Sunday, May 3, 2009

Inscrutable Me ....

WARNING: The following post is very long and it WILL test your patience. At the end of which you may not consider it a virtue.

INSCRUTABLE AMERICANS – by anurag mathur( spoiler!)

Anurag mathur’s Inscrutable Americans is the book to read if you want to laugh away your free time. The book, of just around two hundred and fifty pages, is a whole new form of original humour within a cliché-humour with the apt grammer and hilariously literal interpretation of American slangs by the novel’s main protagonist, Gopal.

The book begins with Gopal, a regular 20 year old country bumpkin, writing a letter to his brother back in his small hometown of Jajau about the many wonders of American lifestyle. His insatiable appetite for the “American” Coca-Colas, to the pride over his ‘national hair oil’ factory and his complete bafflement when a total stranger warns him –“watch your ass”(“ Now brother ,this is wonderful. How is he knowing we are purchasing donkey?”)- everything fits in to give the character a refreshingly naïve amusing charm. Of course, what makes it more convincing is that all the letters that Gopal writes to his brother are in present continuous tense.

‘Inscrutable Americans’ is infact nothing but Gopal’s first impression of America written in a series of witty remarks and other times, just plain moronic observations you cant help but laugh at! Gopal being used to dark hair all his life asking- “Are red haired women….red all over?” and afterwards pointing at billboards that advertised undergarments- “Look! Whole family is naked!”.
The soul of the story lies in the friendship between the all American dude, Randy and Indian hair oil prince, Gopal. Some of the funniest as well as heart-warming scenes occur in the presence of these two characters. ‘Operation de-virginisation’ and gopal’s fascination with almost everything American sounds so curiously real, one wonders if it’s loosely based on the author’s own experience.

However, the story is not just about the crazy antics of rustic Gopal. As the story proceeds further, it unravels gopal’s natural shrewdness and keen intellect. It gives an insight into the life of a foreign student living in America. There are several embarrassing instances of racism, Gopal’s undying patriotism for his motherland and he in turn discovering that in America, they do not speak English, but an alien language called American.

Anurag mathur ends the story with a subtle and unexpected twist in the tail that has its own unique style. Not to be ignored, the book is a definite must read- a blessing for those looking forward to a light read and escape from the usual soporific course books.

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