Blowfish

by Siddharth Tripathi

Read this in about 5 minutes

I have read a string of books based on contemporary India. Enough to make me stay away from them for a while, actually. However, I decided to request this book for review, first off, because it is from Bloomsbury. I have come around to trust their publication. Secondly, the first book by the author has received some good response from the reviewers I trust blindly. So, here I am, happy and content.

This particular one was a fun read!

Cover: Blowfish

Cover page

The cover page at one glance feels like a colour riot. One has to really look into the cover to actually figure out its significance. It is a characters centric book and that’s what is visible on the cover.

But the real fun comes when you have read the book and go back to the cover. I absolutely love the covers that make sense after you have read the book. That means it was given a lot of thought into, unlike many other books set in contemporary times. I shall keep mentioning the cover at places through the Review. Hey, I am appreciative!

Characters

The book is the story of three friends told from the point of view of Mukund. Mukund is a frustrated lad in his late twenties. His job sucks and personal life is no good. And that is why he is so relatable!

Mukund has a numerologist for a therapist. But the numerologist has just one solution to all of Mukund’s problems. If Mukund changes his name to Muklund, then all his problems will go away. He is reluctant to do so, for obvious reasons!

There is Chaddha. He is Punjabi. He eats chicken and loves to drink. He loves women, but can never go and talk to them. And he is a pseudo-intellectual. He is also hot tempered and shoots pigeons with his air gun when he is angry.

Lastly, there is Pandey. He is a weed junkie. He is in a man’s body that refuses to grow up. His wife is perennially estranged, and it’s not her fault. These three make the book, literally. See all of them on the cover?

Content

The book begins with Mukund’s line of fire. He is not having a great day at work when he realises he is going to get fired. The self-respect kicks in when he decides to resign to follow his passion. He doesn’t know what that is yet though. His roommate Chaddha gets fired a few days later and this begins their life of further meaninglessness.

Meanwhile, Pandey remains the same. He thinks of consuming weed in different forms and gets thrown out of the house after the smoke from the oven gives him away.

The entire book consists of these three guys trying to find meaning in their life, which is futile. There are some thought provoking conversations, ideals shaking instances and adrenaline induced adventures; some silly more than adventurous. But overall It is a fun book.

In the entire book one will notice that the characters don’t prove themselves. Or hit a jackpot of wisdom or even make sense of their lives. They just are.

Language

The language in the book is quite simple even though the characters turn Shakespearean every once in a while. The language makes them feel common; in turn relatable. The author can spin a great tale, which one would like to read over and over again. There is great dirt in the book but the references are quite clean. See the Muklund?

Good points

I absolutely love the cover. It has been given much thought into. The characters are designed really well. The content is the best part of the book. The simple narration eases you into the book.

Bad points

The author chose to leave out the girls in the Story. Some more insight into their characters would have been great! But I am not really complaining.

Overall

I absolutely loved the book. It is very unlike the wave of contemporary stories that are sold into a paperback edition.

Whom do I recommend this to

This is for those who are looking for an easy read but like a dose of ‘literature’ in their stories.

Quotable Quotes

The divider was like the edge of the world and the mule seemed to be standing outside looking in, aware but detached, not thinking of anything, not trying to get somewhere. I felt a strong urge to get out of my car; I wanted to graze free, to stand atop a pile of garbage and chew cud.

There was a time when I wanted to be rich and famous; six years on I aspired to be an abandoned mule, I wanted to be an amoeba, a worm in the mud, a quiet bat in a dark cave, a pebble on the filthy banks of the Ganga. Someone was honking impatiently. I sighed and drove on.

We have been poor for so long (our grandfathers and our fathers) that we are pleased as hell with our bank balance. Please as hell. We live for the weekend, we live to eat at fancy dumb places and do the same thing again the next day, over-and-over-again like fucking pencil battery robots.

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Veena Choudhary

An avid reader and history fanatic.

Mumbai, MH merakipost.com