Arnab Ray, May I Hebb Your Attention Pliss!, HarperCollins, ISBN 978-81-7223-937-4, Rs 199.
Yes! Arnab Ray, known to his many fans all over the world as the Great Bong, Bollywood junkie, cornucopia of trivia, Dadaist and blogger extraordinaire, owner of the piece of virtual territory found at <http://greatbong.net>, has not only written a book, but is coming to town to launch it. I will be in conversation with the great man at Crossword Bookstore, Elgin Road, on Friday 19 March at 6pm.
The book is delightfully witty, mordant and whimsical, but then we who read his blog know that, don’t we? Here he reprises some of the old favourites, like his short story 1-900-HOTTIES, new and improved version, as well as new lucubrations on trivia and popular culture. Very few writers can pull off consistently humourous writing without frothing at the mouth or puffing up with hot air. Ray has had lots of practice writing on his blog, which he updates with intimidating frequency for us lazy lumps. The years of getting flamed by weirdo trolls and crazy Russian bullion salesmen have taught him how to hold on to his audience with his back teeth.
A humourist needs two things to keep his audience panting for more: a good eye for the oddities of life, and a crisp style to express them. Arnab Ray has both in big dollops. He’s also a nostalgia junkie for the good old days of the 1970s, especially its cinema. And he knows his culture theory too. Read his review of Mithun Chakraborty’s Gunda for an example of how films ought to be reviewed.
I’ll be in conversation with him on Friday. I intend to ask him how exactly DID Lambu Atta ‘elongate’ Bulla’s sister?