Book Review: Ladies, Please!
Do you know Jose? VJ Jose? RJ Jose? Have you heard of his podcast (along with Suresh Menon) Kaanmasti? You should. The dude has a sense of humour. And in a world full of outrages, you should find people who have a sense of humour. You need to. And keep them close.
Ladies, Please! is a no-holds barred take on dating in India from a man’s perspective. Jose, through his series of spectacularly failed (I am not sure if they are real or imaginary, but at the very least they are relatable and everyday sightings) and moderately failed and occasionally successful relationships (because in India, there is no dating; there is only a relationship), bares it all and leaves you with (especially women) tips and tricks for dealing with the other sex better. Or, maybe, coping with/ understanding men better. In the process, Jose spills the beans on a lot of closely guarded male secrets. And thankfully, explains a lot of things that we men find difficult to explain. Especially in the middle of an argument with a woman. In a very surreal way, while being sarcastic, the book is fairly insightful about the travails and troubles of the Indian male and the Indian dating scene. Right from the relationship bit, to the roles men and women play in the dating game to the post-facto communication hilarity.
The book is hilariously funny in pockets. I had a great time reading it, even though it took me longer to finish the book than what I thought it would. When the laughs come, you can die rolling on the floor. They are like that insanely idiotic speed-breaker in a Mumbai locality that you fail to see under dim lights. You brake hard, are thrown off from your seat, and, if you are airy and round like me, find your center of gravity seriously displaced. For instance – the entire passage about the ancient ones and their adages about relationship is like sand and you should not hold it too tight. The first punch – maybe the ancient ones were talking about dry sand. Because I can hold wet sand tightly in my hands. Then a string of 1-2 punches – relationships are like pudding/ water/ etc. and what happens if you hold these things tight.
The downside of the book is that it jumps from humour/sarcasm to fair-mundane-facts quite often, and for long drawn passages. I know its unfair to expect someone to be funny on all the pages of a 200 page book. But c’mon. Its @Hoezaay! The dry sections tend to be little pedantic and repetitive. And boring. There are times when you almost find yourself skipping paragraphs.
The book is awesome when it stays true to its dry sense of humour. In those moments, it reminds you of Jeff (of Coupling). I can almost imagine stripping the book to its bare minimum and having one of the most awesome episodes of a TV show where Jose narrates the Captain Subtext of every dating conversation.
The language flows almost like you are listening to Jose talk, and that helps maintaining concentration when things slow down.
So, in summary, the bad news is that only about 25% of the book is funny. The good news is that this 25% compensates for the remaining 75%.
I strongly urge all ladies to read the book. Especially, if you want to really train your man. And of course when we talk about training or changing the man, all you are trying to do really is make us better. Right?
The book is hilarious in pint size measures, but slow otherwise.
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