Blurb (as on Goodreads):
Ravi Bhalerao is a top of the rung business strategy consultant struggling with two disquiets in life – a festering career disillusionment and a festering wound in his posterior. Stung by an unfair performance appraisal, he pulls off an outrageous stunt at his workplace, drops off the urban map and reaches his ancestral land, a village in drought-prone Vidarbha. There he encounters India in its elemental form. Convinced that his destiny is somehow entwined with that of his country, he sets off on a truth-seeking mission. On that mission, he finds love, revolution and most importantly, a redemption for the disquiet in his rear.
Anand is a former physicist on a spiritual quest through esoteric India. He realizes that the path to realization is beset on all sides by gurus, their cults and their boundless quirks. As he hops from one ashram to the other, he grows convinced that liberation does not come with a user manual in a neat little box.
Wrapped in light-hearted, almost tongue-in-cheek prose, ‘Mango People In Banana Republic’ is a tale of an Indian’s search for personal identity, against the backdrop of a country divided along fault lines of countless social identities. Teeming with a cast of characters and ideas that encapsulate modern India, the tale ascends from the gross to the sublime, much like the Kundalini powers some aspire to acquire. With a steady pace, and gentle mocking humour, this book is an absorbing read and a laugh.
Mango People in Banana Republic is as quirky and savage as it sounds.
The story revolves around two characters- Ravi, who is fed up with being treated like garbage by colleagues at a leading consultancy firm and Anand, a former physicist who is in search for liberation and his preferred method is hopping from ashram to ashram, waiting for someone to lead him to this path of self-discovery.
Here’s why you should read the book:
- Style of writing: The characters have no filter to their thoughts and the book is full of remarks that will tickle your funny bone. The plot is full of sarcastic remarks and so damn relatable, especially as an Indian.
- Fucked-up-ness: The characters are screwed by their colleagues and their work beyond repair and this brings a certain texture to the plot. Ravi is poked and prodded by his colleagues whereas Anand is chasing the unknown because his work as a physicist make him realize that it was worth nothing.
- The plot: The plot is definitely unusual because of the characters. Ravi is spontaneous whereas Anand is more of a calm person. Fucked up but definitely willing to relax and find out his path. While Ravi is happy with the fact that he is taking crazy steps just to get back at life, Anand thinks he is a normal guy who deserves what he wants.
Here’s what I didn’t like:
- The plot: I mention this again because I found the writing getting monotonous and boring at times. Sarcasm has been overdone at places and I somehow, find that extremely annoying.
- Logic: The randomness of the book fails to hold on to a logic or theory and keeps jumping from scenario to scenario just to make it more dynamic and grab attention.
While the book has definitely invoked mixed feelings, I did like the quirky side of the book. The book is a reminder of what would happen if we all could be so frank and rebellious in real life. Oh! what a world would that be 😛
Read the book for the heck of it and it will leave you with a satisfied grin.
Purchase Links: |Amazon Paperback|