Book: The Pillow Talk Movies
Author: Shashi Warrier
Price: Rs 295
Satire is at its strongest when the influences it draws from are visible to readers, and in the case of The Pillow Talk Movies, author Shashi Warrier has no shortage of material. Naresh Gupta, an ageing MP who has a cache of documents detailing every dirty secret, is going mad due to syphilis. With general elections around the corner, the Ruling Alliance, led by the Old Family Party, must make use of every dirty trick, and then some, to avoid being decimated.
References to our political and media establishments are obvious: there is the female party president of the Old Family Party; her bratty son, referred to as the Future of the Country; the highly-charged anchor of the show ‘Burning Questions at Ten’, who snorts coke and “steamrolls logic and reason with sheer volume’. Other interesting characters include a middle-aged hitwoman who preaches the Bhagavad Gita in her spare time, a Mumbai don-of-dons who bemoans his lack of facial hair, an educationist who is a man dressed up as a woman and a mid-level “contractor” who dreams of becoming President.
Warrier succeeds in weaving a colourful, chaotic tapestry of politics, crime and business and takes a no-holds-barred approach when it comes to taking swipes at certain aspects of politics. But he steers clear of sensitive issues such as Hindutva politics, caste and communalism. It detracts from the idea that the book pokes fun across establishments.