“A Godly Blunder” is Parimal Kalikar, a hotel management graduate and a former credit card salesman’s first attempt at writing. Truthfully speaking, I hadn’t heard of this book even once before he contacted me to review it. I found it a bit different immediately after reading the synopsis and couldn’t say no. Even though I already had around 6-7 books in my ‘To-read’ list, I couldn’t resist picking up this one ahead of the others.
The blurb goes like this -
Oliver, a quality control manager in a premium car company in Germany dies in an accident and reaches heaven. He is enjoying the lavish lifestyle of a movie star..till God decides to send him on a short ‘assignment’ due to a technical snag in the Soul Management System (SMS) of Swarga. He wakes up in the body of an Indian middle class man Siddhesh. Thus starts his rollercoaster journey to India. He is baffled by the extent of corruption and dishonesty in the country as he is warmed by the affection that binds Indian families. To add to his woes, his two maverick escorts from Swarga keep disappearing without notice.
What happens at the end of the unusual assignment? And what happens when God tells you that you don’t need Him? A Godly Blunder is a hilarious ride to heaven and back to earth, which will keep the readers amused all the way.
First things first, the book has a pretty attractive and refreshingly different cover page. Parimal has also taken the pain to personalize it for his reviewers by attaching a bookmark and signing the copy himself, which is a sign that the writer cares about his readers . Rupa has taken really good care in terms of the quality of the paper and the font size.
Coming to the plot, it is refreshingly different and unique compared to the contemporary college love stories. Some spirituality and philosophy is also thrown in for good measure. The books also provides a learning or two for the readers. Yes, the basic premise somewhere reminds you of ‘Bruce Almighty’ or ‘Vaah Life Ho Toh Aisi’, but the rest is different. The fact that the plot is so unique makes the narrative move at a brisk pace. From the beginning in heaven which is aptly named as ‘Paradise Suite’ to Oliver’s experiences in India, the narration is interesting and amusing at many places.
Oliver, the German quality control manager who is sent back to Earth on an assignment is the heart and soul of the story. His experiences in heaven, tiffs with Hippie and Chubby, experiences of dishonesty, corruption, ‘ghoos’ etc. in India are pretty well documented. God has a pretty prominent role in the story. Many of the dialogues he’s given to mouth are actually true. The rest don’t really have much to do.
But the book isn’t without its share of drawbacks. In my opinion, the characters whether in Siddhesh’s family or Oliver’s German friend, Maik are all not described too well. Normally a character should be described so well that a reader can visualize him / her. But in this case its just about Oliver all the way while the rest are relegated to the background. Only God comes a close second. Since Oliver came to India for the first time, it would have been much better if the city of Pune could have been described to an extent to show that he’s surprised to see the pollution, traffic, rush etc. etc.
The fact that Oliver is so easily able to solve most of the problems of the Indian family without too problems seems too good to be true. The emotions could have been expressed through the book in a much better manner. Though the book is narrated from Oliver’s point of view, there’s too much usage of ‘I’ which acts as somewhat of an irritant to the reader.
All in all, if you want to read something different from an Indian author, go for this one.
Rating – 3/5