Chetan Bhagat has written
another book that has its finger on the pulse of the youth.
One Night @ the Call
CALL centres are all about people. About people being reduced to voices, of people losing their identities willingly for the lure of a good job, of people toiling into the night and doing what it takes to make a success of themselves.
Chetan Bhagat has his finger on the nerves of the youth. His 5 Point Someone: What not to do at IIT has sold more than 1,35,000 copies ever since it came out, more than a year ago. Within another year, he has come out with ON@TCC, as he likes to call his book. This, too, looks like another bestseller.
The table of contents intrigues the reader, dominated as it is by #s. The story is narrated by Shyam and revolves around his team, which is also the gang he hangs out withóEsha, Vroom, Radhika and Priyanka. A Military Uncle marches into the story and paces it.
The young workers of the IT-brigade obviously have a poor opinion of those who call them for help. ""Yeah, America has like 10 smart guys. The rest call us at night." Yet the team is the elite that sorts out problems and offers advice like purchasing a turkey that is smaller than the size of the oven. Yes, it happens in real life all too often, ask anyone who is in tech-support.
The "dark side" of call centre work is also evident. They have a monster of a boss, a Mr Bakshi. Many of the characters in the book are not too well fleshed out, but the story is such that it is a page-turner. People will probably rather read this unpretentious book than other highly rated literary works.
The author shows the angst of a young man in love very well in the following dialogue, in which Shyam talks to Priyanka: "Because, I love it when you stand up for something that you feel for. And that you do such a horrible job of acting like a CBI inspector. I love it when you want to order the cheapest dishes only because Iím paying for them. I love the kohl in your eyes. I love it when your eyes light up when you have gossip for me. I love it that you say you donít want dessert and then ask me to change mine so you can have half. I love your stories about your mother. I love it that you believe in me and are patient with my career."
Thatís a lot of reasons to love someone, but in comes Ganesh, this Mr Microsoft NRI, who is all that Shyam is notórich, successful and great looking. Priyanka is torn between the two feelings of doing what her heart tells her and doing what her mother wantsó"She wants me to show that I love her. She wants me to make her happy and marry someone she chooses for me."
You will have to read the
book to see what transpires next. And as for the call from God, well,
you have to know the context before it can be discussed. However, this
reviewer is confident that it will be discussed over many a watering
hole by youngsters, and those who want to connect with them.