The Unputdownables


Jaswant Singh’s book Jinnah: India, Partition-Independence becomes a best seller this week, based on its re-interpretation of history, yet another scholarly book being lapped up by a country that prides itself on being receptive to different kinds of ideas. [Here is a qawalli composed in his “honor”]

Here we have some of the other books that have been top-sellers in Pakistan.

The Taliban Code: The Langda Don, on sabbatical at Rawalpandi University, tries to uncover the greatest secret the world has ever known, namely that behind the apparent misogyny the Taliban is actually an army of ultra-feminists headed by Mullah Greer codenamed “Haseena Atim Bum“.

The Jihadist: Kasab is a shepherd who wants to wander many lands and touch people. Guided by the prophecy of a gypsy who speaks to him on satellite phone, he sets out on a magical expedition to Mumbai with an Ak47 in a heart-warming affirmation of the book’s theme ” When you want something, all of Pakistan conspires in helping you to achieve it

The Time-Traveller’s Wives: A romance about a man called Afridi who suffers from a genetic disease called chrono-displacement that makes him involuntarily travel through time and stay sixteen all his life.

The Seventy Two People You Will Meet In Heaven: A mix between a fable and a parable, a suicide-bomber goes to heaven to find that things there are a little different than he thought.

Reading Savita Bhabhi in Multan: A bond is formed between four friends as amidst the repression all around they read and discuss Savita Bhabhi in Multan while helping each other get through life.

The Gun-Runner: Hassan, FATA’s biggest arms-supplier, travels through the country to save the son of his half-brother united as they are by history and their passion of playing soccer with the heads of hostages.

The Baitullah Identity: A rip-roaring tale of revenge in which Baitullah, an amnesiac Taliban leader, finds that his handlers in ISI has already collected the bounty on his head from the US, claiming to have killed him. Twice.

It’s a Magical World: Pervez and Hobbes: Pervez, an innocent boy who plays with his imaginary friend Hobbes, transmogrifies himself into General Spiff in an alternative universe in which he destroys India in Kargil, a universe known as “Pakistan’s view of history”.

Two Towers And Other Assorted Tales: A masterpiece of investigative Pakistani journalism, this book argues that every act of mischief from WTC to attack on Sri Lankan cricketers to insurgency in Balochistan to the Tsunami can be traced to a sinister, very “raw” operative—-a certain Frido Baggins.

Five-Point Someone—What Not To Do In TITS: Three students at the the Taliban Institute for Technology Sohanwala (TITS) studying “terror engineering” bond over discussion of over-weight Pushtoo heroines, their love of Mahesh Bhatt movies, their dreams of completing their industrial training  in India,  their fantasies of sleeper cells, and their shared  fear of Dean Al Zafar all the while bunking their “Strength of Materials” and “Explosives 101” classes.

Prickonomist: A Rogue Country Explores the Hidden Side of Itself: A guerrilla author provides an entertaining insight into how economics explains everything in a rogue state —from why it is Mr. Ten Per Cent (and not for instance Mr. Eleven Per Cent) and why pretending to fight the war on terror  makes dollars and cents sense.


56 thoughts on “The Unputdownables

  1. Any particular reason for the – first the first time and first in first three? Any loyalty mgmt programmes running that I am not aware off:-)

    “discuss Savita Bhabhi in Multan while Helping each other get through life” – Priceless!!!!!

  2. @GB: Have you ever pined for a sequel to Midnight’s Children….something which begins after the “witch’s” death and ends somewhere around now. I think young people would relate to it more, having been a witness to the events themselves. I think its time Mr Rushdie risk another fatwa.

  3. When these books will be out in Indian market :). Taliban Code will be far more interesting than Da Vinci. Hilarious!!!

  4. Jeez, one look at the comment section in Haseena Atim Bum and you will figure out why Pakistan and India will never be best friends. Seriously silly and funny stuff!

  5. Absolutely fantastic !!! Seriously, how do you manage to read so many books? One trivia that I would like to share is that they (forgot which channel it was) were airing The Kite runner a few days back. Didn’t have time to watch it, but the movie looked promising enough. The Hamburg Cell is another movie that I intend to watch.

  6. This is bullshit! Have you read the book? If not, how can you sit in judgement on it and claim it is revisionist? Not done.

  7. Prickonomist: A Rogue Country Explores the Hidden Side of Itself

    Amazing. Flash of genius! Sentences like this bring me back as often as I can. :))

  8. No offence, GB, but even Prabhuji might be hard-pressed to match the sheer incendiary awesomeness of “Haseena Atim Bum”

    @ Gili: Dude, how the bloody hell did you make it through THAT, and then still manage to carry on to the comments section. I, for one, was keeling over 🙂

  9. Err… please consider The Inscrutable Americans, the Mistress of Spices and Five Point Someone as they are world famous in India.. and make up for the 3 english books to read in lifetime, the 4th being ‘Rapidex English Speaking Course’

  10. To your excellent list, I dare suggest the addition of these all-time best-sellers in “The Land of the Pure”: 😉

    “The God of Smelly Things” (A fragrant day spent in Karachi leaves you begging the Almighty for His mercy)

    “Twenty Thousand Leaks under the Seat” (A memoirs of travels through scary South Waziristan)

    “Hairy Puttar” (The adventures of a bearded, hirsute boy who was born to a Hira Mandi courtesan)

    “Bullah Ki Jana Main Kaun” (“Who does that prick think I am?”)

    “Rich Dad Poor Dad (A collection of “Mister Ten Percent” Zardari’s letters to his profligate prince)

    “Zain and the Art of Kalashnikov Maintenance” (Special offer: Get one free AK-47 if you buy two copies of the book)

    “Gone with the wind” (A book about the future of Pakistan)

    “The 7 Habits of Highly Unsuccessful People” (A book about Jihadis who blew themselves up prematurely before they reached their targets)

    “How to win American friends and influence Pakistanis (to blow themselves up)”

    “Chicken Soup for the A$$h*le” (strictly no jhatka meat used)

    “Chaar-Li aur Chak De factory” (Story of 4 child labourers who were abducted and sent to manufacture arms and ammunition in Darra Adam Khel’s cottage industry)

  11. Simply Hilarious.

    Only a slightly pedantic note, shouldn’t it be “a universe” instead of “an universe” ?

  12. Simply Awesome-all of them-when can we see them in print?

    This is by far the best thing you’ve written in a while….

  13. @GB: Have been reading your blog on and off the past six months and have enjoyed going through the archives. Till date have found your writing funny as well as intelligent. But this piece is a bit over the top. Hard to differentiate which is more silly and childish, composing a kawali for JS’s book or you getting angry enough to spend the time to write this piece.
    @Bengal Voice: Ditto

  14. India’s nuclear tests a decade back may well be a sham. While it’s always satisfying to poke fun at Pakistan, our country has its own appallingly “funny” failures (and tall claims to cover those up).

  15. Who moved my GPS – a bunch 10 pakistani jihads who reach Dhaka instead of Mumbai after their handler messes with the GPS equipment.

    Animal (P)Farmacy – an entire generation of pakistani children fed prescribed bullshit that 1971 and Kargil were paki victories

    Cane and Abdul – the romance that gave birth to Mr. 10%

  16. I should ve probably attended TITS for my engineering degree.
    College would probably be more eventful and I’d get to study “Explosives 101”
    which I never did.SOM would ve also turned out to be more interesting.
    Moreover I could ve had fun during my internship playing with arms at TAJ rather than sleepilytaking measurements and chalking out designs at a BEML factory 😦
    Above all the institute name sounds attractive 🙂
    Good post!!

  17. I am extremely intrigued by the titles and descriptions of ” The Seventy Two people you will meet in heaven” and ” resding Savita Bhabi in Multan”. Now I really wish these were available in the stores! damn you, GB- now you must write these books yourself!!!

  18. Venkat,

    Did you realize that there were no affiliate-ids on the links? Which means I made no money. Did you perhaps think that the reason I gave those links to Amazon was so that people would know which original I was referring to?

  19. Arnabda : Nice and funny. One small request out of context – I cannot find that “Kolkata Kasai” post you made some time. Is it possible for you to tell me how to find it in the archives.

  20. @ GB – Congrats on having a pretty interactive session in recent times where your fans are not mentally ‘playing football’ with fellow fans ‘heads’.

    And thank you for including ‘ 5 point someone ‘ which is a personal favourite of Mr. C. Bhagat!

    @ Satyajit – Super! ‘Who moved my GPS’ reminds me of GB’s previous writing about the guys landing up in Kolkata on a T.C bandh day. You must read that. As they are most like to reach Kolkata than Dhaka.

  21. GB,

    Pliss, sorry phor tha intarrupshan. Requesting the monkeys’ point of view .. plz give us the Brazilian Monkey Rohoshya (Rahasya as in mystery, for the non Bongs.) And the subsequent escape of one of the guilty from the clutches of the ‘snoring-to-glory’ constables?
    Have you heard about the launch of Feluda comics in English? What do you think about that?

    Still obsessing about those cute monkeys,

  22. Arnab,
    May we have an article on this cad called Anand Jon Alexander? His family have been screaming bloody murder all over the Indian media and among the NRI lot. Your insight, as usual, would be great.

  23. Masterpiece
    “It’s a Magical World: Pervez and Hobbes”
    General Spiff was probably helped by SnowGoons. 😀
    And just like the stupendious man it was a moral victory in his eyes 😀

  24. Every single book mentioned deserves a seperate review!! Also give me the address of the bookstore where I’ll find them [:P]

  25. Adding my two bits (with big help from Wiki)

    The Unscrewable Americans : It is about the experiences of the fresh off Project Runway, Parsons Design School graduate on the contemporary practises of the world of modelling. ‘it concentrates on the mishaps and misadventures’ ..’and many true observations which are told’ while defending self at a court of law. The protagonist ‘is a cultural hybrid with affiliation to two cultures like a vast majority of people in today’s world.’ Notable mentions like ‘the Indian Sadhu look’ and thought process widely popularised and practised by Shri Shakti Kapoor.

    Mistress of Spices :- ‘The protagonist helps customers satisfy their needs and desires with spices.’ Her life changes when it gets made into a MMS clip. Or may be .. when she meets the Badshah Pawbhaji Masala man, which leads her to climb Everest masala heap in search of truth and finally meet the MDH Masala Dadaji who teaches her that masala is all about cooking and to leave this needsheed -desireshezire to Penelope Cruz and the team of ‘The Woman on Top’.

Have An Opinion? Type Away

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.