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By God: The Making of a Messiah by Shashi Warrier – Book Review

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Do you think that a religion can be managed like a corporate? Well, we see some of them are managed quite better than corporates :). And, nothing wrong in the same, if it does good to the society. And, yes, some religions have a tendency to expand itself. Oh, let me reword it, some religious leaders have a tendency to do everything they can to expand the religion they are associated with it. Dharma, of course, is much beyond it, and, we are talking about religion only.

Some book, for example, “Da Vinci Code” by Dan Brown, irked controversy, as he has explored some stuff which the believers of Christianity found unquestionable. The same happened with many books.

All these incidents raise a question, worth asking for. Is it possible to execute a series of branding and marketing efforts in a way that it leads people to consider someone as a spiritually superior figure, a hand of God, or guide for the eternal soul? Well, why not? If most of the people are finding solace into the outer world, expect someone else to solve their problems, then, why not? Hadn’t we seen some spiritual Babas and Matas getting popular through various TV Shows and eventually have their own followers? And, many of them exposed to be fake. They are actually very intelligent people, they know how the world moves ahead and how people think, much better than others. And they use their skills to get what they want.

Recently I came across a book named By God: The Making of A Messiah by Shashai Warrior. The book beautifully depicts the making of a Messiah and introduces us to many cultures, religious beliefs of the followers of various religions, political situations in a beautifully weaved fictional story where facts are blended nicely. We are thankful to Fingerprint! Publishing for sending us the review copy. The views and reviews are unbiased and uninfluenced by all means. Reading this book reminded me of one such book I read recently, The Man From Mandu by Manoj Jain.

What people do in their lives and what the spiritual/religious leaders do in their lives, whether it is right or wrong, is not a point of discuss here. One, however, needs to think logically and have an open mind, before doing anything. Asking questions till you get answers and then do the things which you find logically correct is the course expected from the humans to follow. That’s why we are blessed with a brain.

Book Title : By God
The Making of a Messiah
Author :
Publisher : Fingerprint! Publishing (1 August 2019)
# of Pages : 248 (Paperback)
# of Chapters :
Purchase Link(s) :

Let us take a look at the book from a reader’s perspective and see what it has to offer us.

Book Cover:

First thing first. Do you believe in the impact of first impression? I do.

Despite believing in the fact that “a book should not be judged by its cover” firmly, I acknowledge the impact of the same in book reading and/or purchase decisions. So, let us take a look at the cover page of “By God: The Making of A Messiah”.

By God: The Making of a Messiah by Shashi Warrier - Book Cover

By God: The Making of a Messiah by Shashi Warrier – Book Cover

When you talk about a Messiah, you see disciples or believers in him/her right? They can be from any caste, creed, region, religion or faith. They all are looking at someone they follow faithfully. A gesture of greeting, possibly – Namaste. Rays coming from the center and reaching everywhere. All these are the elements we can think of, right? Now compare these thoughts with the cover page above and see the resemblance yourself.

I found the cover page satisfying the theme and title of the book.

Of course, there is a possibility that you might have different elements in your mind that might not be there on the cover page. What are your thoughts? Will you purchase/read this book from the impression of the cover page? I would love to hear.

The Plot:

There is a fictional country named Ghublistan. The people who believed in The Great God Ghubla lived there. They all seemed to have very limited resources for earning. And, they have very limited requirements too. The outer world is almost unknown to them. Of course, some of them have traveled outside Ghublistan and many countries across the world recognize Ghublistan as a country.

A specific kind of plant grows there in the land which is not accessible to the lower level people there. Only a few know the art of preparing concentrated powder from the same. This powder is accessible to a few high-level people. They use it to calm their senses (drug addiction) and focus more on the divine duties (thinking) guided by the Great God Ghubla.

There is a hierarchical level of people decided based on “how near they are to the Great God Ghubla)! And, there are at least 16 levels! Women are considered far lower to men in the land. In fact, no comparison between men and women is possible.

The people in Ghublistan consider Grand Prophet Alkanza a very pious figure and his words are the most precious things for them.

Somehow Tomikanza is given a task to explore the world. He has multiple purposes on hand. Understanding the world better is one of them. He needs to take a barber with him who does the ritual of butt-shaving and work as a servant! Neepane is the best choice for him as he has already been out of Ghublistan and visited a few countries! He also knows English, the language requires the most in the outer world!

The journey started from the Homeland of Tomikanza and Neepane passes through Mumbai, India; Karachi, Pakistan and New York, USA. What happens during this journey is better exploring by reading this book where meet many characters including Indian politician and police officials,
Abdul Karim Niazi, Imam Javed Abbasi, Col. Abdul Fakhrullah, officers of the US Investigation agencies and others.

Views And Reviews:

The book is an intelligent satire that needs to be read with an open mind. Also, you need to be aware of current happenings around the world, to understand the punch within.

The initial part of the book requires your attention and you need to put in the efforts to understand what is happening. A new fictional land, customs of that land and fictional characters are introduced where the words and explanations are not easy to absorb. But, once you are in the flow and the characters spend some time in Mumbai, things start getting clear. The journey from this point forward is quite smooth.

The way the author came up with phrases which can be abbreviated as LGBT, BUTT, SHIT, ROT, GBUH, and others, is really interesting.

While this is a bit of spoiler, but let me share it with you as it will help you read the book in quite an interesting perspective. The author has named the characters living is Ghublistan from various diseases or physical conditions! Kanza – is for cancer! Neepane is soundex of Knee Pain and so on! The author himself reveals it later in the book. The book could have been a better read if a glossary is included at the beginning.

This is the first work of Shashi Warrior I came across and I found his writing style quite interesting. Writing a satire is not an easy thing. He does it quite flawlessly. I like the way he talked about some really important points which people rather shy away from talking about. The publisher has also taken a brave step by publishing this book.

The research work done by the author reflects throughout the book. Considering that it would be easier for him to explore the incidents set up in India, the incidents explored in Pakistan and the USA are also explored very authentically. And, we are not talking only about the geographical stuff or people’s way of living there. The mindset of the people and the beliefs implanted in them and the environment in which they grow up; is quite a challenging job to explore properly. The author does it well.

Here are some interesting lines from the book which I like.

And then there’s time to learn. I learn about how to win friends and influence stewardesses.

You can definitely make a link with the book title which was referred here :). I don’t think I need to comment anything for the below mentioned satirical block:

“Do they believe in the same god?”

“Some do. There is a party for Hindus, and another for Muslims. There are even some that are dominated by parts of the old hierarchy they used to have here, called the caste system.”

“Very sensible,” I say. “The caste system is very good.”
But most of them worship another god, more powerful than the caste system.”

“Which one?” I ask.

“Money.”

The following line reflects the thoughts of a majority of civilians about the political system:

Those who are more intelligent try to elect the least evil of the leaders, or refuse to participate in the election altogether

In the same way, the following lines about mythological stuff have their own punch, only you need to pay attention.

“… Is it not a sin to question a divine saying?”
“Well,” the lady says, “there aren’t any divine sayings. There are only sayings that people said long ago were divine. …

There are places where the author came with interesting input. For example, it is easy to find references for sage Durvasa at many places in Indian literature, but, it is rare to find the meaning of his name, as the author has mentioned in this book.

There was a sage of rage, called Durvasa, whose name means difficult to live with.

The following lines will definitely remind you of a similar incident that happened at an airport in a metro city in India. The case was in the media limelight for some time, but then, with time, it was also forgotten. Also, pay attention to the name of the political party mentioned here.

Well, then you should get going now,” says HE.
The MP laughs. “It’s all right,” he says. “I’ve checked in. Let the flight wait.”
“Will they wait?” asks HE.
“Of course they will!” says the MP, his voice rising in indignation. “I am a member of the Shanti Sena. Everyone waits for me.”
“Oh! Are you sure?” asks HE.
“Of course! They know that if the flight takes off without me then I will attack the pilot with chappals.”…

And yes, the author goes ahead mentioning many phrases and words which are media’s favorite these days. And, even common people use these words, sometimes even without knowing their meaning :). This list, however, could have been very long though :).

… Then there are the pseudo-seculars, the sickulars, the libtrads, the leftists, and all those people from the …

The following lines will remind you of some claims made during various election campaigns.

If somebody votes for my enemy, why should I do anything for him even if he lives in my constituency?

The following lines explain the narcissist persona of the spiritual leader(!) from Ghublistan. It is up to you, how you link it with various prominent figures from almost all the areas of the society.

The source of the pleasure cannot be the woman or her words. It can only be that my mind extracted from her words!
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
“You will need to guide me through it,” he says. “You can’t teach. Your station is too low.”
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Truly great people are modest. I am modest. Therefore I must be truly great.

The book has some interesting oneliners. Of course, they should be read in the context they are mentioned.

… how will I save HE from himself?
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
… because Niazi’s smile now threatens to displace his ears.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
Karachi seems to me like Mumbai plus gangsters minus South Indians.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
.. Success brings enemies and enemies bring success.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
The dangerous enemies are the ones who were once friends.

The author talks about many myths spread in Pakistan including that Pakistan fought with British invaders and claimed independence, India, however, sabotaged it and separated from it! Also, the way their political system is similar and different from that of India is explored pretty well. In the same way, the author talks about the political system in the USA also. I like the way he took on the current political situation there, by talking about POTUS, FLOTUS and then about the rising influence of SLOTUS (read the full form for this in the book and you will be amazed for sure). The following lines have a satirical punch which is tough to miss :).

Imagine him calling an American-made state-of-the-art $450 million plant pollution! Well, it’s mostly Korean – and Taiwanese-made, with a few bits from Japan and some more from China, but it was made to American quality standards. No, well, it was made to German quality standards, but it was paid for by Americans. So no matter who made it, he’s got no right to call it pollution!

By now, these quotes must have given you an idea about the quality and the type of writing you can expect from this book. I have tried to skip as many spoilers as possible, but some of them are inevitable.

Overall, a book worth reading. Go for it only if you can digest satirical punches and have awareness about what is happening in the world and an attitude to look at it with an open mind.

Summary:

A nicely written satire. The initial part of the book requires your attention to digest what is happening. New terms and names make it quite difficult to understand the same in the beginning. However, as the book progress, you will find it more interesting and finally, you will be engrossed in the tale. Read it with an open mind and go for it if you like reading intelligent satires.

ThinkerViews Rating:

Around 7.5 out of 10.

Quick Purchase Links:
Over To You:

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