Few years ago, one man wrote a book on three IIT college students and their misadventures. Little did he know that his book would become an overnight rage, attain cult status in the coming years and initiate hundreds of mediocre so called writers to publish their own novel along with their banking / engineering / IT profession?
And so in the last few years, we have been tortured with numerous novels which describe college life, love stories during college life, stories about friends and how they encounter troubles. Most of the so called authors failed miserably in coming up with good novels. Infact many of them were downright horrible.
THANKFULLY, Manav Vigg presents to us a novel which breaks free of all the above said clichés.
“CONFUSED BASTARDS” is indeed a unique title. My wife saw the novel and remarked, “What sorts of books are you reading?” However after I finished reading the book, I felt the title was pretty apt.
Confused bastards starts from where most novels finish – post the graduation and post graduation. It tells us the story of three friends – Jai, Aakash and vivek.
While Aakash is the son of a senior IAS officer trying to make his own reputation without any help from his father, Vivek’s character is much layered. From being a topper in both IIT and IIM to a failed marriage to finally quitting his job, he had seen it all.
Jai’s character is the most developed one. It would be ideal to call him the protagonist. After all, he is the only one who has a female companion.
The plot takes off when all the three, frustrated from their own careers and lives, finally decide to start a joint venture – a social media platform where people can put up anything they want – be it joy, frustration, anger or just about anything. However, instead of writing it down, people can post videos here. It is one thing venting out your frustration in text and recording the same thing and putting it online.
Good idea? Well yes. And so they go further with their idea. From being a small startup, they soon taste success. However, they are soon about to taste something bitter too. What is that? That is all what CB is about.
WRITING & POSITIVES
Manav Vigg’s writing is fresh, to the point and devoid of unnecessary nonsense. There is the routine deluge of cuss words as is associated with any such novel, but even that is kept limited. I liked the way he has developed the 3 characters.
He delves into the personal lives of all 3, but only superficially. He spares us of boring melodrama and family flashbacks.
The writing is crisp, with witty banter and some very good sequences.
I particularly liked the scene where a drunk Jai first meets the female lead of the book. It is slapstick with a bit of toilet humour (Literally!) but humorous nonetheless.
Also, I loved all the videos the trio records during their initial startup days – be it the family under the bridge or the office video with the 2 guys discussing an absolutely outrageous but funny topic.
But the best thing about the book is how the author changes genres post the twist in the tale. It could have ended up as another confused plot, but then we are introduced to the 4th character SATTU who un jumbles all the confusions within their minds. The entire idea of taking a philosophical approach is what makes this novel different from the other novels these days.
Considering that the book is not too lengthy, I would have liked a better developed romantic track between Jai and the female lead. I however loved the surprise twist on the last page.
Secondly, I would have liked if the author would have dedicated one chapter each to the 3 characters where they would in a nutshell describe their entire story in “First person”. I agree they do narrate their own stories during the Q&A with Sattu, but a portion in first person makes a lot of difference.
Also, the entire rape sequence starts off well; but fizzles a bit towards the end. The politician’s character is half baked.
OVERALL, “CONFUSED BASTARDS” is a pretty well written novel which symbolizes the inner mental confusion of the youth of today. It is Manav Vigg’s version of an imtiaz Ali movie – confused characters being the common entity. However, this novel is much better than most of the stuff that is being churned out these days. Also, this is a book which HAS the potential to attain cult status provided it is marketed well and provided luck favors the book.
P.S : I received this book from writersmelon in for an unbiased and fair review.