What: The launch of The Accidental Godman by Kishore Bhimani.
Where: Club Verde Vista, Upohar.
When: May 13, Sunday.
The mood: The launch was quite the family affair — introduced by the author’s son and cricket commentator Gautam, moderated by the author’s wife and PR consultant Rita and readings by his brother Harish Bhimani (the voice of ‘Main samay hoon’ in Mahabharata) and “old friend who’s not too old” Moon Moon Sen. The event was hosted by long-time friends Harsh and Madhu Neotia.
Add to that a spread that packed in Peas Kachori, Marble Potatoes and Mutton Stew, as well as pies, juices and fresh fruits, and you had the perfect Sunday brunch party. It was chilled out for everyone, except the Bhimanis, of course, with Rita being dragged off by a harried Gautam with the warning: “Mom, for the next five minutes you will do NO socialising!”
The book: Shashi Tharoor has described the 301-pager as “richly imagined, wickedly written and libidinously inventive” and a “diverting romp through unfamiliar territory”. The Accidental Godman (Amaryllis, Rs 325) is set in 2027 India, where politics has changed to a two-party system and the country is facing “terminal pollution” and a population explosion.
The story follows Ranvijay from Saharshpur in Himachal Pradesh, who is brought up by an English tutor and a nutty godman. His interest in Camus’s The Outsider fuels his existential angst and his interests in the Atharva Veda and tantric ideas land him in Chattarpur and then in the Village of Love, run by the beautiful Nisha, the colourful Rajat Chowdhury and the “wicked” painter GG Aryaman.
Sex, politics and action take the tale forward.
Writer’s word: “Like Vidya Balan said about films and entertainment, books should have stimulation. Sometimes, it can be the situation, sometimes the story or sometimes just a phrase. I think this book has that. You can go to any two pages in the book and be stimulated,” said Kishore Bhimani.