PLOT: 3/5

My musings

After a long time, I had the opportunity to pick up a humour book. And that meant that I was really looking forward to the break from my usual reading mix of thriller, contemporary and nonfiction.

Tulsiprasad Bandhopadhyay: The Next MLA! is a book that is unique in content and manages to tickle a funny bone or two in the reader.

Read on to know more about what I think of Sudeep Satheesan’s debut work.

What to expect?

Expect a book that is a political satire but one which plays on a much lighter note than a reader would usually expect.

It is not the kind of book that is loaded with hidden innuendos and subliminal messages but one that gets straight to the task at hand – which is entertainment.

In short, there is nothing to read between the lines and there is no hidden message. It is just plain indulgent entertainment.

It’s a book that combines the cosy comfortable (and sometimes even cliché) college humour and turns it into something that makes you laugh.

Who can read?

The book makes use of a language that is rich in vocabulary and full of heavy weight words. Hence, it might not be a good idea for beginner level readers to pick it up.

That being said, beginner level readers who are willing to challenge themselves to read better can definitely give it a go.

What is the story all about?

Tulsiprasad Bandhopadhyay or Bandhu as he is usually called by his near and dear ones is a guy who is good at nothing. His academic outlook looks lacklustre and he doesn’t even have a solid professional qualification.

Having tried their hands at all means possible, his hopeless parents decide to visit an astrologer for some guidance and future plans.

It is then that they realize that Bandhu is destined for ‘Raj Yog’. In common parlance, it means Bandhu is bound to rule. Since ruling essentially means politics in today’s India, Bandhu’s parents realize that Bandhu’s future lies in the political arena.

But as per Guruji’s insights, to get to his destiny, Bandhu will have to suffer and face obstacles on an unprecedented scale.

What follows is a journey which takes him all over India from Lucknow to Mumbai to Pune to Bengaluru. And this journey is not just hilariously unique but also quite an adventure for Bandhu and his motley group of friends.

Let’s talk about the writing style

Sudeep makes good use of wit in his narrations. The people, the places and the things that he writes about are quite relatable and realistic. He makes good use of tricky situations and fills ordinary incidents with humour.

I particularly enjoyed the author’s depiction of the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of Indian politics. How luck, chance and right networking is more of a kingmaker than a decent educational qualification and right intent.

The different aspects of the book manage to shine brilliantly but somehow when all of it is put together, there seems to be something missing. That is probably the reason the book fails to make it to a 4-star entertainer.

Nevertheless, it is a debut effort worth checking out and I would definitely look forward to the author’s next book.

What I love the most?

While reading the book, what I absolutely loved was the feeling that instead of reading a book, I was actually watching a movie witnessing Murphy’s law in action – whatever can go wrong, goes wrong in the most hilarious of ways.

Is the climax good enough?

The climax of the book is kind of mediocre. We do get a hint about it much before the book actually ends.

As per my understanding, it is the inherent flaw of the story itself that openly lays bare the conclusion of the story before it even begins.

It all boils down to the entertainment quotient

When it comes to entertainment, Tulsiprasad Bandhopadhyay: The Next MLA! has no dearth of it.

With an ideal combination of fun, wit, humour and adventure and with an incredibly amusing cast of characters – the book does have a good dose of entertainment to offer to anyone who decides to give it a pick.

My final verdict

Go for it.

Pick it up if

  • You are looking for a light-hearted political satire.
  • You are looking for an entertaining and humorous read.
  • You are interested in getting acquainted with grass root Indian political scene.

Skip it if

  • Humour is not really your thing.
  • Reading about politics doesn’t really excite you.

Can’t wait to read it? Buy Tulsiprasad Bandhopadhyay: The Next MLA! using the link below.