Wednesday, February 4, 2015

#BookReview: Democrazy by Atulya Mahajan


On the jacket:

The mysterious Badi Sarkar wants her son to become the Prime Minister of India. Her reticent son Chhote Sarkar wants to eat ice-cream. Great Leader wants his Orchid party to win the elections. He also wants a wand that works. The horny Baba Neemacharya wants to do the neem-yoga with Girl 45. Impulsive billionaire industrialist Giani Seth wants to beat Chaddha in Candy Crush. Honest Ambika Madam wants to retire in peace. Volatile BB wants to send all corrupt politicians to jail. Babli wants to lose weight.  

But what is the PM doing in a cave in the Himalayas?!  

Democrazy is a satirical look at the madness and brouhaha in present-day India, where nothing is what it seems to be, power is all-important, and everything people do is to win the race to power.  

PS: No politicians were hurt in the writing of this book.


At a time when freedom of expression has become a joke, a satire based on Indian politics is in my opinion, just what this country needed. We need to laugh, to undo the tension and the learn to be more tolerant, yes we do.

Leaving that aside, Democrazy is a political spoof, as the cover and the blurb suggest. One thing about spoofs is that they always bother me because the characters are literally picked from real life and only their names are changed. What Mahajan has done is, kept a bit from the mould and given his characters their own characteristics as well. You are quite sure who he is talking about, but then, you might be wrong too! 

Anyone who is active on social media is either a fanatic 'supporting' his favourite political party or like me, is close to losing sanity with the tamasha happening on our political radars currently. While reality is funny, obnoxious and disgusting ... Mahajan's version is downright funny. He does have a way with being funny while sounding absolutely serious.

I was quite liking the book, laughing to myself while turning the pages when a few pages down, I reached the chapter which talks about a school that is set to be one of the polling booths in the city. Wonderful, I thought. Just that morning I'd gone to cast my vote and wondered what goes behind setting up a election booth, the administration behind it. And here was a chapter albeit satirical, on the same!

Beginning with a prime time television show B for Buddhi where the panelists were representatives of the nation's major political parties, gathered in hope to have a debate about which of them will rule the country next. What unfolds is a hilarious sequence of events, chapter after chapter. 

This being Mahajan's second book, what I felt with every page I turned, was how as an author he has grown. While his first was a first and a pretty decent attempt at that, with Democrazy, Mahajan has pushed the bar higher for himself. 

Rating: *****/5

[This is an author request review, however, the views are strictly personal.]

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