Friday, January 15, 2016

Guest Post- A Dog Eat Dog-food World by Suresh Chandrasekaran

Summary-

A hilarious pseudo-history of marketing management, which explicitly denies resemblance to any actual history, and which will be horrified if some semblance be found. ‘A dog eat dog-food world’ is the story of a man who discovered that the path of life is strewn with treadmills and, if you get on one by mistake, you could keep running all your life to stay in the same place. The story of how just minding your own business can lead to unexpected consequences, guided by the ‘invisible hand’ of long dead economists. Anything you learn from the book – be it the basics of marketing management or a satirical view of Society – you do at your own risk.

The tale only dogs the doings of Spike Fortune who only sought to feed dogs and Jerry Fortune who, being fortuneless, gets dragged helter-skelter by his uncle Spike’s careening pursuit of commercial success; Spike’s rival Tom Rich, who is unwillingly dragged into upstaging Spike and tries to do it by teasing the palates of cats, helped by the bumbling efforts of his nephew, Jasper Rich who would rather be chasing girls than chasing cats.

Release Date: October 20th, 2015
Published by: Fablery
Page numbers: 94

Buy the book-

About the Author-


Fiction has been an addiction but the need to make a living took Suresh through Chemical Engineering and a PGDM at IIM-Bangalore and, from thence, to a long 16 year stint in the area of finance with specific expertise in fertilizer subsidies at IFFCO and a further two years as consulting expert in the same area. That, in his words, about sums up the boring part of his life, except for the people he was privileged to meet.
Born on 27 September 1963 in Chennai, Suresh can be a dithering Libran most of the times. A company town upbringing at Neyveli and Engineering at Annamali University, Chidambaram was leavened by management education at IIM-Bangalore and, later, working life at IFFCO, New Delhi. Having decided very early in life to write full-time after securing a financial future – which also incidentally meant that he remained single in order to make it as early as possible - he quit employment at the age of 41 and his consultancy at 43, and returned to Bangalore.
Otherwise, he can be described as a mess of contradictions – a bookworm but avid trekker; alone but never lonely; enjoys solitude but loves company; lazy but a perfectionist, the litany is endless. Trekking, which side-tracked him from the writing for which he quit his job, is a major passion and he does, at least, one trek in the Himalayas every year in addition to numerous local treks.
He reignited his passion for writing with afairly popular blog. The blog has been rated among the Top 5 humour blogs in India, twice in succession - in 2014 and 2015 - by BlogAdda, and has also been listed third among the Top Humour Blogs by Baggout.
He also has a short story published in a collection “Uff Ye Emotions” and has edited and written a novelette in an ebook anthology “Sirens spell danger”. On Facebook, where he is more active, he can be accessed at Facebook. He does have a twitter handle - @CSuresh16 – but he has no handle on using it regularly.

Humourist in tears

It is sort of oxymoronic (which is next door to moronic) to think of a humourist in tears. When I participated in a Facebook interview of a Penguin Editor, if anyone had said she would reduce me to tears, I would have given him the horse’s laugh (though why one had to neigh to show contempt has always baffled me.) But that is precisely what she did and with so few words, that my laptop was in real danger of being tested to the limits of its moisture-proofing.
“We do not prefer humour submissions”
Those were the words that caused tears to spout like a Niagara from my eyes and drench my laptop nearly beyond redemption. I had always been under the impression that people liked being happy and, since laughter is a sign of happiness, writing that makes people laugh can never go out of fashion even if people stopped liking girls loving vampires and preferring boys loving werewolves instead. How wrong I was.
Of course, she did say, “Unless it is of exceptional quality” but we all know what that means. It only indicates that ‘If you are P.G. Wodehouse reincarnate, certified by God and countersigned by all the angels, and if you send us a piece, and if we are having a weak moment, we shall take one year to reject it instead of the customary six months.’
But then, considering the fate of P.G. Wodehouse himself, it is par for the course. I have seen a great number of lists oftop works and authors of all times in English Literature and none…NONE…of them listed his name. At last, I find one Top 100 list and they, very graciously, condescend to list him in the hundredth place. The man whom almost everyone would say was the BEST EVER in the genre of humour writing is not considered worth a place in the top literature authors, when lesser lights in other genres insouciantly occupy their thrones. How then can a humour writer of today even presume to seek admission into the august portals of published literature?
The problem, I think, lies in an attitude best exemplified by an appellation bestowed on Wodehouse himself. Someone once called him a ‘burbling pixie’. Now, how can anyone ever take a ‘burbling pixie’ seriously? Being a burbling pixie is next door to capering around in a jester’s cap and bells – one can indulgently smile upon such a person but, honestly, how can one devote a page of history to his name?
To be funny is to be frivolous, or so it seems Society views it. So, if you admitted to liking Wodehouse, you would be considered a lightweight and cannot lay claim to any intellectual stature. What does it matter that no-one has had an equal command over English or that writing humour was by far tougher than almost any other genre you could think of writing?You could miss upon making a person cry and still keep him interested in the incidents of a story but whoever thought that a joke that did not tickle them was still good? But, no, if it made you laugh it cannot be literature – happiness be damned.
To be fair to the Penguin Editor (Remember her? She who set off the Niagara of tears and now this Niagara of words? Oh! You are busy cursing her for causing this to be inflicted on you. Alright, when you are done…), she mentioned that the problem was that humour was so taste-specific that what was funny to one was not so to the other and, thus, it was difficult to sell. That has a modicum of truth in it, considering what passes for humour these days.
If you leave out the political satire, what remains are only two types of humour. The first is the travelogue type of humour. Whether it is actually a travelogue or not, it is a humorous rendering of the life-style, language, accent and practices of a person, place or community. I can quite understand where the Penguin Editor comes from, if that is all what she considers the humour writing. After all, after reading the twenty-seventh rendering of the astonishment of a Punjabi at the fact that South Indians actually can live without eating wheat; the fifty-fourth rendering of the travails of a South Indian hunting for filter coffee in Muzzaffarnagar or some such place; and the ninety-fourth humorous piece on the fishy Bengalis, even the most patient of editors could forswear humour. Not to mention the fact that the said humour will appeal to only a select audience.
A special variant of this travelogue humour is the one centred on beings from Mars encountering beings from Venus or the vice versa. Every single change has been rung on this particular trope and still every now and again there is always someone to whom the idea of how men do not understand women strikes with the force of a new divine revelation.
The other type of humour is scatological humour, whether in the bed or in the lavatory. Humour about urinating, farting and effing always seem very funny…mainly to the author. Sometimes, it can be done well enough to be of interest to others as well – except for those who identify themselves with the butt of the jokes. Though not exactly scatological, humanity has always found snoring, losing hair and other such things extremely funny but one can understand an editor thinking that a joke-book would cover all these topics and sell better than anything else on the subject.
Both these types of humour can prove offensive to people. The travelogue style writers do tend to get a certain condescending, ‘look how silly these people are’ note in their humour. The other ones, generally, tend to be offensive about the people who are the butts of their jokes.
The fact remains that it is possible to write humour without offending people and without repeating the same trope over and over again. The difficulty seems to be in convincing people that such can and has been done.
I did attempt and, I think with reasonable success, in writing one such. Without offending anyone, did I say? Well – it is possible that marketing management people could take offense if they take their profession too seriously. That cannot be avoided. After all, I have to make fun of something!
Thank you so much, C. Suresh for the wonderful post! Hope you guys check out his book!

9 comments:

  1. Such a wonderful post! thank you!!

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  2. This was a simply brilliant analysis of the writing scene in the humour genre. Next time try approaching the Penguins of Madagascar, they have a remarkable approach to everything!

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    1. Now, when I write humor, the word 'penguin' makes me hide my face in shame :)

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  3. That was an educative piece on the types of humour and loved the last line -- what is humour if it can't make fun of something, eh?

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    1. I do not claim that this is an exhaustive or even representative list of possible humor writing - merely my own view of it :)

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  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  5. You can also get a better review from me! Everybody is welcome!

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