This book is no competition to “The Inscrutable Americans” that was the first book of author Anurag Mathur. That one was real good humor and satire and I have already written about it earlier. “Making the Minister Smile” is his attempt to write about political corruption in India and he had some success in doing it. Since the idea of political corruption is hot in the media currently, I thought of writing about this book though there is very little in the book that inspires.
The story is about industrialist family who are facing labor trouble in their factory. The union leaders are asking for unreasonable demands. The family seeks intervention from Minister but do not get favorable hearing. Their problems increase as they look for alternate solution including connection to first family of politics. Eventually, they are able to offer some solution that makes the minister smile and their problems are solved.
The whole story is about what all a person has to do to make a minister smile. There are layers of connections, subtle hints which flow from the political system which needs to be understood by people if they wish to survive in business. Author has also taken liberty with portrayal of social fabric in India where wives are getting more bold about their needs and life of poor people has little meaning and is considered expendable. I felt that the author could not do justice to the whole subject and somehow the presentation of satire, humor got mixed up with a serious topic.
Filed under Fiction, Humor
This is one of the funniest books I have ever read by an Indian author. When Anurag Mathur had written this book, India was still not connected with rest of the world through TV and Internet. For the hero of the book who is a simple and “virgin” guy from India, America and Americans were really Inscrutable. The book is a story of this simple guy who goes to America to study and along with studies his another main motive is to lose his virginity.
His friends in America try to introduce him to Dating and try to get him into mainstream of their culture but he finds the whole thing very baffling for himself. The kind of letters that he writes back to his parents are truly amazing and I was really laughing very hard while reading them. He remains virgin throughout his stay in America but his trials during the stay will bring tears to your eyes with laughter.
Besides fun, the book also points to the huge cultural difference that existed at that time between people of two countries. The author has of-course stereo-typed both American and Indian people but still you feel that it must have been close to reality.
The world has changed between then and now. Today an Indian travelling to US will probably not feel that alien and will know more about US as compared to Americans. This is really feel good reading that will keep you smiling for a long time. You are more likely to start grinning suddenly thinking about some incident in the book for many days after you read this book. At least that is what happened with me.