I received a new book, Toke by Jugal Mody from Harper Collins 3 weeks ago, and though I’ve been wanting to post the review of Toke, it seems that I couldn’t finished reading this book. I am the kind of person who doesn’t drop the book unless I’m done reading it, but in Toke’s case, it took me so long to finish reading it, although it only has 215 pages.
Toke, the first book written by Jugal Mody is about marijuana-stoned heroes with Japanese anime-like girls character, plus Vishnu, zombie, and world apocalypse. Nikhil, the main protagonist in the story, was joined by two stoner friends from college, another two colleagues from his work, one a nerd guy who’s always behind his “behind”, and another a typical Indian girl who’s his love interest, and two Japanese girls, whose description was of the Japanese anime character with talents in fighting and sword-handling. The group raced against time to save the world from maggots that turn all humankind into zombies and skies into green. Vishnu played the great role of choosing these “stoners” to save the world with special appearance of Green Day’s lead singer. All characters and even Lord Vishnu were all stoned in this story at one point or another, and the pot (marijuana, and in the story, the characters strongly disagree of calling it a “drug”) was used as the vehicle to contact Vishnu and fight the zombie-causing-virus.
In my opinion, Toke should not have been published as a paperback, but instead it should have been turned into comics. The story, the language use, and the manner how the author describes each character and events, specially the fight scenes are more appropriate if this has become a comic book than a paperback. For many days, it has been a torture for me to continue reading this book, and if I did not commit to review this book, I would for sure not read this after reading the synopsis. Just after reading 3 pages of the book, I know that I won’t be giving it a positive review, but keeping in mind not to judge the book by its cover, I continue reading hoping that maybe in the middle of the story, my interest would peak, however, it failed to do so. The story was dragging on up to the point that I couldn’t understand what was I reading anymore. In the end, I just felt that I wasted my time reading Toke, but if this is turned into graphic novel, my review would have been different.
Last weekend was a long weekend since there were non-working holidays, though I must rejoice with this long weekend, it was an unbearable one since the summer heat is really scorching. I was like feverish, and I pity my dogs since they too feel the same, specially Luna, the husky, she’s really suffering this summer, to the point that she moves less during the day, and also has already shed all her undercoat fur.
So, to escape the unbearable heat of the city, I decided to check places that are pet-friendly and cool too. My first plan was to visit Coorg, unfortunately, I was too late to book for a place to stay. All the homestays I emailed were all fully-booked. I decided to look nearby, and found Talakadu Picnic Ground. It is just a 3-hour drive via Nice Road and the roads are all recently repaired so there were no bad roads at all. We spent Thursday and Sunday in Talakadu river and Luna and Luci, the lab, really had a great time swimming, digging in the sand, catching insects, eating grass, and just cooling off.
The river had many swimmers like us who were also trying to cool off from the heat. It was crowded but still with some place to stay shaded. The picnic ground has a big shaded area where sitting place are shaded by the big trees. It also has a vast sandy place which is great for playing ball games after the sun goes down. There are some trees nearby the river but only so few that it’s usually occupied. On the second day we went there, we were early so we’re lucky to get a shade nearby the river. The family who was staying next to us were kind too and wasn’t bother that we have dogs with us.
Swimming with pets in a public water is still not very common, though many were excited to see dogs swimming, but still there will be some individuals who take offence of having dogs swimming in the same water they are bathing. I had one man who approached me and told me that I should not take dogs in the river, though I just ignored him and chose not to be bothered by anyone as long as we also don’t bother them.
Overall, we had fun in Talakadu Picnic Ground and are planning to visit soon this summer. I am sure that Luna and Luci had fun too and are looking forward to another visit again.