A suicide Bomber scares the most armoured of men and machines but he in his turn stands un scared mirthfully .Vinod Metha being a congenital weilder  of the most potent weapon of self – deprecation always creates a win- win situation for himself in the face of the worst calamitous string of incidents . He gets away with every provocative pronouncement and fun poking in his publication . Being a Punjabi he is self-avowedly philistine and further privileged being grossly under taught in that he flaunts a mere third class bachelor degree in economics .His university is yet to decide on the septuagenarian ‘s actual awarding of it since one paper that he failed stands in the way of his meriting it . His having gone overseas by the time the result was published   compelled the university to grant an exemption though . Vinod always goes hammer and tong  about his deficiencies academic ,familial and what not .Though he has started many thriving publications he lasted extreme short stints in all of them .He started out as a mill hand in England . He never knew that he possessed any scribe skills . In England he took to mindless philandering which saw him siring a child in a swiss. But he is yet to see that child from his trespass after a lapse of several decades and two childless matrimonies .

Back from UK he landed an editors job in Bombay and he learned the trade on the job at the top .He was born into the twilight phase of the decadent Lucknow Nawabi  era . The age was marked by pervasive funstering and the people who excelled in it ruled the roost .  But in the wake of partition hard nosed survival specialists from across the border flooded the streets of the Nawabi city .Brazen acquisitive practices of this ruthless refugee diaspora took possession of the real estates of the nawabi clan and made their laid-back and fun-loving life style a passe .But the last vestiges of that culture homed in on some persons of Vinod’s vintage.Through vinod that culture got a fresh lease of life and it enabled him to score the unpredictable waters of journalism with panache .In his memoir he depicts without an iota of self –pity how precarious the job of a top dog editor is.He is always pitted against the whimsical and egoistical proprietor tycoonery.Keeping one’s job and a semblense of self respect always prove to be an unenviable tight rope walk . In all trying situations he kept his capacity to poke fun at himself un lost .Since he didn’t take himself seriously he had little reason to do so to others .Pseudo – secularism is a legacy tendency that he rarely grows out of deliberately .

He kept close company with his Muslim friends in his formative years in Lucknow and one among them took him to England and helped him to thrive there. His editorial life too had an immutable Muslim presence in a Moinudheen who doggedly followed him as he kept switching jobs . Deep ingrained gratitude makes the editor think that the Muslims of India could do no wrong .So the majority community always finds itself at the receiving of  his ire . His chamchagiri of Congress is too prominent  and unsightly a presence that no Teflon –coated polemic can afford to hide it . But the Anglophone middle class of India is not amused . They train an elaborate fusillade of hate mail on the editor and even threatens to stop buying his magazine . After this stage- managed pyrotechnic Vinod gleefully goes on to the second part of the practical joke he regularly foists on his readers .He sooth ens the ruffled tempers by publishing reader mail which contain the choicest expletives meant to hard hit him and thus achieves  a full – blown catharsis .

But Outlook , the latest magazine under his stewardship , regularly carries articles of human interest type which are bewitchingly beautiful. This fare is so addictive in nature that the most disgruntled  of readers cannot resist its lure .Though a natural Non commandmend –spewer  towards the end of the book  he lays down certain helpful  rules for the aspiring journos and the cub scribe fraternity. The prominent of which is to learn perennially and to the potential of which Vinod ,the paltry tutored ,stands strong testimony to.

The editor is very good at people watch . He stands awestruck at VS Naipaul’s formidable literary genius .The great writer’s well self- aired Super Human belief in his being the most eminent writer of all times baffles him .As for Rushdie his love for India especially  Bombay is deep etched in him . He encourages up coming writers wholeheartedly . On both these counts Naipaul maintains diametrically opposite views . But Rushdie  would’nt  stand the mildest form of criticism .Sobha De hands him the only rejection slip he ever receives in his long career .

Vinod asserts confessedly that though Sobha’s chutnified diction elicits no fawning forward from a discerning  reader still he obliges her with one under pressure and a promise to publish his name  prominently on the cover of her new book . But the new book neither sports it nor Shoba bothers to give explanation for the omission till date . Shoba relishes  adulation only in stealth and she navigates aboard it and once she hits the shore of Page Three fame she loves to burn her boats .

Metha clan is peopled by those who prefer to tread the hackneyed middle path save for the Editor’s grand father . He wined and whored in unpartitioned India and England . He earned no degree nor learned any trade . But he implicitly believed his Muslim friend  who to his utter dismay  betrayed him . This turn of event made a staunch Gandhian out of a former debaucher . He turned a strong ant-Muslim too.But he refused to belong to the Gandhi school politically . His moorings were firmly in the waters of Hindu Nationalism .So penchant for shallow generalization runs in the family .The eminent readability  of the book is a foregone conclusion to the regular readers of his various newspapers and magazines .