Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Check Book Review of Mango People in Banana Republic

The thing that took my attention was the uniqueness of the title “Mango People in Banana Republic”. I was really attracted to the book. I did all possible research for the book, I checked reviews on Goodreads & Amazon. Mixed reviews Especially one talking about satirical black comedy style writing made me go for this book.

Book Blurb
Ravi Bhalerao is a top of the rung business strategy consultant struggling with two disquiets in life – a festering career disillusionment and a festering wound in his posterior. Stung by an unfair performance appraisal, he pulls off an outrageous stunt at his workplace, drops off the urban map and reaches his ancestral land, a village in drought-prone Vidarbha. There he encounters India in its elemental form. 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. He realizes that the path to realization is beset on all sides by gurus, their cults and their boundless quirks. 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.
Wrapped in light-hearted, almost tongue-in-cheek prose, 'Mango People In Banana Republic' is a tale of an Indian’s search for personal identity, against the backdrop of a country divided along fault lines of countless social identities. Teeming with a cast of characters and ideas that encapsulate modern India, the tale ascends from the gross to the sublime, much like the Kundalini powers some aspire to acquire. With a steady pace, and gentle mocking humour, this book is an absorbing read and a laugh.
I have received this book 10 days back, and I would like to thank author and WritersMelon for arranging this review copy for us.  I would like to share my experiences of first few pages of the book. The book has seven chapters, each chapter names with one of the seven chakras of the human body.  The index page gave me feeling that I am going to read” some mental/spiritual / enlightenment based fictional book Contrary to the index, the satirical first chapter reminded me of “Coinman” book. That time I thought the book is going be corporate satire or black comedy. But the feeling was changed as I progressed towards other chapters.

Coming to the story, protagonists of our story are Anand and Ravi. Anand was a physicist by profession but lack of mental peace was bothering him. He tried looking for the solution in various babas and ashrams. He went to various places but was not able to find solace. In the end, he took the help of self-meditation and went to the bank of the river for some lone time to meditate. On another hand, Ravi was a living life of a corporate employee. His life was full of issues that any ordinary corporate guy would face. But he did something that normal people didn’t at his workplace, this landed him in jail. After jail, he went to his village in Vidarbha where drought is a normal issue. There he met with the burning issues of our country India face to face. Somewhere in his mind he was feeling that he was destined for a bigger role and to know his identity he set on a journey. He also ended up on the same river bank where Anand had taken refugee.

So overall it is a different story. It will take you to some of the grass root issues of Rural India. It will show you differences in ideologies and lifestyle. A recommended read for serious readers. Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4/5
  2. Character - 3.5/5
  3. Content - 3/5
  4. Overall - 3.5/5
Book can be found at Amazon and Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

We would like to thank WritersMelon for providing us the review copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
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