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.