Book Review: The Average Indian Male
Here’s what Cyrus Broacha would like you to know about the average Indian male: he’s a thin, squat, hunchback of a creature who swallows his phlegm, farts at will, worships his mother, and contrarily has an unnatural obsession with cleaning his hands while remaining, characteristically of his gender, a messy pig. And because there’s a good chance you may not find any of this either very funny or revelatory, Broacha throws in the caveat that he knows it’s a terrible piece of work, that you might possibly fall asleep while reading it so much so that even his BFF comedian Kunal Vijayakar, roped in to write the foreword, won’t deign to read it. It’s all a bit too nudge-nudge, wink-wink, a kind of laziness meant to excuse this book, its author, editor and publishers from their exceedingly shoddy job. Broach says “all grammatical mistakes and incomplete sentences” are intentional, but there’s little overlooking the typos, mixed metaphors, cliched observations and other silly ramblings of a perplexingly popular comedian who may have finally run out of material.
The Average Indian Male is divided into two parts: the first half offers up a letter-and-answer format, where the letters by concerned women and men seeking answers to questions like “Why do Indian men have spindly legs?” are evidently written by Broacha himself. The second half is a series of unrelated chapters that outline Broacha’s “incoherent thoughts” on everything from our fear of pavements to our inability to be on time. In between the double entendres, Broacha has moments of perspicacity: he is astutely able to observe that Indian men have underdeveloped calf muscles, lose their temper inversely proportionate to their height, and often hold hot fresh chapatis as a panacea to everything, including a bad marriage. On Indians in general, he explains our love of the “phamily phrend” and the all-knowing neighbourhood bhajeewala. Unfortunately, every sentence is a never-ending series of jokey jibes. Like the annoying comedian friend who thinks he must be “on”, even when off stage, cracking jokes and being funny all the time, Broacha’s written ramblings are exhaustingly earnest. We get that he wants to be funny, that he wants us to think he’s funny, that he’ll find it funny if we don’t find him funny. But it’s all a bit trying-too-hard; save yourself the money and watch an episode of Modern Family instead.
The Average Indian Male by Cyrus Broacha, Random House, Rs199.Tags: Books, Cyrus Broacha, The Average Indian Male