The Diary of an Unreasonable Man: Shock Therapy? Yeah, for Bozos!

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According to a survey by some really jobless people, there were approximately 112.8 million blogs in 2008. The number is certain to have increased by a considerable extent by now. Although I have no real or imaginary authorities to back it, from my general browsing of the blogosphere, it appears that when you take out the usual marketing, film, sports and sex blogs, the most common form of blogs are where people vent out their angst. I mean there are thousands and thousands of blogs out there which no body needs to read and which perhaps no body expects to be read in the first place. I do not know if this is a result of a dangerous therapy suggested by some new age psychiatrists or a new fad; in the parlance of our times which is responsible for so many people crying and ranting about the miseries of their life in cyber space. Nobody apart from you has any interest in knowing how badly fucked up your life is. You hate your job. Welcome to the club, 99.9% of the people doing any semblance of a job do. The 0.01% who don’t are actually inhabitants of ga-ga land. And no, being a waiter in Playboy Mansion is not a job, that’s destiny. You hate your boss. Well, so does everyone else who ever has to report to anyone. If you really hate your family or life, don’t blog about it. Pick up a semi automatic and do something about it but please spare anyone the misfortune of reading your maladies on the already cluttered beyond repair internet. My other and even bitter contempt is reserved for those bloggers with pink tinted glasses who wake up everyday like a puppy staring with amazement at the world around it and write about the most boring things that they did and the great joy they derived from them. Oh, you had a terrific dinner. Well, I hope they fry you in oil whenever you have to pay for gluttony but really it was just some food you had, right. So get over it and stop ruminating. Did you have a tiff with your boyfriend? Congrats, this is as fascinating to me as a slap fight between a democrat and a republican over use of excessive force on their neighbour’s dog in sixteenth century Mozambique. Well, if your life is full of such fascinating and captivating nuggets and you are a walking streak of stupidity, please do enjoy it by all means. Don’t get me wrong, I really respect your right to live your wonderful life but at least be magnanimous enough towards the rest of the mankind to not to write about it. The fact that irritates me the most is that some people who know such a ‘writer’ (and if the ‘writer’ is a pretty chick, some plus 20 more people) actually read such stuff and give their insights like, “Ooh. Wow. You poor baby. Way to go. I know what you mean…” and other such complex lingual combinations. The real reason of course for all my ranting and cribbing against such writing is that I do not have such friends and will never have such friends who’ll read and appreciate the incredibly invaluable and unbelievably intelligent stuff that I write and I won’t ever find a publisher who’ll publish it even though these may be the most important words since those of some bearded guy walking on water. Madhav Mathur unfortunately was not so lucky. He found a publisher and got published the bullshit he wrote on his office computer three o’ clock in the morning while he was supposed to be managing millions of dollars of some poor unsuspecting oil tycoon. The cover of the Diary of an Unreasonable Man has no less than Anurag Kashyap proclaiming that it’s a shock therapy. Of course, it is. Once you’ve finished reading it, you’ll drop dead out of the shocking waste of time and money that you just incurred. The consolation being that at just over two hundred pages and just less then two hundred bucks, the loss is not that substantial. It may probably be the only book to ever see the ink of the printing press which in its forward thanks the person who praises it on the cover for praising the book! The first hundred or probably eighty pages are about the protagonist ranting, full of angst, professing his ideas with a sincerity that would make Socrates appear a medieval edition of Russel Peters. And what does his holiness talk about? Well, you know; the usual. The tedious desk job. The illogical office rules, the dickhead who passes off as the boss. But it does not stop at that. It goes truly deep by wasting pages and pages about the manipulative capitalism and shallow consumerism with special emphasis on the advertising industry (the profession of the protagonist) making it appear a job so hideous and ghastly that it must rank second only to blowing up buildings filled with people on Satan’s recruitment website. Like a sad Govinda comedy, or a glorious Baba Sehgal song, he goes on and on, non stop to his heart’s content. Finally, realizing that he needs to dress up his grouse against his boss and everyone in his building complex as a novel, the author tries to clue us in the plot. The protagonist thinks of ingenious ways to wake India out of its slumber, to make the people rise in revolution against the rich, the corrupt, the greedy and the horny. He starts by calling himself and his sidekick flatmate, ‘Your Anarchists’. Well, done. I suppose calling yourself ‘V’ would have been really na├»ve. If you must know, their methods include blowing up a ‘harmless’ paint bomb in a local train (Stampede, what’s that? That happens only in that Kumbh mela) and leaving behind pamphlets with signed sermons in bold letters (lest some of the poor daily commuters have a weak eyesight) in English (Come on. What do you mean they don’t know English. How do those people talk to each other? In sign language? And what’s the Hindi word for ‘anarchist’ anyways?). Our Batman and Robin pour dung all over a car launch. (Have you heard of a more exploitative thing than having a launch party for a new car range. I mean surely there are children starving out there, somewhere. I don’t know where but I am sure must be somewhere.) They feed paans to visitors of brothels so that they’ll have a green face for the rest of their lives. In case you are wondering, why green? Well, that’s because its derived from chlorophyll and paan is also green na, you silly! By the end of the book, you can sense that Mahur is getting tired of sleeping in office or the oil tycoon is calling him incessantly to find out where his couple of zeros have disappeared over the last couple of days. So he does what any self respecting creative Indian born and brought up on the diet of Bollywood would do. He brings in a couple of nasty, heartless mean gangsters to chase our poor Anarchists and an honest, sensitive and idealistic policeman to save the day. There was also a sub plot about the protagonist and his childhood sweetheart who were always different from the other kids. Yeah, well I guess nowadays you can blame everything on bad childhood, especially stupidity. Hope you had a good one though, Mathur. Would really hate to blame your parents for this. In the end, a patriotic appeal to all those Indians like Mathur living in Singapore, working as bankers/engineers/drycleaners, guys there is a very good market for English writing in Singapore/ Timbuktu. Please do not seek a publisher in India. You owe at least this much to your mother land. Jai Hind. And a word of warning to AK, dude you better had made some more really good movies before I run into you.


Post Script: In case you are wondering how I ended up with this classic despite giving so many tips about picking a good book in my previous post, well, in my defense I was in a bit of a hurry and did not get the chance to see the photograph of our hunk with chiseled model like looks who works as a banker during the day and as a superhero during the night. Also, I read what appeared to me to be a positive review in HT. Apparently Mr. Mathur has also written screenplays. When they hang me tell them, there was more than grave provocation.

10 comments:

Igirit said...

there is enough space in the world for all of us wannabe bloggers and our blogs.
be and let be.

mukul sharma said...

Take it easy doc...learn to see the difference between humour and bigotry..

meanwhile you can chew on this.."humour is the last resort against the tyranny of stupidity!"

harsh said...

Angry Angrier Angriest! Well written and ofcourse spot on.

"Those who claim to be offended by a book are those who have chosen to be offended - by reading on instead of simply closing the book" -Rushdie. (this is ofcourse in the context of sensorship etc)
So why not close the stupid idiotic 'blog' that offends you? (tension na lo! band kar do blog ko!)

One point: i am sorry i did not understand why your book review starts with a criticism of idiotic blogs.is the author Anurag chap a blogger?

Please note that i find all your criticism accurate and valid. i just didn understand why are they there in this book review.

Regards.

PS: Please as an ardent fan of yours, dont say no one follows your writing, we sure do!

We also await the wisdom reserved for those of us who are fortunate to call ourselves your friends.

mukul sharma said...

1. I am of the firm belief that a great humanitarian purpose is served by criticising a bad piece of literature or a bad film for that matter. If you've not read something in the first place, you have no locus to criticize it.

But what is the point of criticizing anything anyways? If you did not like it, fine. Let others decide for themselves.

The point is that people should know that something may not be good just because someone else said it was. The point of criticism is that Mr. Mathur should be discouraged from becoming another Mr.Bhagat.

People are free to do what ever they want with their time but at least there should be some indicator of what may be a better way for them to use their time for.

So that they may read Philip Roth instead of Mathur or Bhagat or at least are not under the impression that they are reading good lireature without knowing that there is actualy good literature out there.

2. Come on. Its a blog after all not a book review for New Yorker. I am allowed to digress.

But since you asked the relevance of all that diatribe against the compulsive self obsessed bloggers was that the book itself read like someone was pissed off with his job, boss et al. and blogging about it but to make it worse was trying to pass it off as a novel.

I think what irritated me the most was that someone like that guy, a banker in Singapore is giving all that gyaan about being an anarchist, burning the materialistic world down. Fuck man, at least quit your fucking job before you start preaching like that.

3. The part about great knowledge was an attempt at self depreciating humour. Please do not take it literally or personally.

harsh said...

Agreed with your detailed replies on (1) and (2). (Although (1) wasnt a query!) "We also await the wisdom reserved for those of us who are fortunate to call ourselves your friends" Am glad you obliged. Do write more often.
Eagerly await your next post.

BCBoner said...

Wow. That's really rich. I couldn't have paid you for a better hit job. Heck, you may well have missed out on an a fat check from poor Mr. Singaporean Oil Tycoon there. The last I heard, he was looking for a professional hitman like you to vindicate the zeros he lost to this "Mahur" guy whole he was typing this book up at 3.00 AM. Here's what I gather from your shitstorm of a review:
* You feel strongly about Indian-born writers who write on subjects involving urban Indian society and who then ink contracts with an Indian publishing house. Wow, we need to nip this one in the bud before it becomes a habit, don't we?
* Singapore must be nice & comfortable and not the least bit like the materialistic, consumeristic mess modern India is, or is it? Where's the relatability here? Who'll believe it? Certainly not you, sir!
* Didn't like the portrait, did you? Come on, haven't heard of a goddamned photo-op? And some of aren't particularly flattering? What did you expect to see there, a horse's ass?

What could have been a serious criticism about the quality of editing over at Penguin or hell, the stark inconsistency in writing between the quasi-philophical prose and the plot-driven narrative - turned out to be your wild, personal tirade against someone you probably don't expect to meet. If you already have, well, that's even worse.

I'm amazed. You could easily have flung this loosely at the author, your pasty couple of turds, but you've managed to package this so well as this nice bag of turds that is your blog entry. Well done, you fucking ape.

mukul sharma said...

@BC Boner: wow! you really seem to have a lot of time on your hands to write a voluminous 'critique' of a blog entry on an obscure blog about an idiotic book...

seriously i don't know where to start, so i might as well start by slapping you in face, right, left and center..

firstly, if you are really the link in 'BCBoner' (very profound id btw, i must say)...then i can understand your general frustration with life and please feel free to write anywhere and everywhere as long as it keeps you away from committing suicide...


secondly, the use of words like turds and fuck repeatedly does not add that acidic edge to your writing that you are so helplessly looking for...it only shows how pathetic and feeble your writing is..


thirdly, i am really interested in knowing how you write...i have a feeling you are one of the cult of 'auto writers' who close their eyes...and claim to be writing driven by their sub-consciousness...that would at least partly explain the inconsistencies in every second line with the previous one..the other part undoubtedly would either be a traumatic childhood or the failure to get admission in a good college..

fourthly, did you ever pass an English exam? at least first learn to write proper complete sentences in English before you move on to vomit your earth shattering ideas..

fifthly, don't tell me what to write on MY blog. get the point? MY blog. i know you are a bit slow, so let me repeat here, MY BLOG. I am not in the business of public welfare here...i am not making money out of this...if i have no intention of writing a serious review of something which does not deserve to be seriously reviewed, i will not.

Sixthly, if you really know the mathur chap personally, and were gravely hurt when you googled his book name and found this blog, well...with all sincerity and politeness, fuck you.
On the other hand if you just looked at his photograph and found your long lost soul mate and his book has really changed your life, my best wishes to you because your life could not get any worse than it already is.

Finally, i do not think that you are capable of a coherent reply, and certainly have no intention of wasting my time by indulging a dialogue with you, so don't bother. Just in case you can come up with something in remotely correct English which goes beyond your limited vocabulary of turd, fuck, shit etc., do reply. Else, don't bother, i'll just delete it. See, that's the good part about this being my blog, i don't actually have to see the nonsense that you are capable of throwing up any longer than i want to.


PS: I agree with the "quality of editing at Penguin" bit. Ctrl A, Delete, Ctrl S. That's exactly how much editing was required here.

Grateful Humanity said...

I am of the firm belief that a great humanitarian purpose is served when intelligent articulate men (such as I take you to be, mostly out of respect for the profound and complex irony you unwittingly let creep into your blog post) openly allow themselves to exhibit the debilitating effects of PMS on their faculties.

For surely, your open admission – “I think what irritated me the most was that someone like that guy . . .” – was most helpful in understanding what you were blogging about (let’s not call it writing for fear some idiot publisher may pick it up, eh?).

Did your post have a point other than to say “Mathur irritates me! Everything about him! his cheekbones, his characters, his book, his life, his...”? Or is it just that the point failed to come through because of all your childish and unnecessarily personal whining?

By the way, you should feel free to disregard or discredit the above, if only because I really can’t help looking quite good in photographs myself.

BCBoner said...

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/turd

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shit

http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fuck

You seemed at loss to understand what I meant, so I thought the above might help you.

Seriously, you're a terrible reviewer and a worse rebutter. I am glad you are refusing to oblige me with a "conversation" because I don't have the time to wait until you're through getting over your newly evolved opposable thumbs and anal sphincter, which you so ably demonstrated the use of through your "review".

mukul sharma said...

@BC/ Grateful Humanity (compliments on an even more profound id btw):

ha ha!! ho ho !!! hee hee !!! !!!

ahmm..

i actually thought about giving a serious reply after your first comment but with the second 'infuriating' one within hours you've convinced me that you ain't got a life. Well, i got one, buddy.

So, go, fetch, while i do some other work but don't come back here.