One Night @ The Call Center


I know I am a bit late on the list of readers who have read this book, nevertheless I was finally able to get my hands on this one. The book by Chetan Bhagat is extremely realistic and describes the emotions and confusions that engulfs most Indian youth today as we weave ourselves within the webs of ambition, greed, money and false facades. Everyday thousands of young Indians sit in swanky (sometimes not so swanky) air conditioned offices behind computer terminals taking calls from around the world helping out (and taking abuses) from the good citizens of the Americas and Europe. What exactly drives these men and women working at the call centers to stick to their jobs and do the same thing every day in spite of the fact that it makes some of them unhappy?

This book has it all – a bad boss, an underachiever, a journalist who compromised on his dreams to make some money, a wannabe model who finds it hard to climb up the ladder of the big bad fashion world, a traditional girl stuck with a monster-in-law and a cheating husband and the girl who can’t seem to be able to shake off her domineering mother. The pages of the book take us through the hours of a night in their lives and how one phone call changes everything for them.
Most of the present day generation of Indians aged 23 and above will be able to identify themselves with almost all the characters in this book. We may not need to work in a call center to appreciate and sympathesize what the characters go through – its enough even if you work at a software firm! We all struggle to become team leads and project managers just like our main protagonist Shyam. We all have had or still have bosses who tell us we can never be good enough. At some point of time we all feel that we have become a rat while trying to survive the rat race and most of us stuck serving “goras” with lesser iq’s all for a few dollars and to keep up with the image of what our society expects to be. Some people are lucky and deal with this well and find their true calling while other are still in limbo wondering what their next move should be or if they should make the next move at all.

For those belonging to the later category, this book will definitely inspire you to take risks and try doing something that you have always wanted to do. At least it made me feel that I should get over me fears and failures and move on. God helps those who help themselves. The book definitely drives the point that bad bosses need to be stood up to and it is extremely important for an individual to hold on to his / her self confidence because once we loose that, it will be struggle to gain it back!

However it bugs me a bit that an author who could pen a wonderful book like this one, is settled in Hongkong and works for a huge investment company. Doesn’t that imply that he is also addicted to the world of dollars and comfort? Why would he not settle down in the India he claims he loves and be a better role model for folks like myself and others? Seems that his book only serves to inspire and advice others…
Have any of you read this book? What are your thoughts?
Verdict – Must Read
Rating: *****
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6 thoughts on “One Night @ The Call Center

  1. Chetan Bhagat left Hongkong ages back and is in Mumbai now. In fact earlier this year he has even left his investment banker for his script writing ambitions :-)As far as the book is concerned i had found the book an average read…but the issues that u have pointed out are so true. I guess the book worked because todays generation could relate to it….Great review 🙂

  2. Hey thanks for letting me know abt the author! It does make a difference 🙂 And know what? I also saw Hello and had to think of you and your posts everytime Sallu appeared on the screen which was thankfully short! 🙂

  3. Well i like this review as a fan of Chatan i hv just finished Two states and waiting for next. the books of chatan makes me to live a vertual life for the few days. and ppl used to laugh when i makes the faces while reading the nonsence-humor even in the bus, train or flights.

  4. Well i like this review as a fan of Chatan i hv just finished Two states and waiting for next. the books of chatan makes me to live a vertual life for the few days. and ppl used to laugh when i makes the faces while reading the nonsence-humor even in the bus, train or flights.

  5. Nice review again. I too liked the book. Quite contrary to most readers who found it average. Though the movie that was made based on the book was definitely below average.

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