…and he’s back again. That somewhat lovable and eccentric Japanese Manga artist, Yukichi Yamamatsu, returns to India with plans of launching another book alongside with ingenious ideas which include treating Indians to Udon noodles and the art of Japanese two-person comedy, Manzai.
Those of you who are unfamiliar with the antics of Yukichi must begin by reading his personal Manga “travelogue” Stupid Guy Goes To India.
Stupid Guy Goes Back To India carries on from where we left Yukichi last time; his life back in Japan after having visited India and then his determination to once again visit the country even though his last trip hadn’t panned out as smoothly as he had hoped.
Once again the real comedy and tragedy of Yukichi’s life is in the honesty with which he goes about telling his experiences in India. Some of it is hard to digest, for a number of reasons, and although we at times see the negative aspects of India in his stories, in both the books, there is also a glimpse of hope and Yukichi knows that, and that is also why he is unafraid to re-enter these territories once again.
Stupid Guy Goes Back To India works on two different levels; for those that have already read Yukichi’s earlier book, it may seem repetitive in terms of the the problems he faces. Just like Yukichi, this time the reader is prepared for everything that proved to be “shocking” and therefore the impact isn’t as great. However, for a “new”reader the book is a lot less frantic and more structured than its predecessor.
A bonus that comes along with this second installation is the inclusion of “Cycle Wale Ki Dukan”, the book that Yukichi wanted to print and sell during his second visit. If anything, this is where we see that even though he has had some really harsh episodes in India, Yukichi knows that Indian people really have hearts of gold… well almost all of them.
Stupid Guy Goes Back To India is one of those books that is “zara hatke”. Many will find Yukichi’s viewpoint on India and Indians insulting, but there is some reality and honesty in what is written.
The brash nature of the book might be a deterrent for a few, but if you want your reading to be absent of false hope, yet full of art and comedy, then Stupid Guy Goes Back To India is a must read. It may not have you hysterically laughing out loud, but will either leave you in a pleasant state of mind or one that is burdened with introspection about the country we live in and how it is perceived by those that visit it.