HILARIOUS, side-splitting, witty, tongue-in-cheek … in short thoroughly enjoyable. Just like the author himself. Whoever said comedy is difficult to achieve than tear-jerkers and that it is more difficult to make people laugh, couldn’t have been more correct.
But Cyrus seems to do it quite effortlessly.
The story is actually about Karl, intertwined with Kunal, his buddy. But as it turns out, that although its Karl’s story, the “damn problem is that Kunal’s a big part of it.”
“In many ways, Karl and Kunal were like most boys their age. They shared a passion for the the things schoolboys seem to love most: bunking class, films and food,” the book introduces them. And they are clumsy and silly, to top. At birth, “Karl was not much to look at … His father, Jehaan’s first thought was that he had better return it to the aquarium”. At eighteen months Karl acquired a certain maturity. He now cried almost continuously.” Hugging him only made it worse. “He’d fall back on the floor, kick his legs in the air and sob inconsolably.”
Kunal, on the other hand, looked like an orange. “His round head slipped right into his round torso, which conveniently overshadowed the spindly legs at the bottom”
Initially, Karl was unhappy to have an orange sitting beside him in class. But after some initial hiccups, and some incidents later their relationship gets going.
Stumbling through college, the break for them comes when they get an opportunity to go to America to study theatre.
Life is improving, even if by chance. Fame comes, though by chance through Jani – ‘noted actor, producer, writer, choreographer, director, man in a million, one amongst only one …”
Move back to Mumbai. More incidental fame, more money, and Bollywood. They even get their own spot boys. Shots for Munshi Brothers in Paris bring the duo to Paris.
Back in India again, a meeting with ad-man Prahlad Kakkar who declares, “With such poor acting skills and even poorer screen presence, both you guys are destined for years of success in the film world.”
The twist in the tale comes with a moment of self-actualisation. Karl develops piles. Simultaneously he is appalled at the shallowness of some of the things he has pursued so single-mindedly. “He knew he had to do something different, something meaningful.”
Politics! “What the country needed was a man who was well-read, astute, instinctive, methodical, and who could embrace both the past and the future.”
What was tiresome was that “the dignitaries were never on time, and second, the dignitaries were never ever female.”
The launch of the Pyjama Party gives them the opportunity to meet Bill Clinton and Bill Gates. Dad Jehaan is more interested in what politics gets – car with sirens, and rail and air pass.
But the two are still bored.
A piece of advice: Try not to read in a public place unless you want to get odd looks.