The new year promises one of the most gripping reads from one of India’s most witty men – stand-up comedian, Sorabh Pant. Having toured the country and performed in shows that featured Rob Schneider, Wayne Brady and Vir Das, Sorabh now makes his debut in the sphere of novels with The Wednesday Soul – a book that delves into the rather grim issues of life and death.
His novel is an account of Nyra Dubey, a feisty, bordering-on-violent girl, from Delhi and her life after life. Run over by a bus, she lies on a grey road, fuming inside, like the noxious fumes outside. The infamous vigilante—The Delhi Belle—reduced to an accident statistic? Surely, this was not her fate. A fortnight ago, she would have not only settled for, but embraced a violent death. Today, death is a colossal inconvenience, holding her back from enjoying her newly-acquired fridge-sized boyfriend. Death hath no fury like a woman dead, she thinks, plotting an explosive vengeance upon death’s ethereal masters for the loss of love. A vengeance delayed, as she’s labelled a Wednesday Soul, carried off by a monstrous Eledactyl (an Elephant-Pterodactyl), and then kidnapped by the biggest, ugliest eagle she has ever seen to the mysterious Big Ball. Unanswered questions race through her head as Nyra quickly learns that souls are made of light, that she is in the midst of a destructive plot to destroy the life after life, and that the quickest way to escape from an Eledactyl is by rubbing its bum from the inside. Compared to death, she thinks, life is a breeze.
The book is an account of how death separates Nyra from the man she loves, how an ancient ambition gone wrong threatens to derail the very fabric of life after life, and how bad puns have the power to kill.
Sorabh Pant, being the funny man that he is, shines a happy light on that giant fear of humanity: death. He reveals how death can be quite entertaining, if you’ve lived your life well and fairly. The end could be glorious and joyful or heartbreaking and painful.