Wednesday, April 23, 2014

#BookReview : How To Become A Billionaire By Selling Nothing by Aditya Magal

On the jacket:

An entrepreneur's dreams of success are stepped on when a billionaire he approaches for funding shoos him away with a meager 1 Lakh. Fuelled by his desire for revenge, the entrepreneur sets up a large scale manufacturing set up and manufactures the greatest product ever devised: nothing! His marketing skills help land investments by the hundreds, from the regretful billionaire to the deep-pockets of Indian politicians. However, his ride to success is cut short as another company claims that he has infringed on their ideas. In this spoof on success, Aditya Magal spares no one, and his writing captures the humour and absurdity of India. His book portrays humorous visions of everyone from Ishant Sharma to Rakhi Sawant to Rahul Gandhi to Kapil Sibal.


One day a week ago, I got a mail telling me about How To Become A Billionaire By Selling Nothing (#HTBABBSN) by Aditya Magal. Here, I got to know the author is the same guy who is behind the famous twitter handle @JhunJhunWala. I had never followed this handle, purely out of awe. It was some 72K+ followers, Wow! I was aware of the quality of tweets which were churned from this handle, but only after I got this mail did I realise that it is a parody account. Oh fun! 

#HTBAMBSN is about a man who made billions out of nothing. Well, that the title itself suggests. But who makes these billions? JhunJhunwala himself?

The book begins with JhunJhunWala introducing himself. And introduce himself, does he! If there is a superlative to exaggeration, this man is it! Yet, he is not obnoxious. JhunJhunWala is the awesomest, richest and the greatest person there ever was. He is the king of Dalal Street. Think of the most influential person ever, and he is a nobody when compared to JhunJhunWala. Everything about this man scream of style and money. He is full of himself and completely unapologetic about it. He is fat. Like faaaaaat, but firmly believes he is the sexiest ever. People worship him - literally.

One day JhunJhunWala is approached by a man Ramakant Shastri, to invest in his entrepreneurial venture to sell - nothing. That doesn't happen and Shastri is sent packing with some money for his mental treatment. Few weeks later, our man JhunJhunWala finds out that he has been conned and that Shastri has used that money to ensure JhunJhunWala buys stakes in his (Shastri's) firm. A firm which sells nothing. Share prices skyrocket as soon as it is known that JhunJhunWalahas shown interest in this company. JhunJhunWala wants revenge and here starts all the drama!

Enough about the story, what I want to stress on is how effortlessly hilarious this book is. Almost every line has kept me in splits. There is a dig at almost about every situation our country has (and is) stuck in and every personality one can think of. Magal has cleverly peppered the book with the ironies of our lives, but in such a way that you will be laughing wholeheartedly. 

Amidst all his larger than life, exaggerated image, we can still relate to JhunJhunWala in some ways. What takes the cake is the International JhunJhunWala Anthem song. I have laughed so much while reading a book, after ages. I would say you too should read this book - share an adventure with JhunJhunWala and have a good heart laugh which will stretch over 375 pages.

Rating: *****/5
[This review is for Random House India. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]

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