Why you need to be ‘stoned’
Indian authors are quite the flavour of the day with publishers these days. One of them is Jugal Mody who has a day job as an engineer. Mody recently launched his first book, Toke, in the city. Advertising professional turned author of bestsellers like The Zoya Factor and Battle of Bittora, Anuja Chauhan caught up with Mody to figure out the logic behind Toke.
Mody read out excerpts from his book to a packed audience [mostly his friends] at a city pub. Chauhan and Mody engaged in a candid conversation about Toke. The idea of the book, says Mody, is to do things differently, and one can only do that by getting stoned.
‘If one has always lived the mechanical and monotonous life, one hasn’t done much. The idea of my book is to do things differently,’ said the author. Toke is about Nikhil, a young man, who doesn’t smoke and is a teetotaller. Interestingly, he sees lord Vishnu in his dreams. One fine day, he dozes off in office and gets fired in the process. That’s when he decides to get stoned. What happens thereafter is a whirlwind mission to save the world [yes, he turns Superman after being asked by the god to turn saviour] with the help of his friends and the girl he ‘dreams of’.
Chauhan found the book to be ‘refreshing’. ‘It seemed like a metaphor,’ said Chauhan. She asked Mody if he meant any of the storyline. ‘I meant it for people who have led a mechanical life and have never gotten stoned. In a way, they are like zombies, caught in the monotony of life,’ he explained.
The author said that though he is not averse to the idea of jobs, he finds it important not to stick to a boring routine. Was his family supportive, asked Anuja. ‘I am a Gujarati and for my family it wouldn’t matter much if it was profitable. Besides, I am blessed to get family support,’ he said.
‘Interestingly, in the story, there is a junkie crow who says it acted in a lot of movies, which makes it an interesting read,’ said Anuja. What did she like about the story? ‘I like this book because it is very desi,’ she said. ‘It is unputdownable and therefore I have decided to keep this off my kids,’ said Anuja. Read to find out if that’s credible enough.