Sunday, October 30, 2005

one night@the call center

I liked the cover design of Five Point Someone apart from the character delineation and humour. After reading his second book, one night @ the call center (or even before reading it), I can say Chetan Bhagat is an intelligent writer. He knows his target audience and he knows how to market the books. Yes, contemporary but not classics as pointed out in his website.

As the title suggests, it deals with the life of Shyam Mehra or agent Sam Marcy as he hellos himself to his clients and his colleagues in a call center. It gives an insight (or do we already know?) on their lives.

Yes, it talks about people who kill their creativity and ambition to earn a few bucks more, of those who are forced to work to keep the family going, the hyped up and glamorized perks, of pizzas and cokes, pubs, dark circles, low-waist jeans, relationships and the tyranny of a boss.

However, the book did not have any character who felt that call center jobs are the coolest. I know a couple of them.

I also felt Chetan is trying to teach us Moral Science by bringing in a God factor and talking about inner voice.

I quote some lines here to highlight the essence of the book.

He remembered the suggested line in such a situation.’Sir, I request you not to use that language.’
‘Oh really?’ Then make your fucking hoover work.’
… ‘Sir, you need to change the dust bags when they are full.’
‘who am I speaking to?’ the voice on the phone became agitated.’Victor, sir.’
‘Tell me your fucking name. You’re some kid in India, isn’t it?
‘Sir, I am afraid I can’t disclose my location.’

‘I want a job that pays me to be mean. All they tell us in the call center is”Be nice, be polite, be helpful”. Being mean is so much more fun.'

'Only women think there is a reason to thank people if they listen to them. '

'Now, this is something women never have to deal with: standing next to your boss as he pees is one of the world’s most awkward situations.'

‘Think about this. The people who gave birth to me can’t stop hating each other enough. What does that tell you about me? Half my genes must be fighting with the other half. No wonder I am so fucking messed up.’

‘Our government doesn’t realize this, but Americans are using us. We are sacrificing an entire generation to survive their call centers.’

‘By the way do you have a condom?’, she said.
‘Yes, sir. We live in constant hope’, I said. "

As, I asked before, Do we already know? Yes, we do but I was too greedy to finish it and did it in a few hours. Published by Rupa & Co and priced at RS. 95, I don’t think anybody can stop the sell whatever be the reason.

22 comments:

raven said...

an IITD topper, amongst top rankers at IIMA, chetan bhagat is definitely an intelligent writer... and nowhere near a 5.

Interestingly, he's on our campus as i write chatting with students and signing copies of his book.

the Monk said...

5 pt. someone was ok, not that great....frankly, i felt it was cliched...and it had some holes in the storyline...but i liked his style...simple...nice blog,btw...

n.g. said...

he's got a new one about call centres i'm told. apparently he went to call centres himself and did research and all that even. worth a read, maybe?

Parna said...

i was taken by the concept of five Point Someone. but the book itself was strictly okay really

manuscrypts said...

bought it..now have to get around to reading it... happy diwali :)

anthony said...

happy diwali

anthony

Mr. Maverick said...

hmm sounds like a wonderful read. Will grab it soon :)

Anat said...

well i cant say that i particulary liked the way he wrote 5 point someone, but since i was going thru pretty much the same in college, so I identified with it... let see whats the new novel like

happy diwali..

Ashish said...

how much is Chetan paying you for this publicity ;)

oh well jokes apart, wish u a very Happy Diwali. and surely you description is pretty compelling. Seems I gotta grab a copy fast!!!
not much impressed by 5 pt. sum1 - in IIT but still I couldn't relate to much of it may be except the 'neha' part :D

GratisGab said...

Gotta check it out. There are so many views about call centers here in the US...it'll be good to know what the morale in there is like!

Stone said...

hmm...I tried readin 5pt someone but couldn't move beyond 10-15 pages......and m highly de-motivated to even touch "one night@ the callcenter".
even after reading ur review.. :-)

Sudarshan said...

Hey hey...ur posts are consistently damn good..u rock!! Keep posting..and yea Happy Diwali!!

infinity said...

dipawali ki dher saari shubhkamnayein!

s! said...

if you want a better picture of what IIT life is really like, read Sandipan Deb's 'The IITian'..

and Chetan Bhagat is by no stretch of the imagination an intelligent writer, that is giving his writing skills (or lack thereof) way too much praise. he might be an intelligent man, but that doesn't make him an intelligent writer.

Arunima said...

@s!: No, I don't want to know. I read the blogs of some IITians :-)

Now, I am coming to your blog in a minute.

sush said...

me too...finished the book and also posted a post...waise... 5 point sumone had ntn to do wid iit...oder than marketin tactics:)

Ashish said...

thanks :)
and hope u gotta be hearing from me a lot and more often ;)
Oh well I mean though exams are round the corner but I'll be writing :)
Hoping to read more from you too. u write with appealing simplicity.

shobz said...

i will read him now.. will tell what i felt later.. but now you tell me.. are you feeling all lit up after diwali?

cheers,
shobana

aveenkris said...

Read 5 point someone in one sit...
But me too confused about were will i keep in my list,it doesn't defintly match with any of the clasiic novels...


But defintly his styly suites ans satisfy new it generation...it matches our waves....

noodles said...

5 pt. someone is the junk food of Literature. You read it, feel good about it, and then forget it. And it sure helps that you can finish reading it pretty quick.

Why don't you compile a book out of ur blog? It will make better reading than Chetan's book anyway. Or perhaps a book of fiction in blog entries.

Ojas said...

Hi, happened to come across this post. Good one! My review is here - http://yesterday1cemore.blogspot.com/2005/11/one-night-call-center.html

Neha said...

It is the only book that i have literally thrown into the trash can. For all the love and regard i have for books, that was an exceptionaly hard thing to do.But you know that feeling of contempt when you just have to let it out. That and some more lent quite some force to my throw.

The writing profession is getting a bad name if such stupidters are allowed to litter the literature landscape.

Mr Bhagat with his all that smiley face, that crew cut hair and the round spectatled nose might just as well give up on writing and do some IITing. If he cant do that at least he should spare the unsuspecting public with his stupid, moronish writing.

You may be from an IIT (your certainly dont write like one) and you may have a funny face Mr Bhagat but pardon me... you write trash and trash is where it should belong.