Humor is one ingredient that we feel is often missing from our day to day life. Finding good books in humor category is also a challenge. And like me if you also try to sit down and force yourself to write a humorous piece it pretty much has the potential to screw up the rest of your day. So yes sprinkling even a dash of humor in your writing is damn tough and apologies for my choice of next few words here… It takes a real bad ass to do it….
When I met Sidin Vadakut – the blogger, columnist & author of immensely successful Dork Trilogy, right after one of his sessions at JLF 2015, the first question I asked him was – What books do you read? Who are your inspirations for writing humor? And trust me that list he gave me is so exhaustive and interesting, I made sure I go through each of those books before writing this article.
Office humor and the ‘shit’ that happens inside and outside the cubicles.
Dork Trilogy is all about Office Humour. And post Khushwant Singh there has been a dearth in humor writing from India and absolutely nobody was writing about the work place. These books found affinity with 20 – 30 year old business graduates , potential MBAs who were working, struggling to cope with the corporate culture. So finally they will get to read about the ‘shit’ that they are going through !
Dork #1 : The Incredible Adventures of Robin ‘Einstein’ Varghese – The book is about ‘Einstein’ Varghese, a stupendously naive but academically gifted young man , he graduates from one of India’s best business schools with a Day-Zero job in a mediocre mid-market management consulting firm largely run by complete morons ! As he tries to fit into the new culture, things start getting spectacularly wrong in both his professional and personal life.
What you didnot know about this particular book is that – Its publishers – claims that they still print this book every month. And for an Indian author to have a book that is still printed after 5 years of its release is a big deal and is quite amazing!
Dork #2 : God Save the Dork also continues in the style of the first book, a satirical and witty take on the world of corporate consultancy and management. Perhaps for the first time people from the corporate world in India started reading about things that they were going through – the character’s very mediocrity makes him attractive, despite his pretensions.Their issues with the culture. And these books starting finding a huge fan following.
Dork #3 : Who let the Dork out? The last and the final book in the trilogy. A hilarious read, and a lovely conclusion to the Dork trilogy. The story revolves around – the 2010 Games which Robin’s company is helping the government conduct. The Dork is out now , dealing with rest of the world. Politicians to bureaucrats a hilarious adventure that is sure to take you on a laughter ride.
A new way of re telling history. Yes this time it was the humorous way !
If one thing that our history has done to us apart from making us occasionally proud – it has always baffled us. Its accuracy, logic, the dates the chronology all of that makes it more of a puzzle than anything else.
This book, Sidin’s next venture was a narrative non fiction about Indian history. Apparently this book had a complete blow out on kindle selling thousands of copies in its first week itself ! That really tells us a lot of being a patriot !
So finally what it takes to write good humor ?
Recipe of writing good humor is about 3 things : Very very good timing | Obsessive editing| Balance of Style & Substance. ~ Sidin Vadakut
The very thing with which I started this conversation. Sure it is the ability to laugh at yourself , finding silly things around you and all these 3 very important points that Sidin has pointed out. So good humor writing is more about the style, substance is easy. And it the style which makes the author & his humor really unique. Funny – not because of what you are writing, but because of the structure. That is the modern way of looking at it.
I think it is just accepting one thing as a writer – you really don’t need to make your reader ‘Laugh’ every time. It is that little giggle , smile at the corner of their lips or inside and few nods of affirmation is all you need. This conversation with Sidin Vadakut did just that to me.
Yes it was funny, really really funny in a very intelligent way.