By Arun Kumar
Megastar Kasab – Hits and Misses: The Story of a Pakistani Actor, written by journalist Salil Jose, grabs you with its title.
The Kasab in the novel is not the Kasab who terrorised Indians, but one who comes to India to act in Bollywood movies and becomes a megastar.
It's an easy read spiced up with a sprinkling of steamy stuff.
The experience of Kasab is nothing new - Any Pakistani in India could end up facing the same situations.
But what makes his story engaging is the satirical and ironical tone the novelist has employed throughout the novel, right from the beginning when Kasab's early days in Bollywood are narrated to the end when he accepts the reality.
The story reads like an eyewitness account, but one craves for more since the book is but a novella. A lot of fleshing out could have been done.
The novelist failed to explore the minds of characters like Ram Singh and Priya, who had the potential to turn unforgettable.
However, he succeeded in presenting Kasab as a well-rounded character. Kasab proves to be a bold, true-to-heart, emotional human being.
Those parts where Kasab's thoughts, dreams and nightmares are narrated deserve special mention.
Another aspect of the novel which deserves to be highlighted is the crisp prose the novelist has employed in the novel. There are many insightful and thought-provoking one–liners.
But still one wishes that the author had given more colour to places, situations and characters. That would have made it all the more memorable.