Friday, February 03, 2006

Ek Raat @ Call Centre

One Night @ The Call Centre is a not so a gripping story and this time I, read this book during my commute time to office and completed it yesterday. To be frank it never lived upto my expectations as has been set by Chetan’s first book as they say one always sets the bar a bit higher with each success in one's endeavors. But I sincerely feel that was missing. Well this is a personal opinion and I feel Chetan was in a bit hurry to float a second novel. Regular life and problems discussed (yes, probably for the first time someone thought of writing about it and that was nice) but none of the characters were interesting, most were flat and one-dimensional. The nearly 300-page book is extremely racy and also engaging. It is all the more interesting because the novel is centered on the contemporary world of India’s new generation.

The novel starts with the meeting of Chetan Bhagat and a young lady in a train and she tells him the story of a night at the call center in Delhi on the condition that it would be his next book. The girl said the story was about six people working in a call center, set in one night. She said it was the night they got a phone call.That phone call was from God.Welcome to One Night @ The Call Centre, another witty, dark novel from the award winning author of the national bestseller, "Five point someone".

The story is viewed through Shyam, a call centre agent and a tame team leader and it revolves on him, his colleagues Vroom, Esha, Radhika, his girl friend Priyanka and an aged Military Uncle. Shyam suffers from the break up of his affair with Priyanka apart from the threat all of them face on the uncertainty of their future at the center.

The happenings of the night carry the romance and break up interludes of Shyam and Priyanka as flash back. Each character has a sob story to bemoan. But, the narration runs interestingly because it has the natural flow and the high sense of humor (at times black) of Chetan Bhagat.
Catch this one (FYI if someone happens to read this book.)

With all these the novel ends rather cinematically, like a typical Hindi movie, last minute heroism, change of mind, chase in the car and bike etc. Does Chetan expect the novel to inspire some Bollywood filmmaker to make it into a movie? Well well I am told his “Five Point Someone” is already edited and is on cards for movie to be cut out of it. I have given my copy of the debut novel of Chetan to one of my friends and I have asked her to take the second one too after I am done with my reading with a condition that once the movie (hope it comes soon) is made, she is going to return me my books with the movie’s DVD as a complimentary. "Deal yah No Deal………" hahahahaa

One more point what I have noticed is that Chetan has showed as if the Americans are a dumb lot and they call for fixing minor issues such as defrosting a refrigerator and like wise. He goes on to say that though on a lighter note that 10% of Americans are innovators and smart and the rest 90% dole in their glory. The language he has used is very much day-to-day kinds and more like the one you often hear from a recently graduated college student with loads of 4 letter words. It sounded to me a bit unfair.

Isn’t it odd and funny?

But the book has invited comparisons with formulaic Bollywood films, which throw in generous doses of melodrama, romance and fantasy. Few weeks back I happen to see an interview of Chetan by Shekhar Gupta (Indian Express) and they were walking through the lush green lawns of a golf course and talking as such in an informal way.What I liked about Chetan was that he said that he had a flair for writing but never got a chance to express it and when he was doing good in life he thought of trying his hands at it and its simple. He even ahead to say that he considers his small twin kids his inspiration,that’s so yummy . Also what I liked was that he said his a work should strike a chord with people. "My books touch the Indian middle class, where I also come from. I understand their problems and can make them entertaining.''

On the whole, I believe One Night@ the Call Center is an OK Read, Value for Money Purchase,"Paisa Vassol". However, I have one request. Do not compare this novel with his debut novel, Five Point Someone as I believe this would lead to the essence of the former being lost.

More from his this link :

Have a nice weekend and remain connected.


At 4:59 AM, Blogger Ferocious Killer Kat said...

tanay, am tagging u!!! check my blog for details!!


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