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.