The comedy of errors

Book: The Belated Bachelor Party

Author: Ravinder Singh

Publication: Harper Collins

Pages: 277; Price: Rs 199

Authors like Ravinder Singh have undoubtedly got a wider appeal among the youth of our colleges and universities, but their writings have an altogether different tone and tenor. Ravinder Singh’s previous works like I Too Had A Love Story and Can Love Happen Twice? sold like hot cakes despite the absence of the established literary canons, we usually expect to be present in a work of art and literature.

His latest book, The Belated Bachelor Party, is no exception. It can be described as another chip in the same block. No doubt, the Prologue of the book merits our special attention and a considerable amount of admiration also as the narrator glorifies the beauty of friendship and asserts that unlike other human relations, the relation of friendship is quite democratic in nature.

Here one has the autonomy to make friends as per one’s own choice and this bond has been put on a higher pedestal in contrast with the bond of romantic love even. But as we flip the pages of the book and journey through its narrative, we get disappointment to some extent. It is just a run of the mill tale of four married men who have been friends since their college days. Long after their academic association, they re-associate and plan to go on a trip to Europe. As the title aptly suggests, it is the belated bachelor party, their spouses are not taken along with.

Throughout their trip, the married men are shown causing ruckus, boozing and playing frivolous pranks. Travel ethics are violated and co-dwellers living in adjacent room have to complain to the hotel authorities against their deafening commotion. At one point, they land in serious trouble without valid visas, banned party drugs and a rifle cartridge in their possession. All of the chief characters Happy, MP, Raam Ji and Ravin are

least mindful of their lingo and make frequent usage of undignified words mostly in their vernacular (Punjabi). This not only brings down the quality of the book, but also gives the moralists an opportunity to raise their eye brows.

The plot of the novel, too, is purely quotidian, having nothing much constructive to talk about except the endless friendly banter and plethora of pranks. Thus, the book can be summed up as a piece of ordinary comedy that does not cater to the taste of a reader with subtle sensibilities. While reading the book such a reader will simply gather an impression that he/she is in the company of four wild bohemians who only believe in deriving carnal pleasures. Even if the argument is deployed that the purpose of the book is not to preach any sermons. It has the chief objective of offering the readers light moments of laughter loaded with fun, such type of fun and adventures (that depict party drugs, undue uproar, rifle cartridge and indecent boozing) are not alluring enough to all the segments of the readers.

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