Laugh Till You Die
The title of Krishna Shastri Devulapalli’s new book, How to be a Literary Sensation: A Quick Guide to Exploiting Friends, Family and Facebook for Financial Artistic Gain, is a tad misleading since it is hardly the opiate so desperately sought by the countless wannabe authors out there, seeking a surcease from their writing-related woes and finding a way to overtake the likes of Chetan Bhagat and Amish Tripathi, leaving them to choke on the dust. However, it is just the thing for those who are pleasantly contemplating murdering their shrinks for having prescribed laughter therapy over stronger drugs. India’s self-proclaimed number 1 non-bestselling humour writer does not so much tickle the funny bone as have kinky sex with it and ought to come with a warning since he is likely to leave you paralysed with gaiety.
Unlike the macho types who proudly display buns of steel to camouflage the lily-livered coward in them who says and does nothing that is not blandly inoffensive and lawyer-vetted, KSD displays king-sized cojones by being as politically incorrect as it is humanly possible to be. He takes on the sacred cows of art, literature, home and hearth in addition to priceless nuggets drawn from everyday life for that strange breed known to civilised society as ‘writers’ to milk it for all the ribaldry and irreverence that can be squeezed out.
The result is a feast guaranteed to induce fits of mirth, an endless stream of chuckles and chortles not to mention giggles by the gallon that will be so infectious that even as the hapless reader is being carted off to a psychiatric facility, the bulky warders are likely to laugh themselves silly as they usher the said individual into a padded cell and fasten the restraints. It is that hilarious!
Mrs Sarvamangalam, the lady who KSD reveals taught him English, may sniff a little at the haphazard way in which his articles have been squeezed together to have some semblance of a ‘How To’ book that ladles out advice on clearing obstacles to a flourishing literary career with ease and choke on his talk of “rural testicles unfettered by underwear flapping in the wind”, bouncing bosoms, male hardness, personal orifices and the like. If she were the nit-picking sort, she would have groused over his excessive reference to FabIndia kurtas, veg bondas, and his gun-toting mother-in-law, but she’d have still given him points for ingenuity and the lengths he goes to, in order to induce bouts of unwholesome hilarity.
Making people laugh is a hard job to say the least and KSD does a fantastic job for which alone he deserves laurels enough to bury him under. His book is not without its flaws but the gales of laughter it relentlessly provokes makes it a must read. Though the reader may not be able to remember the precise something or nothing that was so gosh darn funny, it will surprisingly be possible to take away from between the pages, a portrait of the desperate artiste willing to sell body, soul and mother if it means being drawn into the bosom of the Goddess of Success in order to suckle contentedly on her teats of fame and fortune, till engorged with excess.