Saturday, 2 April 2011

Chetan Bhagat: cricket, call centres and culture

I recently returned from India. At Hyderabad Airport I managed to pick up the 4 copies of Chetan Bhagat's books for 95 Rs each (just over a £5 for all). And I read them all whilst on the trip. He is India's best known and most read English writer, having written 4 books - two have already been made into movies.

five point someone - what not to do at IIT - the student days of Hari, Ryan and Alok (the film is therefor called '3 idiots') as they navigate a life at the bottom of the rung at India's prestigious IIT university they discover a little more of what life is about. The Bollywood film is called '3 idiots'.

one night @ the call center follows the lives of a group of call centre operators who get an unexpected call from God which forces them to re-evaluate the meaning of their lives and what they want to achieve. The film is simply called 'Hello'

the 3 mistakes of my life follows Govind a young entrepreneur in Ahmadabad in 2000 as he sets up a cricket shop with 2 close friends. Everything is challenged as he comes to terms with three big mistakes he makes in the face of life's unexpected twists and turns.

2 States: the story of my marriage is what happens when Punjabi boy meets South Indian girl and they discover that a love marriage involves more than just 2 people. Its about 2 extended families indeed 2 cultures coming together.

I've had a couple of reasons this week to think of the books - India winning the cricket World Cup - which reminded me of Govind in 3 mistakes and the boost to his business when India won the cricket
I also had reason to talk to a call centre in New Delhi recently over a airline ticket re-booking. And the staff could not have been more helpful. Mind you, having read the book I was all the more polite and sympathetic. It really does make a difference how you talk to people. And One night has made me think more positively about call centre workers and even the possibility of God intervening in their lives .... So next time you're connected to Bangalore or New Delhi, say a little prayer....


rohit said...

Must be an enjoyable read One Night @ The Call Center by Chetan Bhagat. loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and orignal, this book is going in by "to read" list.

MullanaNasruddin said...

Rohit Have you read the book yet What did you think?