Monday, August 31, 2009

One Night at Call Center

It’s the good old book of Chetan Bhagat. All the earlier times when I tried to read this book, I could never go beyond 30 pages as it was very boring. I have a rule that when I start reading a book, I can self drivingly read 50 pages (or for the first half an hour—whichever is earlier) and after that it’s the author’s ability to create interest in the reader to read further. In the case of ‘One night at call center’ either of the things happened and I never succeeded in reading the book.

But this time one of my close friends joined a call center and he persuaded me to read book to get the feel of the call center world. I gave the extra effort in reading beyond the 50 pages and later I realized that it’s a great book.

It’s a story of 6 silly people doomed in a call center trying to save their jobs at the times the call center is calling for a shut down. Also it is the story of what typically happens in a call center in one night (which sometimes makes you feel that the story is moving nowhereL). There is one diffident Shyam who is the narrator and he is badly in love with Priyanka who also works in the same process as him and the shares the same cab with him. Priyanka is indoctrinated by her mother that she has to marry someone well settled, who has ample money, big job, cozy house, swanky car etc etc.. So she ditches the lover boy Shyam after 4 years of resilient love relationship. This further minifies the confidence of Shyam.

Shyam and his friend Vroom develop a website to assist the customers which they think will bring brownie points to them. But unfortunately it turns out to be a blunder screwing up the call volumes for the call center and the boss of the two- Bakshi takes the credit for developing the web manual. Annoyed by Bakshi’s foxy acts, the two decide resign their jobs.

The other characters in the book are of Radhika who marries her lover and struggles with the orthodox in laws. Later she finds out that her husband is having affair with another woman and she tries to get divorce from him. Esha is an aspiring model who is regretful about sleeping with a man to get a modeling assignment. Vroom loves Esha and when he finds this out, he feels bitter about Esha. The last is the Military uncle retired from the Army and looking out for money for the living. He has a son living in a far off place who’s airheaded about the father’s living conditions.

At one point, all the characters get fatigued by the ill fortunes of their lives and break out for a long drive in the middle of the night to a bar and when they are getting back to the call center their cab happens to fall in to a ditch. There the unexpected happens. God calls Shyam on his mobile and enlightens them as to how one should follow the inner calling and that’s the key to the success.

Later they head back to the call center and teach a lesson to Bakshi, save the call center from shutting down and Priyanka returns to Shyam.

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