is a sequel but one can quite well follow through the story even if one has not read the previous one. The author explains the characters and back story extremely well.

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