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Toke by Jugal Mody: Book Launch by BookChums

Post by: Snehith Kumbla


We were at Landmark, Moledina Road, Pune on the 24th of August 2012 for the book launch of Toke, the debut work of fiction by Jugal Mody. For starters, ‘Toke’ implies a puff of a marijuana or hashish cigarette.


The author read chunks from the book, which concerns how Lord Vishnu shows up before the protagonist – Nikhil, who is really stoned, courtesy drug intake. The unpredictable plot then veers to Nikhil’s similarly stoned friends, Japanese girls, other girls who are forcibly kissed, an airplane crashing into a slum outside Santacruz airport. A reading of the first initial pages gave us a series of hallucinatory images where Nikhil happens to see a god dancing with a golden gun, his family visiting a temple, a bug inside a giant tube light and references to James Bond films.


Jugal worked on gaming before handling social and web media for Filmfare and Tehelka. He has dedicated the book ‘To every computer I have ever used’ and the cover image clearly conveys Jugal’s gaming influence. In a brief conversation, the author revealed that he was busy with the promotion at present and would be thinking of his next book probably after six months, going by the response to Toke.


A short story that had a couple of characters from Toke was written two years ago. The story did not inspire the novel as such, but Jugal does dabble in other forms of writing apart from the novel. “I like writing, I keep writing,” he said.

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