Thursday, January 17, 2013

Book Review: Jack is Back in Corporate Carnival

Jack is Back in Corporate Carnival is a book full of witty humor, which makes you laugh out loudly at times, as you glide down through the pages. You are given a parachute, so that you will not fall down hard while reading this sarcastic take of P.G. Bhaskar who is a chartered account, working as a banker in Dubai.
Recently I have discovered the new language with which the Indian English writers express themselves. Is it a new way of rebelliously telling the British, that you left your language behind and now we will handle it the way we like it? I am not sure how any foreigner will understand the sentence, ‘Arre, bakwas! Don’t be a cartoon yaar!’ or Abhe gadhe’, but being an Indian I feel connected to the characters and love it.

Unfortunately, I have missed the first novel of Jack Patel – ‘Jack Patel’s Dubai Dreams’. I have to find time and the book to go through it sometime later. No regrets for now, because the book which narrates how young corporate handle their challenges, with an insidious, tongue in cheek humor has given me enough to smile about for a while.

The book begins with witty digs at cricket and cricket loving Indians. I could help but feel a guilty shame when the author brings how Indian’s want the Pakistan to lose to Australia after India’s loss in the WC. I would go through those emotions too. In cricket, there is no subcontinents; joy is India winning or Pakistan losing. There is no shame in it for cricket fans either.

A former colleague offers Jack Patel and his best friend Kitch with a conservative British Bank in Dubai. Jack takes up the job as though he is embracing his dreams. Like every corporate structure, there are power struggles, hurdles, problems to be solved and quite a few nearly impossible tasks posing a challenge to this ambitious young man.

One of the witty highlight is the way Jack handles an interview about football, naming Pele as his favorite player, when the world cup 2010 is going on, that too to a diehard Spanish fan, who had enough power to make or mar his career. The quiz is one of the most hilarious events happening in the book, especially if you are a football fan.

As the football world cup turns this world of cricket lover topsy-turvy, he jumps from one hilarious situation to another tickling your ribs all the way. What amazed me about the novel is the way the writer has handled the topic of recession, unemployment and corporate problems, all quite serious issues of today’s business world in a way that makes you laugh at it. Starting with the 1st chapter of ‘Déjà vu Dubai’, the story snickers down to the 20th chapter ‘The End? Or the Beginning?’, the story is a witty delight that makes you cherish and savor all the 300 pages of fun, excitement and adventure of Jack Patel.
The novel is full of Indianisms, love for cricket, the silly poems, die hard friends, grand weddings, well wishing uncles and aunts, high emotions, tears and ghosts, all narrated in the humor with great Indian touch. I am really beginning to love the books written by the new generation of Indian authors, who have put aside the traditional style and developed their own style which is endearing. I am already hunting for the first book by P.G. Bhaskar and also looking forward to read another book, which I am sure he is already writing.

Those looking for something light to read and enjoy, I strongly recommend this book.

 Book Review: Jack is Back in Corporate Carnival
Author: P. G. Bhaskar
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers India
ISBN: 978-93-5029-351-5
Pages: 305
Price: - Rs 150


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