I know this is a new thing, but the other day someone asked me if I do Book Reviews on Style City and I said no they were like but books and Movies are equally part of Lifestyle as your Decor and Beauty. To which I had to agree, so the first book up for Review is by an Indian and happens within India sticking to my Indian Influence pledge this month. Ladies and Gentlemen I present to you Toke, by Jugal Mody. The book came out sometime end last month and is available at most book stores also available online.
What will happen if one day when you are stoned out of your head God comes to you and tells you that you have 72 hours or a little more to save the world from destruction. You assume you are dreaming or you are on some kind of a long Acid trip right? Well that is the basis of this book. It is written through the eyes of a regular Indian guy next door, software engineer no less, with over-bearing parents (he can’t have a crush on a girl without imagining his mothers horror if he gets them to meet) having a regular job with a supervisor who is always taking his case,a crush on a pretty girl in the office who is unaware of his existence, annoying colleague and no social life. He is definitely no hero with muscles or a brilliant scientist he is your regular guy who most of us would pass by on the streets or office and not really notice. But this is what made the book such a pleasant read. The Hero of the book is also the underdog.
It is obvious from the description of Vishnu (the God or creator as Hindu mythology believes) who comes to smoke up with Nikhil and his two friends while casually mentioning the end of the world that our main Protagonist has grown up in the 80’s in India. His description of what the characters look like and wear takes you back to the Mythological serials which were so popular, with their good looks, height and even the clothes they are wearing. But these Gods are not your usual miracle creating, fighting wars kind of Gods. They clearly look at the world as entertainment and don’t mind destroying it to create a new one. As Vishnu says casually over a joint, ‘If Shiva (Lord of destruction) gets a whiff of this he will take no time to end the world.’ With that information and one small Panic button he leaves the people to clear up the mess and save the world. The 3 guys are joined by Nikhils crush, two Japanese girls, an office colleague, a crow and an eagle on the mission to save the world.
This book is meant to be just entertainment, which in my opinion it succeeds in all accounts. It is a very easy read with simple language and a simple plot. You don’t need to go back pages just to recall which character came from where and the story is not confusing. It is a simple tale of a guy who is stuck in an adventure which is inspired from all the Fantasy books and TV shows he has seen in his life. It is not meant to be nor does it expect to be taken seriously. You enjoy it for what it is over two hours, have a good laugh and move on. So I would not go over the top at call it a masterpiece, I will definitely recommend it to all genres of people as a fun quick read, perfect for your next plane ride, train ride or bus ride. Do join the author for a book reading in Mumbai at Landmark, Infiniti Mall, andheri on 17th August and in Delhi at Turquoise Cottage on 30th August.