Can a humorous book be meaningful? Yes, in both ways, it endorses entertainment and every book has some lessons to offer. Peppered Minds is the first novel of the author Om Somani. I was surprised! The novel has many themes with some interesting characters with staged against Indian cities like Jaipur and Hyderabad. Those who could decipher the far cry can understand this is a great novel, otherwise one more bulky yet funny book. The novel is based on the bad influence of chili consumption – powdered, red or green. It is dangerous for all. It blinds us. Did you get the title, peppered minds –means a sprinkle of chili on our creativity and innovation through the food that we consume? Leaving philosophy to isolation, let’s see what’s in the story.
It’s about a young man named Neeraj. The story first begins at Jaipur, he lives there with his mother, sister, and father. He cleared some entrance exams and got selected in a government company that makes fuel for nuclear reactors for the power plants of India. His selection at a young age becomes exaggerated and then ensues a lot of preparation for his journey ahead. That was a typical picture of a conservative middle-class family, more than a consolidated story, the novel advances in episodes. The author has kept Neeraj in the centre but others too jump in from time to time to narrate their stories, sweeps, and back stories, and introductions. The biggest introductions were of that postman searching for Neeraj’s home and his boss at the Hyderabad office.
The novel is a journey of a young man from his home to his office. There is a contrast in both places, at home he was being uplifting by family members, but at the office, he was not so favoured by the colleagues or seniors, except the girls. Another fun-filled part in the novel is Prashant and his wife and later on the cook Raju and that peaky driver. The story becomes gripping and sees some action when the team reaches Nayapur for some discoveries. I like that expedition part most and highlight on kerosene in a geologist’s life was way funnier than I thought.
The real thrill is in the end, in that letter of Neeraj, where he totally presented a shocking theory on chili with examples from primitive India. For me, the novel was like a journey of a young man with episodes filled with lighthearted spirit and hilarity. I would not remember this novel for some tragedy or major landscape development; rather I would laugh at its mere thought.
I sighed in appreciation for the writing skills of the author, such a long book, and all was perfect. There wasn’t even a tinge of grammatical errors or language gaps, just like the smooth story, so ran the narration. I would recommend this book for people looking ways to smile in life. Being a debut book, I think Om Somani did a good work owing to his great narration skills.