About the author:
Paddy Rangappa graduated from IIM Ahmedabad 25 years ago and has been working in marketing since then. He writes in his spare time and has had a regular humor column in DNA for the last three years. This is his first book.
The book’s cover doesn’t scream humor, but I like the toned down design with the emphasis on the word Bungled. The title, a pun on the commonly used phrase, “Been there done that!” is what caught my attention. The story has a familiar ring to it too.
Thoughts on the book:
So the saying is true. A book can be a time machine. It can take you back in time and make you relive moments that you miss right now. A good children’s novel can make you wish for those innocent school days. And it so happens, this book, witty and humorous, can take me back to my final three semesters of college. Not that I miss some moments of these semesters very badly and want to relive it, but it does have that effect.
The book follows the story of Jagannath Srinivasan, shortened to a simple nickname Jags, a bright and confused guy armed with an enviable IIT education. He’s the pampered rich boy with loving parents, sister and even friends of his parents who advise him on what his future should be. Confused that he is, he takes that advice as well, and well, he bungles that step up. He’s told to take an engineering job and not pursue an MBA. At the moment, he finds that advice to be sagely and follows that. He finds that his opinion sort of counts for nothing in that job, and months later, writes the CAT and opts for an MBA (something that he hadn’t actually wanted to, but had considered doing before that sagely advice). Fate is kind of kind to him here, as he finds the girl he eventually marries… his professor’s daughter (reminds me a little of 3 Idiots movie in this regard). Job and marriage seem to go hand in hand for him, but he accepts that and life moves on. He gets into marketing, then into advertising and with changing ideas, changes his mind. Wherever the ranking is higher or opportunity is better, that’s where he usually goes. The book follows this comedy of errors.
Having read quite a few humor books of late, I feel this is one of the better ones. You laugh with Jags as you go with him on his journey (By the way, I wonder if Jags was coined with respect to that colloquial usage for Bungled. The term Jagged was quite popular in my college days). The story does have that familiar flow and feel to its plot. It tells me of my own experiences and bumps in that journey. I felt the book goes slightly dull during the middle parts, but it isn’t so much that it becomes unbearably boring either. The ending is not surprising, I saw that coming. But then again, this is not a thriller to expect the unexpected, right? A twist isn’t necessary at all. One thing I loved was the illustrations in the book. It is not a heavy read, and can be finished in a few hours at most. Overall, I found it quite enjoyable. Well written debut.
Title: Been There, Bungled That!
Author: Paddy Rangappa
Publishers: Random House India
Price: INR. 250
(22nd Nov, 2013)