Thursday, April 5, 2018

Book Review "Gurgaon Diaries Life, Work and Play in Drona’s Village" by Debeshi Gooptu

A "Malgudi days" like cover, an abstract description of Gurugram/Gurgaon in its colophon, a need to read a different genre book (I had been reading modified Indian mythological fiction for way too long) and a friends recommendation for the same was all that was needed read “Gurgaon Diaries”. 


Book Blurb
Modern-day Gurgaon was Guru Dronacharya’s village, a gift from the Pandavas and Kauravas for training them in military arts. While the legends of the mythical village are woven around the warrior mystic, the Millennium City, as it stands today, owes its rapid growth to globalization, outsourcing and the BPO boom.
From swanky malls and skyscrapers to pot-hole-ridden roads where gleaming Mercs vie for space with rickety rickshaws; from voluptuous North Indian aunties and brawny local men to rotund Bengali mashimas; from designer stores and Starbucks coffee to roadside vans peddling chole bhature; Drona’s village is riddled with contradictions, both hilarious and poignant, irreverent and bittersweet. Gurgaon Diaries is a humorous peek at the workings of this modern-day village and how the Millennium City is a paradox in itself
“Gurugram diaries” is a diary of a wimpy aunty who (like most of us) has a problem with everything and resorts to humor and hypocrisy to engage us with her 19 years of (probably true) life experiences to keep us entertained. 

Take any Indian city that suddenly goes on a development spree (in this case Gurgaon) bringing its own set of problems due to the sudden urbanization. To that add a gym-hating, Gaurakshak fearing, foodie aunty with a not-so-good Hindi who is being driven to the walls by her obnoxious neighbours and a society that wants to give a convenient desi flavour to western culture (a one devoid of its politeness and responsibility I might add) and wants her to be a part of it in spite of her tremendous dislike in some cases. The familiar confusion and frustration of adjusting with all of this and an occasional delight of finding the known amongst the unknown are all explored with the excellent use of witty jibes throughout the book.

The book is written in first person narrative. The chapters are short, sweet and non-related. The book is mostly written in a light vein but there are some dark parts which feel forced, misplaced and disconnected. There were a lot of favorite relatable moments especially from “Horrors of Halloween” and “Mind Your Language” to name a few.

Debeshi Gooptu truly proves to be a master of dark humor, using simple language to engross us with the familiar experiences and outbursts that we encounter every now and then. 

For Debeshi Gooptu’s engrossing, simple,  but well written humorous banter, my overall rating would be 4/5.

Overall Verdict:- Simple, funny, overdramatized sprinkled with a good sense of humor

Book can be found at Amazon
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

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