Review: The Elephant, the tiger and the cellphone

eleThis is where it all started, my interest in tharoor and his work. At that time I was in US and in one of the shows that I liked to watch “The Colbert Report” Shashi Tharoor was invited to discuss his then released book “The Elephant, the tiger and the cellphone”. I was pretty impressed with his way of handling questions (Colbert can be a tough nut to handle), his demeanor and his knowledge of India (although for a many years he was outside India).

“The Elephant, the Tiger and the Cellphone” by Shashi Tharoor is mostly a commentary (aka reflections) about India in the 21st Century. The book is divided into many sections and tharoor expresses his views on anything and everything pertaining to India quite candidly. I specially liked his views regarding religion and how we handle it (rather trade) India, what does being a Hindu mean and how people derive their own meanings to suit their selfish means.

The book is a decent read, however it becomes too much information, too much views sometime. And I can’t believe it myself but I did get bored on some parts. The book is 380 odd pages and one big flaw (for which the author already apologizes in the beginning) is repeated information, repeated passages, paragraphs so many times. And if you have read or heard tharoor earlier with every passing page you might think that you have heard/read it earlier too.

“A woman of Italian Origin, giving away the PM post to a Sikh who is sworn by a Muslim president in a country 80% Hindu”, this example is worn out by its extensive usage by Mr. tharoor and yet he keeps on using it in his speeches every now and then. Not that it has lost its subject matter but then an example on India’s diversity can only go so far.

I skimmed through many pages and skipped some. Overall satisfactory book but I had high expectations from the book which were not met.

PS: I do like the cover photo a lot, which depicts the true India.

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