Monday, May 18, 2009

English August- A point of view

I generally don't do book reviews so officially...I curl up with a book, enjoy it till the end, more often re-read the interesting ones and soak up as much as I can...

There are four books I just can't get enough off.

1. English August: By Upamanyu Chatterjee
2. The Inscrutable Americans: By Anurag Mathur
3. Confessions of an SOB: By Al Neuharth
4. The Fountainhead: By Ayn Rand.

I might have read, re-read these books so many times that they have been dog-eared by now.

There is a common pattern that emerges here. All these three books are so brutally honest and authentic that u almost warm up to them from the very first page.

Why do I love English August:

This is one thing I have been ruminating over for the past couple of days...Just imagine book starting with -

"I’ve a feeling, August, you’re going to get hazaar fuc-ked in Madna"
Amazing mix, the English we speak. Hazaar fucked. Urdu and American,Agastya laughed, 'a thousand fucked, really fucked. I’m sure nowhere else could languages be mixed and spoken with such ease.

English August starts like this...LoL. It takes me back to the days in BITS where 'Hazaar Fucked" is like slang used genarlly. 'In today's quiz, I got hazaar fucked, maan!!' 'If u don't answer the question, I am going to hazaar fuck u'.

English August immediately pulled me into my student days. And thats where life turns so bloody beautiful. The Central character, Agastya clears the IAS and joins for his training in 'some dot of the map called Madna'.

So many similarities. Madna was supposed to be the hottest place in India. But can it really beat Pilani. Imagine writing ur even-semester annual papers in Feb-March and u suddenly see a blood drop on ur answer paper. The blood vessels inside the nose have blasted out becuase of the heat.The aimlessness and the sub-counsious always poking one with the question-Why am I here...This is the same question that I kept feeling thru my Engineering days.

Mary Janes and Led Zeps came into the second stage of my Student life. While doing MBA, imagine the stress of completeing the projects and the presentations while being completely stoned.We had our special joints to procure them and guess what they were then called-'special tobacco'. Phohibition be damned.

The preparation of a joint is so involving that u almost get a kick even while rolling it up.And now imagine, being completely sloshed with Old Monk, then completely stoned with Mary Jane and then swaying to Dire straits and Pink Floyd...Thats almost meta-physical...Even the purple chaos of smoke that lay suspended in midair inside the hostel rooms was so bloody beautiful that u almost can feel the numbness of silence and thank god for the amazing pleasures that he has created and bestowed upon us.

...Call it the recency...But English August was the flavour of the book. I am now charged to re-read the other three and come back with some snippets of thoughts on them sooner.