Blurbs on book jackets give you a gist of what one can read inside. They offer the reader a thrilling synopsis of the book. Now, what if the key players of Indian politics starred in works of fiction? As we get closer to the elections, here is a humourous look at political books. These may be mysteries, thrillers, whodunits and analysis featuring our political players. All to be taken like a politician’s promises — with a pinch of salt
Pizza in the Piazza
Sonia Gandhi has put down the remote control and is ensconced in Venice, Italy, today. Sonia’s only connection to India is as slender as a sliver of spaghetti. She runs a highly successful pizza outlet called Soniata House and is more concerned about pepperoni than polls. It all changes, though, one sleepy, Sunday afternoon when a tall man, his face partially obscured in a Fedora, enters the Soniata House, just under a piazza and orders a cup of coffee. Just before he leaves, he scrawls ‘Bofors’ on the menu with a red pen and glides away in a Gondola. This sends shivers down Sonia’s spine. Who is this man, and what does he want? Sometimes, the more we try to forget, the more we are forced to remember.
Publisher: Mamamia Publications
Price: India: Rs 750 USA: $12
The Mallakhamb Mystery
Raj and Uddhav Thackeray are accused of having a hand in a mallakhamb competition that goes wrong, with a competitor disappearing in the dead of night. The story promises to have more twists than a mallakhamb player’s contortions. Have the warring cousins staged the disappearance to deviate from the real issue: the taking over of Shivaji Park? When super sleuth Aadhesh Crackthecasekar is called to investigate, the detective learns that one wrong move and the mallakhamb rope can become a noose around his neck. This political thriller, set in the heat and dust of Mumbai’s iconic Shivaji Park, will have your heart beating faster than a Formula One car.
Publisher: BallotHouse books
Price: Rs 399 (hardcover)
On the Cu(s)p of History
Just as he was on the brink of becoming Prime Minister of the world's largest democracy, Narendra Modi gave it all up to become a tea merchant. Modi claims this is an extension of his tea-vending days. This transformation from a powerful political figure to a humble tea merchant has been astonishing. NaMo says it was his wish to stand on the cu(s)p of history. But is everybody buying that? As polls loom, voices rumble that Modi has something up the sleeve of his kurta. A book that will take you into the inner machinations of the mind of the shrewdest politician of all time and prove that some clichés still hold true — like the one that says politics is not everybody’s cup of tea.
Publisher: Beverage Books
Price: Rs 1,500
Muffler is the Word
That is all the police had to go on — a muffler lodged between the bars of a Mumbai local train. Arvind Kejriwal had disappeared. It seemed impossible that in a city teeming with millions, Kejriwal could simply vanish into thin air. But this is politics and stranger things have happened. Wild theories continue to fly around, including one that says the AAP-le of the anti-corruption eye has been spotted at the NASA space station. Interpol is roped in and a global hunt is on for Arvind Kejriwal… it is a race against time as Rakesh Maria’s men and their international counterparts hunt for Kejriwal, a hunt that takes them across countries and cities alike — Mumbai to Manhattan and Monte Carlo. Only if mufflers could speak…
Publisher: Cuthroat Publications
Price: Rs 450 (softcover)
Gaga for RaGa
As India races towards the polls, Rahul Gandhi’s campaigns have taken a backseat to morning riyaaz. Rahul has taken his RaGa label seriously, practising RaGas with dedication. He believes that the price rise blamed on the Congress can be solved if everybody could simply sing for their supper. He has been seen at every major music concert, sometimes in a trance, as the music rises to a crescendo. As elections loom, Janpath has posters of Rahul posing with pop icon, Lady Gaga. Congress is divided over this Gaga with RaGa methodology, but will the still somewhat young Gandhi prove there is a method to his melodic madness? A political analysis from the sharpest minds of our time.
Publisher: Votetheheck Books
Price: Rs 510
Musical version: Rs 900