Chetan Bhagat may not be very well known outside of India, but he’s something of a publishing phenomenon in his home country. With back to back successful books that ha..More detailsChetan Bhagat may not be very well known outside of India, but he’s something of a publishing phenomenon in his home country. With back to back successful books that has taken him from a a normal person to a semi celebrity, he is arguably India's most famous Gen Y writer. An investment banker by trade, he has penned three bestselling novels in recent years. His biggest hit is probably One Night @ the Call Center, published in 2005 and still in the bestseller charts today. It’s a tale of six colleagues who work together in the outsourcing boomtown of Gurgaon, just south of Delhi. They are mostly smart, relatively affluent young people working their way through messy personal relationships and wondering what to do with their lives. Things turn around when they receive a call from GOD himself.
A good Indian Fiction novel. Has also been made into a Hindi Bollywood movie starring Salman Khan.Hide details
The book opens up with the author meeting up with an attractive woman on a train journey en route to Delhi. The woman then convinces the author to make the story she was ..More detailsThe book opens up with the author meeting up with an attractive woman on a train journey en route to Delhi. The woman then convinces the author to make the story she was to tell into his next book. At first the author dismisses her proposal but later when she tells him that there was a divine intervention in the story, he agrees to her terms and promised her that he will write a book based upon it. All the Chetan Bhagat books sets up on a narrative style with one of the main protagonists narrating the whole story. The character whom he chooses to essay that role in this book is Shyam, a call centre employee who aims to be a team leader in the company soon. He works currently for a call centre named “Connexions” at Gurgaon. Every day a cab will come and pick him and his colleagues from their respective houses and drop them at the centre. His shift normally begins at 10:30 pm and ends at 6.30 am. Now the author carefully illustrates each and every character during the first pages of the narration. Esha was an aspiring model who has certainly the most gorgeous looking girl in their group. She was constantly rejected from fashion shows due to her poor height. Priyanka was Shyam’s ex-girlfriend and was a tough cookie in the group. She broke up with him due to her mother’s persistence request to marry a successful guy instead of a person with tiny jobs. Radhika was a married woman and was working in order to support her husband. She married Anuj after a long courtship and was staying with her ultra traditional in-laws. Varun Malhotra alias Vroom was a jolly lad who loved pizza, throttle bursting machines and boozing. He used to work as a journalist but was chucked out. Military Uncle was a middle aged man who broke up with his son and daughter in law who are in US and was working at the call centre as the chat manager. He was a man of few words but very loving and caring at heart. All these people were working at the same bay; a term referred to the company group whose clients they were handling. These six people worked for a company called Western Appliances and their bay was called Western Appliances Strategic group or WASG.
WASG people were constantly monitored by their head Subhash Bakshi, a person who would like always to cash on other’s credit. All the guys working in the group was given alias names like Shyam was called Sam and Vroom was called Victor. Bakshi often loaded Shyam with lot of his work by luring him offering the post of the team leader. Priyanka meanwhile had decided to marry Ganesh, a geek working in the US for Microsoft. Though Shyam still had feelings for her he did not show it outside. Vroom too has feelings for Esha who in turn was concentrating only on her modeling career. The whole group goes through a lot of trauma that night, individually and as a group. Moreover Bakshi turns cheat by sending the brilliant website work done by Shyam and Vroom on his own name. He also threatens that he will have to downsize the number of employees in order to save the company with himself getting transferred to Boston, US. Radhika founds out that her husband is cheating on her and gets upset. Esha confesses to Shyam that she slept with a designer in exchange for a fashion contract but later found out that she was being cheated. Bored with life everyone in the group decides to go for an outing in a cab. On their return Vroom accidentally jams the cab into a construction site and the cab were just hanging on pieces of rods. With death in front of them and no one to call for help as their mobiles showed zero range all six were in a fix. Suddenly a call came into Shyam’s mobile and it was from God!!! God in turn asks the group to tell their real life ambitions. All of them talks to god and everyone felt motivated after that. God asks them to follow their instinctive paths and also reminded them to teach Bakshi a lesson. They then get out of the mess and reach the office. They then chalk out a plan with the help of which they trap Bakshi as well as save their jobs. Priyanka dumps her fiancé and decides to marry Shyam. The most catching thing in this book is when the author finds out who the lady in the train really was. A great end to a good decent novel.
One night at the call centre was adapted into a Hindi Film called “Hello” which had Sharman Joshi, Sohail Khan, Isha Koppikkar, Amrita Arora, Gul Panag and Sharat Saxena essaying the principal six characters. The film also had Salman Khan and Katrina Kaif in special appearances. But the film sunk without a trace at the box office all thanks because of its poor make and ordinary performances by its main leads. This book was a best seller at the time it released and is still one of the most sought after books in India. I sincerely recommend that you read this book at least once. Promise it will not be a letdown…Hide details
One of the earliest books of Chetan Bhagat that I have read and certainly not one of my favourites! One of those in between, non literature books which I thought might gi..More detailsOne of the earliest books of Chetan Bhagat that I have read and certainly not one of my favourites! One of those in between, non literature books which I thought might give me some reprieve from some heavy reading, but left me with a headache. Six friends in the book work in a call center for India as technical staff for a US appliance company. Everyone seems to have a problem with their personal lives though. One extraordinary night changes their lives. They receive a call from God (!) on Thanksgiving night. Though the characters involved seem realistic the portion about God calling them seems are little out of place. And though there is no intent of turning this into a fairy tale, I felt I was reading one. Everyone seems to know what they have to change in their lives and what is possibly missing is that everyone is singing themselves into the setting sun holding God’s hand. The only saving grace is probably the humor which I think Bhagat is good at.Hide details