my recent reads..

Atomic Accidents: A History of Nuclear Meltdowns and Disasters; From the Ozark Mountains to Fukushima
Power Sources and Supplies: World Class Designs
Red Storm Rising
Locked On
Analog Circuits Cookbook
The Teeth Of The Tiger
Sharpe's Gold
Without Remorse
Practical Oscillator Handbook
Red Rabbit

Sunday, February 03, 2008

One Night At The Call Centre

I had the chance to participate in a focus group for the NLB, and as a bonus got a book voucher to put to good use. Within a few minutes of walking into a bookshop, Chetan Bhagat's One Night At The Call Center caught my eye and was immediately locked-in as a purchase.

This is a refreshing read. In one night we meet Shyam and his call center collegues as they each face life: from a plagiaristic, useless boss who can't hold a real conversation with out using MBA jargon .. arranged marriages gone wrong .. manipulative mothers .. and a job that pays just well enough to suck you in and seduce you into giving up your dreams. It would easy to be cynical like Varun (Vroom):
We get paid well, fifteen thousand a month. Fuck, that's almost twleve dollars a day. Wow, I make as much a day as a US burger boy makes in two hours. Not bad for my college degree. Not bad at all

But this is really a book about hope, and what you are willing to sacrifice in pursuit of a better life. It's a story that transcends culture.

Near the end of the book, there's a self-referential discussion of which of two versions of a critical scene should have been used [don't worry, you'll understand how that makes sense when you read the book]. My only criticism of the book is that I think the author choses the wrong version! But it works well enough to not be a major detraction.

All up, a very good read. Highly recommended! I don't think you need to be into IT, outsourcing or Indian culture to "get it"; this is a book anyone would enjoy.