Book Review : Toke by Jugal Mody

We have been taught in our childhood that Brahma creates, Vishnu preserves and Shiva destroys. Any child would interpret the above statement as an act of perfect coordination between the three Supreme Gods without whom the very existence of life is meaningless. The statement gives an impression of three supporting each other and making lives easier. But Jugal Mody, the author of Toke takes a different stand. The world of the three is as competitive as the world of humans. If Vishnu was to do his task with perfectness, how would Shiva get the chance to destroy? And if Shiva doesn’t destroy, where can Brahma land new beings in the space constrained world?

An evil mind is all set to turn the world into a land of the undead - zombies who are programmed to perfectness. Lord Vishnu chooses a few mortals, calls them the Boys of Vishnu (BoV) and puts the future of the world in their hands. How the world is to be saved is the concern of the BoV and not of the God who at one point of time ignoring the pleas of the current BoV’s  for help goes for parting with the previous BoV’s who have saved the world at various times in the past, lest they too turn undead.

Another things that needs a mention is the way the narrator and the others get high all the time for not so strong reasons - getting ideas or hoping for the arrival of Lord Vishnu whom the narrator meets most often when he is stoned. Added to this chaos is Suparna, a colleague of Nikhil ( the narrator ) with whom he falls in love. She too becomes a prey to the evil maggots and is in the process of turning undead. But they have a solution to prevent here from turning into another programmed zombie - keep her high on pot!

There are two big things that the previous generation of cartoon fans would love in this book. The first is the presence of a highly pixelated Vishnu on the cover page, sporting sunglasses and standing in a posture that would make you smile. Infact, this is the form in which he gives ‘darshan’ to the protagonist and his team. The second thing is Tarzan, who in the same eight bit colours comes swinging from trees and vines to rescue the team at the press of a button.

The story is interesting enough and would make a good read from a lazy afternoon. The fast paced narration drives away your sleep and the adventures surprise you. The humour tickles your funny bone as often as it can. But there is one not so good thing that can make you step backward and think once before picking the book - The language is too strong and is not meant for the weak hearted. If you are not one of them, go ahead, pick the book and get stoned in words! 

This book has been provided by IndiBlogger and Harper Collins under the Book Reviews program.

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