The Sceptical Patriot-Sidin Vadukut :41/52

Ok. Dinanath Batra, your move.

I somehow don’t like Sidin. Maybe because I found his Dork book  painfully unfunny or maybe because he didn’t reply to me on Twitter once. But I find him overrated (As an author. I still like his tweets). So I was not planning on liking this book and was gleefully looking forward to tear apart all those glowing five star ratings. Too bad. I liked it. I won’t give it Five Stars, but maybe I’ll give it a Perk.

You’re not a True Patriotic Indian if you haven’t received one of those emails with India Facts that you have to forward to all True Patriotic Indians if you are a True Patriotic Indian. You get bite sized pieces of those facts on Whatsapp these days.  I delete such emails without opening them and have even sent some of my Patriotic friends permanently to the spam folder. So just when I was about to tick the box that said False Patriot against my ‘Level of Patriotism’ , Sidin thankfully gives me another option . One that I can comfortably tick, guilt free: Sceptical Patriot.

Yes, the book does meander and digress a lot. There’s quite a bit of unrelated personal stories that gives the book a blogposty feel.  But forgiven. He doesn’t claim to be writing as a fuddy duddy serious historian and some chuckles are needed to break the academic feel of the topics. There is so much that has been covered and it seems really researched, not just Google researched. Was Sushruta the person behind Michael Jackson or Sridevi’s nose? Did Marconi steal the thunder from Jagdish Chandra Bose? Should we blame ancient Indians for placing Zero in the dangerous hands of Kapil Sibal? Was the whole world at Takshashila long long long before they were at Shardha University? (And oh. Takshashila is not in Bihar). Was ancient India richer than Mukesh Ambani or Sonia Gandhi? Would I have been less intimidated by computerese if my developers used Sanskrit instead of Java? All these questions have answers. Interesting answers. Medicine, economics, physics, history, geography, the range of topics covered seems a bit ambitious. But everything is served in Baby Bear portions, just right. The scorecards at the end of each chapter had me nodding in agreement.

But he has been too politically correct. Come on Sidin, waiting for spicier topics in your next book. Like Tejomahalaya or this or this. And while you’re at it, please tell me what will happen if I drink Coca Cola with Mentos inside the ATM and then enter my PIN backwards.

And then maybe this

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9 thoughts on “The Sceptical Patriot-Sidin Vadukut :41/52

  1. Just when I had given up on you, well almost, you posted 2 reviews!

    I somehow don’t like Sidin.
    I like Sidin, or rather his blogposts on sidin.blogspot.com.
    Maybe because I found his Dork book painfully unfunny
    I too.
    or maybe because he didn’t reply to me on Twitter once.
    I haven’t written to him, I am kind of scared by celebs.Perhaps you’re the only celeb I interact with.

    Some other interesting nuggets (for the skeptical patriot):
    I ordered “The Illicit Happiness of other people” through Flipkart and it has not yet reached me. Speedpost delivers assuredly (to remote areas) compared to First Flight (Name does sound dodgy).
    I bought “My Name is Red” at the princely sum of Rs 450/- from a local bookshop when it was available on Flipkart at less than 300/-. It felt good, I had done my bit to help a 🙂 floundering book seller.
    Patriotism is over-rated while loyalty is under-rated.

    Pip pip.

    • Was travelling and have a long backlog posts to update. I’m actually at 46/52, so four more posts coming up soon 🙂
      Since you are probably the only person who actually reads and interacts with me here, I do feel like a celeb 😛 And thank you for agreeing that Dork was not as hilarious as people made it out to be.
      Yes, Flipkart delivery is dodgy in areas where they don’t have their own delivery system. A lot of stuff does not get delivered to Coonoor. Are you an ebook person? If you aren’t, I suggest you give it a try. I was a hardcore physical book bhakt but now I swear by e.Tip: Local bookstores are to browse and smell, online bookstores are to Wishlist and beg-borrow-e-steal is the way to actually get to your hands on the books. How is My Name is Red? I’ve heard mixed reactions, been on my list forever but never got down to reading it, Do you recommend it?

  2. I don’t know how that smiley went “up” there. I had meant it to be at the end of the comment. 😐

  3. Thanks for the review!

    “Come on Sidin, waiting for spicier topics in your next book. Like Tejomahalaya or this or this. And while you’re at it, please tell me what will happen if I drink Coca Cola with Mentos inside the ATM and then enter my PIN backwards.”

    Challenge accepted!

  4. Pingback: The Corpse That Spoke: Sidin Vadukut | The Book Story

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