Sunday, 27 April 2014

Brajesh's Review : Unreal Elections

The "Unreal Elections" by C S Krishna & Karthik Laxman is a funny, satirical take on the great Indian elections.

This book is divided into 5 sections of a cricket match. Each section begins with a Shastri quote inspired from his legendary commentary. These contains Shastri gems like “cracker of a match” , “odd ball is keeping low” “somethings gotta give” “down to the wire” and “cricket is the winner”.

Section one titled “Match Preview”, starts in August 2012 and introduces us to key characters like Gujarat Lion and Crown Prince. This is followed by “Opening Overs” starting from April 2013 and each chapter covers one month of political drama.

The language is simple, and the satire quite funny for most parts. My favorite section of the book was the fictional Facebook pages. I wish there was one at the end of every chapter, these were very well designed and almost every time had me in splits.

However by the time we reach “The Middle Overs” of October 2013, the book starts to drag. After all, how many times can you laugh at Sanjay Jha’s stupidity and find repeated gags on Mani Shankar Iyer and Diggi Raja funny. Also the novelty of plot and treatment of story which kept me gripped until here, starts to get repetitive.

Since the basic events are all known to the reader, only the author’s unique take keeps you reading. But by the time we reach the fourth section titled “Slog Overs” in February 2014, you really want to skip it all and see how the book will treat the climax.

From March 2014 the climax begins to unfold in a dramatic setting at Feroz Shah Kotla. Now the fantasy really takes wings and interest is rekindled a little.

However the closure of the book gets preachy and starry eyed idealistic. This completely goes against the funny grain one has got so used to by now. The 2 bloggers who put this narrative together needed a better ending than what is put in the “Post Match Presentation:”.

I can fully understand the difficulty of trying to tie-up such a fantasy laden ride, but I feel a set of their signature Facebook pages could have done more justice than the lengthy explanation which tries to rationalize every stupidity of Congress driven by some great futuristic vision or tries to balance Modi as a Jinnah lover.

Rating : 2.5 / 5

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