Cyrus Braocha is hilarious - in a manner that is his own. Self deprecating, irreverent and constantly pushing the envelope, nothing is sacrosanct to Cyrus. He is in the Dave Barry mould to me - completely zany, making the most unlikely connections – and makes me burst out in loud laughter when I least expect to. I am an unabashed fan and like him and his unique sense of humour that cannot and should not be imitated, nor even attempted. (In my opinion Cyrus, and the few other humorists we have, ought to be protected as national treasures for the simple reason that they stop us from taking ourselves too seriously, which is a joke.)
And so it was with a great sense of anticipation that I picked up 'The Average Indian Male' as I do with all humour books hoping that Cyrus would rip this delicious topic to pieces. But surprisingly Cyrus did not – at least not as much as he normally would have done. I felt that given his talent and the material available on the subject he could have done much more with such a topic. Did he take the focus off the Average Indian Male somewhere? Perhaps. Did the letters format impede his natural style? Maybe. And so what could have been a great book became an ordinary book for me. Cyrus, you’ve missed a super topic to rip up man. But there is fresh fodder for you everyday so perhaps you could do a sequel.
Anyway, my Laugh-o-Meter (the number of times I laughed aloud while reading the book) stood at a healthy 12-15. But the first one came in a bit late at page 52 and then one big one came at 84 with that incredible Paramjit a.k.a Ducky who was a riot ('lots of friend'). Page 127 with Apruva Mahadik wanting to know how to make more friends makes me laugh each time I read it (especially the P.S. where Cyrus asks Apurva not to email him again as he had contributed to the most boring chapter in the book). The latter half picks up and was more fun overall.
In retrospect, a few hearty laughs are definitely worth my time, and I'd say that if anything, I was disappointed that Cyrus did not do enough with the average Indian male. Else, on its own steam, its still a fine funny book and better than most that pass off as 'hilarious'. Recommended if you have a stomach for Cyrus, else you may not like some of his not-so-subtle jokes. But for me, worth my time.