So last week I was reading a book called That Frequent Visitor, by K. Hari Kumar.
I couldn’t put this book down, not because it was so compelling, but because I wanted to get to the next floridly baroque, over-the-top, or borderline incoherent formatting, dialogue, or turn of phrase. (This may be the result of inept translation — it’s not clear to me if this book was originally written in English or not.) Seriously, reading this book was like watching “Mugamoodi”, an Indian martial arts-cum-superhero-cum-musical epic — with ninjas!, scroll by in printed form.
Anyway, normally with a Teaser Tuesday, one only presents two sentences from one’s current read, but this time, I wanted to instead offer several of my favorite samples of the Bizarro World that was The Frequent Visitor. To wit:
‘I love my daddy!’ Shiuli exclaimed.
‘Of course he is adorable, Shiuli.’ Pakhi said and smiled at her niece.
‘I am going to tell this to Mary and Taniya right away.’ She picked up her iPhone and started texting her besties.
Part of what cracked me up about that bit is that it reminds me of my most favorite scene from “Portlandia“, from the “Mayor Is Missing” episode, in which the only way for Our Heroes to track down said Mayor is by buying a new cell phone plan and making him a “bestie”.
Beyond the glow emerged a figure so bright and lustrous that even the darkest of insulations would timidly reflect the glorious image. The fireflies detached from the canvas and gently pulled the projection of the EnglishmanEnglishmanEnglishman out of it.
‘Ghosts are dead people.’
‘Then why are not you…’ he bent and plucked out his eyes off their sockets and screamed, ‘… afraid of me?’
A hot stinking smell blew out of the ghost’s mouth and Shiuli grimaced in disgust.
‘Cut it out, dude. You look so ugly this way.’ She requested covering her nostrils with her fingers of the right hand.
The ghost closed his mouth, and put back his eyeballs into their sockets.
‘That is much better. You look handsome again.’ She applauded, ‘You look like Benedict Cumberbach, dude.’
Nine-year-old Shiuli is perhaps quite enamored of Mr. Cumberbach’s work in “Sherlock”. Oh and by the way, tell ’em Large Marge sent you!
Despite his age, the minister was known to be virile and aggressive. He looked at Pakhi repeatedly; the silky hair of the glamorous journalist flowing wildly and falling carelessly on her face and into her mouth lustrously gave his old body a run for its testosterone.
When the moment is right …
“You are an ill-talented writer who weaves barren porn after porn. You are nothing if you take away that dimple and business-minded head of yours. But you have a great fan following, though I do not understand how youngsters are enthralled and moved by your soft-porn chick lit.”
As a work of India-based imagination, That Frequent Visitor is not exactly “Monsoon Wedding“, and it’s not exactly a good book, either — leaving aside the (possible) translation issues, I saw the big reveals coming from a mile kilometer away — but it’s always interesting to read a book that’s based on a different culture from what one usually reads. 1Q84 is one of my favorites, and I have a couple more sitting on the Kobo waiting to get picked, such as the Night Watch trilogy and The Three-Body Problem. I imagine those will both be rather more tidily edited, but will they make me giggle every other page? Probably not.
Speaking of giggles, what does a godlike being do to get them? He messes with those less powerful than himself, like in this little scene from the forthcoming Television Man, in which — you guessed it! — poor Bob is once again the butt monkey.
Patrick’s luciferous presence lit up the hallways behind them, sometimes gaining, sometimes falling back, but never fading. Bob began to suspect he was toying with them, batting them around like a malicious maze-maker gleefully dropping walls in front of his fleeing subjects, just to see how they would react.
Cheer up, Bob. I’m sure there’s a tasty piece of cheese in there somewhere.