Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Chilli, Chicks & Heart Attacks - Blogadda Book Review

‘Chilli, Chicks & Heart Attacks’. An absurd title and would make not much sense initially whatsoever. Though the Chilli bit still doesn’t make sense, but well, a book can’t be a 100% awesome, right? The highlight of this book was it being filled with slapstick humour, puns and startling insight – well those were the claims made by the author. My sole purpose was to find out if that was true! And indeed it almost was.

Starting with the cover page, I think the author Sanjaya Senanayake approved quite a literal version of the title. You see chilli, a half chick (I’m still amazed – why would you select such a picture to depict a ‘chick’?) and a stethoscope against an ochre yellow background. Too typical, too clich├ęd, too boring and who uses ochre yellow with such images? More so, because the book inside is so much better but I think the value of it only gets overthrown by such an opposing cover page. Also, there’s a discrepancy between the lingering title on the cover page and the inside page. The cover page says ‘The misadventures of an intern by Dr. Manjula Mendis’ and the inside page says ‘The misadventures of an intern, Dr. Manjula Mendis’ – the latter quite logically makes sense.

Moving on, the plot for the novel revolves around the protagonist Dr. Manjula Mendis (I was confused earlier if it was a ‘he’ or a ‘she’ because Manjula also is a name for girls!) and his trials and tribulations in his first year of internship. He’s got 6 other interns and a ‘heroine’ to complement him in this story. And this novel is actually in a diary format – the personal diary of a long-gone famous doctor woven into a story form with anecdotes and mysteries and lots of medical jargons! While there are interesting twists and turns and the way it’s written proves to be a breath of fresh air amidst every tom, dick and harry story published every day. Though there are a lot of medical terms that I couldn’t relate to because I’m unaware of all those, I still enjoyed reading the book for its pure writing style and a series of literally ‘misadventures’ and the romantic aspirations and the ‘horny’ angle and the various innumerous subtle emotions woven in conjunction with various people throughout the book. The language is semi-simple and quite apt for people who are not kids :p.

However, there are just a few things I think hampered the otherwise almost-brilliant novel. Since there was no mention about this being an almost 100 year old story set in the year 2009, when I first read the ‘message from the ‘editors’’ dated 11th March, 2101 – I thought it was a typo. As I began reading the book, I wasn’t sure what to make of it and then there were nuggets of info in brackets and italics signed by the Editors – which eventually did lend a hand in making the reader feel as if it were an authentic account of Dr. Mendis’ life – but it took quite a while to deduce that. Secondly, if it’s a diary format i.e. instead of a new chapter, there is a new date and it claims to be a personal diary – there wouldn’t be ‘dialogues’ and such detailed descriptions all throughout – that’s not how one writes a diary – so I thought that the diary format – while being a nice concept did get a bit lost (so says the girl who loves ‘Diary of Anne Frank’ :”>). Another thing is that the entire novel appears to be based in an alternate reality or an alternate Utopia – because quite honestly, some of the things in the book are quite absurd like a doctor being directly or indirectly responsible for two deaths and not have a remorse – more so when the doctor is the ‘hero’. Aren’t heroes supposed to be emotional with a moral police in them lol? Also, it’s absurd to see so many happy endings slapping themselves in the book one after the other – it’s just not practical. And at the end, when the author is describing a ring – he says the centerpiece is a solitaire 3.5 cm wide?! Seriously?! How would you even keep it on your finger! Your finger would just weight down or might even come off (okay, a bit exaggeration there; but so says the girl who’s familiar with diamonds). Seriously, limits for ‘happy endings’ lol.

Keeping these flaws aside, I think this book really deserves to be read by those who enjoy humour and a carefree life and adore reading a quick, witty and sarcastically humorous book. This is one of those few books that have actually managed to become one of my favourite books (and that means a lot lol!!!). Happy Reading!

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