42

Hunger

I am hungry. The lack of football is starving me. For a passionate fan of club football, off-season might be the most torturous period there can be, with the international breaks providing stiff competition. No blogs to read, no players to swoon over, no players to shout at *cough* Downing *cough* and no more late-night matches and subsequent drowsiness all through next day. Sitting on the edge of the seat and praying that all our players make it through the break without injuries is no fun.

Granted it was not total lack of football. There were the Euros, making it much better than last year’s off-season, but somehow I did not enjoy it as much as everyone else seems to have done. Ze Germans, of whom I have been a fan since that 2006 opening goal by Lahm, were not as exciting as the last World Cup. In 2010, ze Germans were a fast counter-attacking team and tore many teams to shreds as England and Argentina will testify. Ozil and Muller with all there umlauts were so much fun to watch and the speed at which they converted defence to attack was breathtaking. This time though, their movement was more languid, more focus was on possession than before and except for the second half against Greece, never left second gear. Still it was a surprise when they went out to unfancied Italy pouring water on the German-Spain final that many football fans were hoping for.  Spain seemingly as disappointed at not getting Germany as everyone else, then brutalised Italy in the final.

After a long long trophy-less stretch, Spain have won their second consecutive Euro Cup and made history by winning three consecutive tournaments. Vicente Del Bosque, the Droopyesque coach of the team became the only manager in the history of football to have won all three major tournaments, the Champions League, the World Cup and the Euro Cup. The talent for Spain, with brilliant players like Javi Martinez, Mata, Muniain, Llorente and many others still waiting on the wings is absolutely worth salivating over. Only Germany have comparable wealth in hand, but in spite of reaching the late stages of many tournaments they have choked. With experience in the squad that might improve though. Spain are now the champions at all levels and unless something drastic happens, it is highly probable that they will rule over football for the near-foreseeable future.

All that I am still not a big fan of Spain. The purists might enjoy the controlled build-up starting from the goalkeeper, the endless inter-passing, the waiting for the gaps to occur and the sudden rapier-like thrust at the most opportune moment, nowadays referred to by the fashionable name of tiki-taka, but I find no sight more enjoyable than the sudden turn-over of possession in our own half, the excellent controlled long ball to the striker or winger who is waiting as an outlet, the streaking into the opposition’s half at a manic speed and before the other team is aware GOAALL! An audacious chip from the half line and it is even better. The new manager of Liverpool, Brendan Rodgers is a fan of tiki-taka and I might well have to bring myself around to enjoy the poor man’s tiki-taka that Liverpool will dish out. Hopefully we will get into the Champions League next season.

It is not all silence at the club level though. Only one activity seems to be going on but its roar is deafening. Yes, I am talking about the transfer window. The transfer window on the continent opened on July 1st and all sorts of crazy rumours have started flying around. Players getting linked to every other club, agents sniffing around for their 15%, players not signing contract extensions, Arsenal fans committing mass suicide (the last two are said to be linked) and in short total bedlam reigns over Twitter. Whenever a new player is linked, within moments a video detailing all his goals, tricks and celebrations appears on the interweb. A video welcoming him to the club also appears. The player at that time is sugar, spice and everything nice (Yes, I used to watch Powerpuff Girls, sue me). Then suddenly a tweet appears rubbishing that link and linking him somewhere else and the player suddenly turns into a person not fit to tie the laces, let alone wear the precious shirt. Rinse, lather and repeat. Bat-shit crazy, this transfer season.

Thankfully, the actual season is not as far away as it seems. What with preseason and Europa League qualifiers (Europe!), the footie starts very soon. Another season of hope (“this is our year!”) is nigh.

Bus Karo

Bus rides can be broadly classified into two types: long and short (genius no?). The short ones I love and the long ones I try to avoid like the plague. The short bus rides are for example from the bus stop opposite your house to the grocer two blocks down, or even to the Big Bazaar across town. I like sitting peacefully observing my co-passengeresses, gazing out of the window or reading a book. I also like running after crowded buses, trying to get a foothold on the foot-board and hanging out of the bus in quintessentially Indian fashion.

These short bus rides are of course not everyone’s cup of tea. Hanging on for dear life all the while inhaling the “fragrance” of the salt of the earth and if god forbid it rained, the socks of the earth can sometimes cause even the hardest person to feel the strain. Arguing with the conductor for the change and the driver because he doesn’t stop at your stop as well as alternatively apologising and antagonising your co-passengers for stepping on their foot is one of the traits of a bus ride in Hindustan post Jesus H. Christ. Nonetheless, I enjoy every bit of it.

The bus rides I try to avoid are the long distance ones, the ones across states, countries or continents. A suitable example will be the one that take you from one city full of people sporting backpacks, ID cards and earphones to one in the Naalikerathinte Naadu where you have a house like a Narayanakkilikoodu. Or maybe from one place in the latter to another, sufficiently far apart that the language of one is incomprehensible in the other (that is much closer than you might imagine).

Even the sight of the big bulky bus bounding down the road fills me with trepidation. I remember the countless babies crying their tiny hearts out (at extremely loud volume nonetheless) and the buckets of vomit the trajectories of which miss my face by whiskers. Thank god that I don’t have whiskers! I shed a silent tear thinking about the thousands of beautiful girls that sit in the seat just in front of me while the seats adjacent to me are occupied by people who are carrying enough luggage to last them a lifetime or the inquisitive people who appear to be unable to take their next breath until they know everything about me. I shudder remembering the overturned buses and smashed junks that litter either side of the highway that connects my usual destinations. Cutting the description short, I quake like a jelly and my timbers start shivering.

You would be excused if you conclude that with this great phobia of long distance journeys, I do most of my travelling via train. If you belong to the ilk which believes in planning and foresight, the aforementioned conclusion is almost foregone. There my dear reader, your ignorance of the creature called Damu shines through. Damu, rather I, has(/have respectively) never thought ahead of the day’s breakfast compared to some people who have even thought of the breakfast of the kid they will have in some 10 years. If somebody graded my planning on a scale of 0 to 10 with 0 being the planning of the grasshopper for winter and 10 being the planning of Rohilettan, I will get somewhere in the region of -10.

I eagerly wait for the day when IRCTC reduces its reservation period from 4 months to 1 day. 4 months! I laugh in their faceless faces at their gross presumption. 4 months! Ha ha. 4 days and you are talking business. 1 and you have got yourself a deal. Till that day, I swallow my fear, harden my nerves and take that shaky step on to the footboard of the Rajahamsa, that humble steed that carries my noble self everywhere.

‘Til Later

Biryani

No, this post is not about biryani – one of the most overrated dishes in my opinion. I find the various spices and all in it disgusting and only eat it if I am left with no other option. In my living memory (I wonder if there is something called dead memory), I have only liked biryani twice. But if I remember right, both times I was starving. Even when I think of biting the clove or cinnamon or cardomom, I gag. Yuck! But then, I am a vegetarian and what the hell do I know.

I am sure at least a few of my Malayalee readers would have seen the movie called One Man Show. And by now, I am sure you must have realised where I am leading to. For the others, no worry, all in good time. The movie has a mad character played by Salim Kumar. In it, he is interned in a lunatic asylum and wreaks havoc with his antics. In one of the best scenes of the movie, he creates a massive charge of his fellow lunatics. When dragged aside and asked what they were doing, he gleefully informs that he told those idiots that free biryani is available near the front gates. Then he is asked why he is running after them and he replies that he is also running because, “engaanum biryani kittiyalo”, which translates to “what if biryani is actually available”.

This wishing for a non-existent or rather improbable biryani, the “what ifs” are a defining part of us. This optimism for the improbable is intrinsic in our psyche and varies only in how far one is optimistic. Even the worst pessimist is an optimist. This optimism is expertly utilised by most advertisements. What if I become fair, what if I lose weight, what if I gain height, what if I get hair back etc etc etc. The entire betting industry revolves around this optimism. Everyone knows that out of a million lottery ticket holders, only one is going to win the bumper prize, yet they imagine themselves to be that person. The higher the odds, the more one feels confident that this is the day. Maybe that is also why four or five lakh odd people write the JEE, the AIEEE or the myriad entrance examinations where the selection percentage is less than one. Hope springs eternal.

How was I reminded of that “class” dialogue? That brings us to point after a long ramble in the neighbourhood of everything but the point. You must have noticed the current prominence of something called Zurker, apparently the creation of the losers of Facebook (bullshit of course, the makers are totally different people). Zurker is a new social network that they claim will revolutionise the entire concept of social networking, the iPhone of social networks if you will. Welcome to the community owned network where every networker is an owner of the network. It is their advertisement strategy that is brilliant, and is the subject of this post.

They promise every networker to get a share of the network when someone he/she recommends join it. The company goes public when a million shares have been distributed. With the IPO of Facebook expected to be of the order of several dozen billions of dollars, even the most pessimistic person is hoping for a share value of a few thousand at least. People are thus optimistically spamming on Facebook (the irony), Twitter, Gmail, blogs and every other possible place they can.

The leprachaun gold at the end of the rainbow is enough for people to tote out essays on why it could not fail and is a guaranteed source of income. Just reach that magic number and enjoy the loot. What could possibly go wrong? You just have to ask Google+, Orkut, MySpace, Friendster and the multitudes of networks that have come and gone with the wind. But if this optimism is changed, I guess we won’t remain humans anymore.

The thrill of the improbable, almost impossible, happening is something which lends magic to our lives, gives us something to look forward to. The underdogs pipping the favourites, the favourites pipping the underdogs expected to pip the favourites and so on. There are a gazillion million possible eventualities and life will be far the worse if robbed of the hope for the one single version that suits us. Life is beautiful as the most hoariest of cliches go.

In related news, you can join Zurker by clicking on this beautiful link. Of course I don’t want to be the one left without the metaphorical biryani though the literal one can go and stuff itself. Or do we stuff ourselves with biryani? God knows.

‘Til Later

PS: This post is an elaborate hoax to make you click that last link and add to my referral count.

PPS: I know that you know but just hoping 😉

PPPS: And that is 50 posts! Took a long time. Whatever!

A Train of Thought

Last Sunday, I saw the Malayalam movie 22 Female, Kottayam. It is about a nurse who is abused by people whom she considered close to her and how she wreaks revenge. Nothing groundbreaking, almost the illegitimate offspring twice removed of Ek Hasina Thi and Kill Bill (and for once acknowledged by the makers). It was though quite a different movie from the dominant fare in Malayalam, no over-aged fat hero trying to carouse with a million girls less than a third his age nor a superhero who defies all laws of physics while bashing up the baddies while mouthing punch dialogues at the same time. I liked the movie, though I can’t say I enjoyed it because that would make me a rather sick person.

But this blog is not a critical review of the movie. Rather this is a about a train of thought that was triggered while watching the aforementioned movie. I can’t actually say triggered because I have thought about it earlier too but only now am I actually putting it into words. It is about a factor that influences how we appreciate, enjoy or empathise with the characters, let it be a movie or a book.

It is a three letter word that starts with S and ends with X. Not in that way you pervert, though that might play a significant part too. I meant sex as the gender. I have felt that the gender of the character plays a very significant part. Big deal you might say, and I agree, nothing that others haven’t thought of. But I thought a long time about this, and so reader, I have to bore you too.

As a person who likes reading, I tried translating it to books that I have read. Then I remembered about Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. It is a book that I have thoroughly enjoyed and a book that I will recommend to everyone. I enjoyed it much more than A Thousand Splendid Suns, by the same author. But while discussing about it with an aunt, she told me that she felt ATTS was much better. The reason we felt totally opposite, I surmise was because she associated more with the female protagonist rather than the male protagonist of KR. Both undergo repeated misfortunes in their lives. Comparing the two is difficult and I guess is left to the reader. This I think led to the contrasting views about the books that my aunt and I had about the same books.

Going one step forward, I think I will associate more with a male doctor protagonist than a female engineer protagonist inspite of being (almost) an engineer myself. It might well be the most important trait of the protagonist which decides how I associate with the character. Putting it in a nutshell, the targeted audience matters a lot for me while appreciating a creation, let it be a movie or a book. Sidney Sheldon with his female protagonist and Harold Robbins with his male protagonists targeted different audience. Stephanie Meyer targets an altogether different audience which can’t be easily characterised, though giggly, pink and immature are the words that immediately spring to the mind. Without deprecating books with targeted audience, I have felt that a book is truly great when any Tom, Dick or Harry and Eena, Meena or Deeka are able to equally enjoy it.

Reading through my prolonged discourse on people of literary merit far that I can’t even dream of reaching, the thoughtful and eloquent reader might have been wondering how the !@#! is this related to the movie I mentioned. Spoiler Alert, if you want to watch the movie, don’t read on. The female lead as I mentioned is repeatedly abused and finally cheated by a guy whom she loves. As revenge and to prevent him from further abusing anyone, she castrates him.

Ouch! Inspite of everything that happened earlier, and knowing that the suffering villain was a total douchebag and a vile person too, I could not help feeling sympathy towards him. I felt queasy even as I thought about what happened to him. I guess the feminine half of the audience felt the same when the heroine was abused. The director targets both audience here knowing that both will be equally affected and this is what I think makes the movie really good.

The movie-going public has started demanding different films than the usual. Many big budget movies with the usual plot sunk without a trace. What with movie rights and all, a movie doesn’t fail totally but still it vanishes from the screen which can be said to be a failure. This demand might also attribute to the meteoric rise of a certain person without no shame whatsoever who does everything in his movies, including directing, writing the story, penning the lyrics, playing the hero and dancing with the 7 or 8 heroines, all equally poorly. I have felt the said person to be an affront to our collective sensibilities, but some people like him, so there you are.

In some of these offbeat offsprings of the intercourse between the demanding public and new directors, societal issues are being addressed in a more straightforward manner than the allegorical or metaphorical portrayals earlier, swearwords are coming in (which is a big step indeed) and ‘variety’ plots (lifted from elsewhere of course) are being used. Whether all these are forward or backward steps is something that is difficult to say at the moment. History after all moves forward*.

But sometimes I hark back to the good old days when I could enter a theater blankly, laugh a lot, enjoy the songs, ogle at the heroine and come back without anything on my mind, let alone such gruesome images. Movies are no longer an escape to another world, but becoming a window to the rather sick world that we live in.

‘Til Later

*A quote by Nassim Nicholas Taleb of Black Swan fame

Guess Who Is Back?

Well, that break proved to be unusually refreshing. I am back from that self-imposed exile where you would have found me more difficult to find on the social network than water on moon. This exile was triggered by what many may think to be one of the silliest reasons possible, a game. But when that game turns out to be football, undoubtedly the most popular game on the planet, then it might not be too silly.

To cut a long story short, when my favourite football team, the one to whom I have sworn my allegiance, the one whose fortunes decide my mood of the day and the one who is yet to attend the class Goal Scoring 101 began playing even more horrendously than usual and started going from one nadir to the next, I decided to take a break from everything and come back refreshed. This entailed skipping twitter, where I almost exclusively follow people related to football, all the million blogs which were mirroring my despair, FIFA where I used to play the actual match again and also Facebook just for kicks. And then I realised, I had nothing else to do online.

I curbed my usual habit of opening a hundred tabs and roving from one tab to another, everything related to football. Sometimes out of sheer force of habit, I would open a few of football related sites, but then remembering, I would close my eyes and quickly close the tab, punch myself in the face, dip my hands in boiling oil and walk on fire, or mostly only the first. I went on a pilgrimage, meditated on the futility of it all and understood some fundamental truths about life. That the pilgrimage was part of a trip to Delhi and was not a conscious choice but rather a choice of the parents is another matter altogether.

3 weeks of that self-imposed exile and I found out that I had more time than I even knew. The serendipitous benefit of the exile was my reading. Books, which I used to leave for the rainy day, the offseason when there was no football, the time when I was free from doing my million other responsibilities were quickly finished. I am glad to say I read many fine books. I also discovered the rather humbling fact that if I read a book a day, I would not finish even the classics in my lifetime. I am now exploring authors who are talked about with reverence, the people who shaped the literature of their times, the literary giants on whose shoulders stood many a Chetan Bhagat and achieved bestsellerdom. Though even these giants might have been the Chetan Bhagats of their times, upcoming novices mentioned sometimes as an afterthought.

I broke my exile today on learning that Liverpool (the team that I follow that is) won a match. Was I relieved on coming back into the folds of “society”. Not too much. It is still bickering, sharing weird photos to get “likes”, refreshing a page to see if the like count increased, trying to be witty or pondering on the perils of playing a deep-lying playmaker. I discovered that the exile was not so much of a trouble, rather I enjoyed immensely the time I had. Maybe I am just an ordinary anti-social being, a sociopath if you will. The anti-library (a library containing the unread books) is more than 99.999% full.

Of course, the football bug, once caught is not easily cured, and once my team goes back to its winning ways (if there ever was one), I am sure I will get hooked on again and cry and delight with my fellow fans. But this promise I solemnly make, that unnecessary worry I will not take. After all it is only a game.

42

“Rhino- check”

“Duck-billed platypus- check”

“Clown fish- check”, God counted in a very satisfied voice. Heaven was a very busy place at the moment as all the holy ones had gotten together to look at God’s latest  craze- a Lego collection to rival Satan. He even had breathed life into his models and the things were looking quite impressive. “What say you, my dear fellow? Unable to eat anything because you still can’t digest that my collection is better than yours?” asked God. “Not bad, considering that you spent the better part of the last 7 years since I threw my Lego collection party trying to make your own”. “7 years! No man, I have been doing this only for the last 7 days. In fact most of the things were made within a day”

And that my dear friends is how exaggeration was born.

Exaggeration- what a beautiful word, what a beautiful idea. I would not be exaggerating if I said that this is one activity, nay art that I am a champion at. Being a champion of this art as well as this cause, it is my honour-bound duty to instruct those less able than me on this. As I said, exaggeration is not something that everyone is good at. It requires careful planning and innovation. Keeping that poker-face while making that outlandish claim is not simple. Even inventing those outlandish claims is very difficult. There are several unwritten rules which will help you get away with exaggeration. Here you are. Read and study.

Rule Number 1

Multiply by n rule. If arbitrarily increasing a count introduces a twist in the tale in your favour, that count should be multiplied by n (which is usually 10). So the next time you tell about your marks or the number of goals in Legendary mode against Barcelona with Sheffield United, just add that extra zero and enjoy the zing in your tale.

Rule Number 2

Divide by n rule. If arbitrarily decreasing a count introduces a twist in the tale in your favour, that count should be divided by n. God is one of the eminent people to have perfected the use of this rule. Note: This rule is particularly effective when combined with rule number 1.

The above two rules were actually discovered in Ancient Greece while trying to encourage the Greek soldiers waiting for Xerxes army. 3000 Spartans suddenly became 300 and 5000 Persians suddenly became 50000.

Rule Number 3

Eyewitness rule. You always witness everything worth witnessing. The Counter Strike match which lasted 10 days or the athlete next door doing 150 push ups using his pinkie finger were all in your presence. Always.

Rule Number 4

No names rule. As long as you don’t name names, you can’t be caught exaggerating. Pronouns were invented exactly for this reason. And people reciprocate when they know they have not been compromised. So it is always “You should have seen HIM eat. At least 30 Idlis!” And “HE” will be more than glad to say something nice about you too.

Rule Number 5

Swear on the name of every family member possible. A fine example would be “I swear by the last fur on the tail of my Great great grandfather’s favourite labrador that whatever I said happened.”

The above five rules should enable you to invent exaggerations. But the following rule is the most important one when it comes to getting away with it.

Rule Number 6

Quote the Author rule. Quote Shakespeare or Bernard Shaw.  Or better Leo Tolstoy. No one reads those authors. While making claims, follow it up with a quote from one of the above mentioned authors.

“He was so angry that he beat up at least 10 people single-handedly. Like Tolstoy said in War and Peace, anger is the greatest friend you have. It can render you power to defeat even your greatest enemy.”

Rule Number 7

This is the most important rule of all. Pray to Damu. Remember his wisdom. Think about all his greatest attempts. Get inspired by his exaggerations. Read his books on exaggeration. Whenever you feel doubtful, remember the golden rule that Damu knows everything. A good book to start with will be “100001 great exaggerations by Damu” ghost written by Damu.

The most important two rules are 6 and 7 and you will quickly notice that their product is 42. What? You don’t know what is special about 42? Just google “the answer to life the universe and everything”  and enjoy the beauty. Yes, the magic number strikes again. And yes this is my 42nd post since I joined the blogosphere around 2 years ago. That it took me so long to reach this holy number is as much a testament to my laziness as the chronic uncreativity that is present in me.

But there you are. For every creative, zestful, enthusiastic fool, you need a Damu to maintain the precarious balance of life. If you are reading this, thank you for persisting with such a lazy devil in the hope that he will come good. Hoping for many more blogs…

‘Til Later

The Year That Was…

A new year has arrived. Meh, I feel it is one of the most overrated days of the year with the multitudes of other days (rose, friendship, father, mother, uncle etc ) coming a close second. A recap of the year that was seems to be the “in” thing on blogosphere. I usually am very behind the fashion trends, for eg, by the time I started to grow my hair long, people had already shaved their heads twice and while I was contemplating on getting myself a bell-bottom pants, the pencil leg or whatever it is called was the in thing. You get the gist I suppose, er… that is I am always behind times. But this time I am not waiting till 2015 before I write about 2011. Irrespective of my total irreverance to the day, here goes the recapitulation. (One of my best friends has beautifully recapped his year here, with photos and all. You might enjoy it especially if you are a United fan, so do check that link after going through mine. )

The first four months of 2011, rather the last four months of the best part of my life were a blur. The last semester in college was a fitting tribute to the previous seven as we just simply had a blasting experience. Tours, weddings, treats, more tours and ya the occasional end semester exam or two and everything was sort of fast-forwarded. It was one hell of a journey and brilliant fun. The month of May was notable for Yours Truly finally becoming a brahmin and getting to wear the sacred thread. Then there was the one month break till joining the Tejas Networks. This was spent at home, bickering with the younger sister, eating good food, buying the necessary stuff for the next phase of my life and in general splurging my old man’s money ;).

June 19 was the momentous day in which I embarked on the next phase of my life – job. That part is still going on fine with just the minor hiccups associated with such a sea change in life. Bangalore is a very weird place in my opinion and all those who wax lyrical about the climate can just go and bury themselves as far as I am concerned. A place which is cold in the morning, hot in the day and again cold in the night seriously needs to consult a shrink – mood swings galore or what? Me, I prefer the good old Delhi which is hot in the summer and cold in the winter, no complications. As a result of these climate changes, I have been a constant victim of the aptly named common cold.

The living has been quite comfortable due to the hospitality of my relatives, some of whom are contemplating moving away from Damu and some who have already done so. But like a shadow I will follow them and constantly darken their doorsteps (*evil laugh*). A trip has turned out quite memorably and many more are there in the pipeline. Watching football with friends as well as relatives as well as the occasional solos have been quite enjoyable and the team that Yours Truly supports has performed pretty well if not fantastically. Ah but then we all have different expectations.

It was a not too lousy year quoting the above mentioned friend. It could have been better but there you are. You take what you have and make the best of it. And I am quite satisfied with what happened, except here and there. But again I am quite easily pleased. Give me my books and music and I will curl into a corner and never bother humanity. Speaking of books, a lot of them are there for the taking. So it is now a race. I am sure I will lose but let the defeat be glorious (gosh, that was unbelievably corny!!!).

Not much of a recap this has turned out to be, but my thoughts are all muddled and who cares anyway. If the world does not end in 2012, I promise I will turn up with a better review of 2012, the year not the movie (please laugh, please). Hoping that the coming year will be a prosperous and joyful one for one and all.

‘Til Later

 

 

Jeeves Omnibus Vol 3

Jeeves is a character who I suppose needs no introduction. One of the most well-known creations of Sir Pelham Grenville Wodehouse, he defines himself as the “Gentleman’s personal gentleman”. A valet of supreme intelligence (rumoured to eat only fish-hence his brainpower), tact and ability to handle all situations, Jeeves is the person to go to if you have a problem, a fact Bertram Wooster would gladly testify to. Nothing fazes this supreme human being, a charging bull and a raging aunt are handled with the same cool composure that renders them purring at his feet.

This volume of the omnibus has two novels and a collection of short stories involving Jeeves. The first of these is called The Mating Season and is a laugh riot involving a medley of adorable lovers, the bumbling Bertie, horrible aunts and of course Jeeves who stands tall amid the chaos. PG Wodehouse does not write suspense so I would not be spoiling anything if I say that in the end, Jeeves brings order to a chaos ridden world of multiple lovers confused about who they love and Bertie trying to escape from the attentions of the extremely irritating Madeline Bassett.

The second novel is called Ring for Jeeves and according to Wiki is the only Jeeves novel in which Bertie does not play a role. Socialism happens to England and all the nobles are learning to do their own jobs instead of depending on their entourage of servants to do everything. This has also resulted in many of the peerage losing their livelihood and this book dwells on one such earl who wants to sell his dilapidated manor. The story begins with the entry of a rich beautiful American widow, a big game hunter madly in love with her, and all hell breaks loose. And the stage is set for Jeeves to solve everything. A mad car-chase, theft of valuable pendant and a gamble at the biggest horse-race of the year are all beautiful parts of this beautiful novel.

The last part is a collection of short stories each with Bertie in a bigger soup than before and he is saved from each mess by the quick thinking and enterprise of Jeeves who rises to each challenge.

A thoroughly enjoyable book which had me in splits most of the time. My room-mates were quite sure I had gone mad as I was almost crying with laughter many times in the day. A must-have and a must-read for everyone who enjoys pure humour. PG Wodehouse is a master at this and reading each and every single book that he has written is one of my ambitions.

Stephen Fry who plays Jeeves in the series about the duo said the following about Wodehouse,

You don’t analyse such sunlit perfection, you just bask in its warmth and splendour. Like Jeeves, Wodehouse stands alone, and analysis is useless.

‘Til Later…