5 Mar 2013

Beaten By Bhagath, by S. V. Divvaakar

About the Book

I m sure you can do a much better job than Bhagath! When BB hears these inspiring words from his sexy lady boss, his staid life as a successful analyst in an MNC goes into a tailspin. Bitten by the ego bug and smitten by her, BB sets off on his quest to write a book that’s better than India’s greatest writer Dr. Bhagath’s blockbusters. Nothing unusual about this for BB who likes a good fight. Except that he and Bhagath had been classmates and friends at college.

What follows is a roller-coaster voyage of the debutant author and his book, with all its twists and cul-de-sacs. Brushes with publishers, celebrities, retailers, book chains, and competition with the alliances among giants, mark the challenger’s journey, upping the stakes at every stage. Will BB catch up with his famous friend? What will their encounter be like? Written from inside the ring, Beaten by Bhagath is a gripping tale the first-ever about the unseen side of the wonderland of Indian fiction

My View

There was a time when for entire khandaan there used to be one person who knew English and the same person wrote leave letters to school kids, college teenagers and also to working men. I remember how the content would always be the same, only “To”, “From” in the letter would change. Fast forward, today everyone is writes rather blogs. Everyone is an avid reader, amateur photographer and things of such sorts.

Beaten By Bhagath! A Tale of Two Writers by S V Divvaakar is all about the present publication industry. Based on a fact that everyone thinks they can write a book, wants a book published as soon as possible. This book gives you an insight on how things work and the struggle between the debutant “author”, the “publisher”, the “retailer” and most importantly the “reader”.

It also tells why you have to be “a good writer” and not “a good writer as ABC”, who has already made a mark. Our society has always been comparing creativity, academics and that is exactly the same wrong that we are instilling in our children; Beaten by Bhagath, tells you that. It asks you to have a competition, set a realistic goal that involves “only you”. Author asks everyone who is thinking of the venture to focus on who will be reading the book than what to write.

Two young guys Ketan Sarvadaman Bhagath (K-10) and Balwant Bhagath (BB) enter college and what follows till chapter 5 is very boring. It loosely runs like the movie “3 idiots”, be the ragging part or pursuing the singing part, and when I was bored enough to close the book because I already know what happens, is when things get interesting. 

Once BB starts scripting his book, every tiny issue he faced was true. I could so relate to “don’t take family for granted” chapter. Every writer wants his book, blogpost to be read and that is exactly what is written in your highness is naked.

There are few instances that were totally not necessary like physical abuse, comparing a book to a slut and connecting how a write is a pimp. If they were written to just for the sake of up content, then it sounds very dumb. Author plays very well with changing names of the people in question and publishers in talk to ones that rhyme with the actual names. To one extent this got a little too childish. I am also not sure what the cover has to do with the story, maybe cricket sells logic. Its kind of misleading.

The climax however is not what one expects. With a flair for singing for a long time, I always thought that the book will move towards interests of the author. What happened came as a shocker to me and the impending approach made me wonder, if really such a day would arise in the industry. This one is an interesting read with amazing lessons and most importantly 200 pages, a quick read.