Book Review, Confessions of a Private Tutor Review, Confessions of a Private Tutor- Vikram Mathur, erotica, Fifty Shades of Grey, Indian writing in English, Modern Indian writing, Rupa Publication, Vikram Mathur author
The problem with writing (and publishing) today is that just about anyone who can put together coherently a few lines and ideas is becoming a published author. As there has been a mushroom growth of publishers, so has there has been a spurt of writers. If one publisher turns you down, go to another or another or another or yet another. Someone or the other, eventually, will publish you. Combine this with a ridiculous price tag (Rs 100/-) and you will have a few fools like me buying it, for a variety of different reasons though, the most pertinent one being sheer boredom and non application of mind. For the life of me, I cannot remember what was going on in my head when I wasted a perfectly good Rs 100 on this book. At that time Rs 100/- seemed a small amount to pay for killing a boring 3 hour journey. After all, even a movie ticket costs more.And honestly, the title brought to mind the notorious “Fifty Shades of Grey”. Maybe this was an Indian rendition of it is all that I remember myself thinking. In retrospect, after the sheer torture of reading this book, not only do I feel so much poorer than the loss of a 100 bucks would warrant, but cannot stop kicking myself for picking it up in the first place. And it is with the intention of sparing others this ordeal, rather than tearing the author (?) or his work (?) to bits, that I’m posting this review
So what is it about? Well, as the title suggests it’s a series of sexual escapades that this tutor has with the bored and sexually frustrated mothers of the children he tutors. The catch is that he is paid for it, without asking though. These sexual escapades are described in a lot of, what one may call lurid details, for by no stretch of imagination can this fall in the category of Erotica. Describing human anatomy explicitly and crassly may get a few whistles from frontbenchers in a third grade Hindi movie but that’s about all that its worth. As a reading material all that it does is disgust you. And these escapades are what the confessions are all about.
Where the book is set, why he becomes a tutor or a gigolo after that, his personal life – nothing matters, nothing is relevant. There is no story worth its name, forget a gripping plot. Characters are well…somewhere. By the time you have trudged to the end, if you are brave enough to do so, you are headed for a Disprin and a walk in the fresh air.
I could not find anything about the author on line, which is surprising. What is his claim to fame and why in the name of god would Rupa, one of the older and more respectable publishers, publish this book I fail to understand. What happened to the good old days when getting a book published meant that you could actually “write” and not string together disparate thoughts? Apparently, there are more in this “Confession” series. Maybe I should try my hand at it too – “Confessions of a Deranged Woman ”. What says you?