Vishak Shakti

Book review-MANGO PEOPLE IN BANANA REPUBLIC BY VISHAK SHAKTI

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I usually do not judge books by their covers but the title and the cover of this one had me very intrigued. The title of the book, which happens to be a very controversial statement made by Robert Vadra in 2012, has been very cleverly used by the author. After reading the book I must say the title is indeed apt for this mockingly humorous tale.

STUFF ON THE BACKCOVER SAYS

Ravi Bhalerao is a top of the rung business strategy consultant who gets stung by an unfair performance appraisal and pulls off an outrageous stunt at his workplace. he then drops off the urban map and reaches his ancestral land, a village in drought-prone Vidarbha. Convinced that his destiny is somehow entwined with that of his country, he sets off on a truth-seeking mission. On that mission, he finds love, revolution and most importantly, a redemption for the disquiet in his rear. Anand is a former physicist on a spiritual quest through esoteric India. As he hops from one ashram to the other, he grows convinced that liberation does not come with a user manual in a neat little box.

PLOT IN SHORT

The book begins by showing the life of an average corporate slave in the Bangalore and the growing discontent in our protagonist Ravi’s heart. This leads Ravi to finally quit his job, give up all his assets, burn all his money and go to his native place to find the true meaning of life, devoid of all materialistic things. Then we meet Anand an US returned desi guy trying to find peace and enlightenment through babas and their ashrams. How Destiny conspires for them to cross paths while both of them work through a maze of  social issues and spirituality forms the premise of this story.

THE GOOD

  • diving the book according to the 7 chakras made it interesting
  • the language used is very good
  • nicely paced book
  • well-developed characters

THE BAD

  • The first few pages have too much corporate jargon
  • I did not like how Ravi just left Appas family after a tragedy for a girl, without properly helping them in any way. They are simply forgotten. No direct help of any kind is given to them.

MY THOUGHTS

I really liked the author’s style of writing. He has kept his characters in the gray area. The police are shown to have mercy, the naxalities are shown to refuse to kill civilians, the supreme court gives a just ruling . India even with its flaws, is not shown in absolute  bad light. Yes we have problems plaguing us, but we also have immense knowledge of the spiritual kind to heal us. This book does not leave you feeling depressed by showing what a banana republic we are, nor does it let you feel happy for the ‘aam’ people. It however does make you think about modern India and our role in it. Give this one a try, you wont be disappointed.

MY RATING

4/5

 

 

 

 

 

 

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