What would you say about a book based on financial crisis, banking, power struggles, market ups and downs and all the number talk?
Boring I say.
But only until I held this book from its spine and didn’t open it. The word boring started hazing as soon as I read the dedication (yes, I like reading dedication as well and in this book, it sets the tone). The cover page is interesting with a parachute straddled man trying to land on the Dubai highrise and it sums up the entire set-up of the book.
‘Jack is Back in the Corporate Carnival’ is the author P.G. Bhaskar’s second book after ‘Jack Patel’s Dubai Dreams’ and I had heard many good things about the first one. So picking this one up was on instinct. And I am glad I did. Though this book cannot be called a sequel but the main protagonist Jack and some characters from the last book remain the same just like Munnabhai series where you have Munnabhai and Circuit thrown in a different setup. Here you have Jack and Kitch(a go by the book TamBram) and some more interesting characters like Galiya, Mina, Olga (Kitch and Galiya’s daughter), Peggy (their boss), Rachel, Andy and a host of Gujarati, Punjabi and foreign investors that form the fodder for numerous hilarious situations.
Jack and his best friend Kitch are offered a job at a British Bank in Dubai and they grab it with no qualms. But what seems to be the beginning of a charmed and stable life turns out to be a place meant for power struggles and some financial madness. And there unfolds one hilarious situation after the other. His visits to his clients, travels to Africa, Chennai, family dramas, inherent Indian traits and some specific Indian fixations like Cricket, curries and vegetarianism are all very well brought out. The witty one liners and P.G. Bhaskar’s sense of humor is evident in almost every scene. Given the backdrop, this book could have been a really heavy read but on the contrary, it is light, fun and entertaining. It also points to the fact that how you look at the situation is all up there, in your mind, and that’s particularly what I liked about this book.
It certainly has some dull moments but they are compensated well by the generous sprinkling of humor all around. The satire is also well placed at many situations and at no point looks dragged. The only grouse is the inclusion of hindi dialogues in an English book but then would the impact of ‘Oof, Bau mota kaam che Jai bhai’ or ‘Shukar hai Rabba’ or ‘Babaji ka ghanta’ be as fantastic in English, I doubt. So I think, this is not a grouse after all.
This may not be the funniest book of the year as the sticker on the cover page says but it definitely offers a hearty laugh and more connected to the modern times. The author’s writing style is something to look forward to. If you like funny in daily life, you will like this one.