Scandal Point By Fahad Samar
Ricky Kumar is preparing for his launch as a Bollywood superstar. He has just managed to score with the beautiful, petite Rhea Zaveri, daughter of a diamond tycoon. He is handsome, he is in love, he is the apple of his mother’s eye and the butt of his father’s friendly jokes. His father, of course, is the great film super star of yore, Kapil ‘King Cock’ Kumar. But things begin to go horribly wrong for Ricky when NRI playboy and restauranteur Gautam Goyal flies in from London and checks into a drug rehab facility in Mumbai. Before they know it, Ricky and Gautam are pitted against each other in a fierce rivalry. All hell breaks loose, much to the media’s delight.
There are two types of books – those that educate and those that entertain. If a book can achieve a perfect balance of the two, it is an instant hit. Unfortunately Scandal point does neither. This is a perfect text- book case of writing overshadowing the lack of a riveting plot. It is extremely well written yet it bores you to death with the plot. I’ve read reviews of the book that said, “I refuse to rate this book.” I can’t agree more.
The irony of it is I picked it for two reasons, which at the time seemed like logical ones.
- On the cover there is an endorsement from David Roberts, author of Shantaram that read, “With a remarkable steady hand, Fahad Samar holds up a vanity mirror to the world he knows too well. The reflection we see is funny but kind, and cool but clever.”
I wanted to read it although I wan’t 100% convinced only because he said, “he knows the world too well that he wrote about.” A 10/10 reason for me to pick it up. Even if the book doesn’t entertain, it may well be educating. And I got zilch from the book. There are/were so many great technicians in Bollywood and no mention, no information, nothing in the book other than sleazy tabloid based ream of sex scandals. A snobbish portrayal of the industry and its members. Hmm, so much for endorsements, eh?
- It is published by Harper Collins and written by an Indian author (I had a woohoo moment there. What better way to encourage?).
The writing is funny, satirical and mildly entertaining. However, at many places it reads like a gossip column in a B-grade film magazine. The plot is over-the-top, melodramatic, clichéd and distasteful (exactly like the industry he is writing about and I am glad that that is changing off late with some good experiments). Also, characters read like hormone pumped youth who are either snorting or having sex. Let me give you an example of what I mean by over the top – A character, an aspiring actress who doesn’t shy away from bedding any one irrespective of their age (thank God gender was spared) gets knocked-up and doesn’t know who the father is. Try and beat that!
So much for brand names, eh?
Conclusion: Good writing skills wasted.
P.s. Why bother to write a review? I couldn’t help myself. I spent 250 Rs of my hard earned money and 5 hours of my time on the book. I am entitled to be angry, don’t you think?