Two Candles on my Cake

Chetan Bhagat did both a huge service and disservice to the cause of Indian literature. While his first novel (and all subsequent ones too) gave India a taste for reading, he also made every person with the ability to put pen on paper, think that he could be the next literary sensation.

The two novels that I read recently, ‘Oh Shit, Not Again!‘, and Zero Percentile: Missed IIT Kissed Russia are nothing but an exercise in primary school essay writing: My Family, My Friends, My Fantasies, My Neighbours, My School/ College/ Institute…

‘Oh Shit, Not Again!’ is the story of a young boy Raj whose family moves to Pune. There he makes new friends and fantasises about every female whom he meets. Nobody is safe from this Peeping Tom. Right from his friends to the neighbourhood aunties to the maids, his favourite past time seems to be watching them in a state of undress.

Zero Percentile has the pretensions of a plot. Pankaj Sharma, calls himself a ‘less favoured son of destiny’ but actually comes across as a Bollywood super hero who conquers all adversities and comes out tops. From Delhi to Russia, he leads an adventurous life where he is always centre-stage.

I would have given up on these books had I not committed myself to reading them for the Birth Year Reading Challenge.

During this year’s Jaipur Lit Fest, Vikram Seth had advised wanna-be authors not to write pure drivel and thus cut trees and waste paper. I wish people would pay heed to his advice.


First Line: “Dhooom…..” I lobbed the first bag out of the truck, and then the second.

Title: ‘Oh Shit, Not Again!’

Author: Mandar Kokate

Publication Details: Pune: Expression Publications, 2009

First Published: 2009

Pages: 262


First Line: It was spring in 1997, but in Moscow it had arrived only as date of the month.

Title: Zero Percentile: Missed IIT, Kissed Russia

Author: Neeraj Chhibba

Publication Details: ND: Rupa, 2009.

First Published: 2009

Pages: 219


The books, if you so desire, can be purchased on the Net. I borrowed these from my cousin, Tarun, many moons ago, and they had been sitting on my shelves since then.


Submitted for the following Challenges:


Birth Year

Off the Shelf

2 thoughts on “Two Candles on my Cake

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