My Friend Sancho
By Amit Varma
Pages: 228; Rs. 195
mit Varma, the blog brain behind Indiauncut.com, winner of the Bastiat Prize for Journalism 2007, adds yet another feather to his cap with this wry, funny, crisply written, acutely observed novel that is at one level tongue-firmly-in-cheek love story and at another a troubling insider account of the always grey, never black-and-white nature of journalism or what passes for journalism today.
In the process he conjures up a delightful cast of characters like Ramona, the mwah mwah constrictor; his corporate, part-bohemian, part-Bong mother; his ever sardonic, never happy boss Dilip D’ Souza; Mohini, the bra-less wonder; fellow newshack Thombre; the obese, ever-so-elastic-with-his-morals, punchdrunk with power cop; and last but not the least, the Lizard: companion/conscience/ soulmate/almost lover of the lonely bachelor with a predilection for daydreaming. Read the book for those daydreams alone. Laugh riot guaranteed!
Particularly love the open-ended note at which he leaves the budding romance between protagonist Abeer and the ever-so-ordinary but oh-so-delicious Mineeza aka Sancho. Veritable cliff-hanger that leaves the reader waiting, hoping for more...and inconclusive. Like life itself.
Never pat. Never formulaic. Always engaging. Promising debut and look forward for more from this writer with those rare attributes: wit and a voice!