Anthony’s post led to the acquisition of this book. Coincidentally purchased when fanatics were bursting bombs elsewhere in Delhi. Chetan Bhagat’s second coming – One Night @ the Call Centre (Rupa & Co. Rs. 95) is nothing much to write about, even 50 days post reading. But there were parts, which stayed. Not for any literary brilliance but déjà vu.



Yes, you see it in the movies, you hear it from friends’ friends but it never happens to you.When I was younger, I used to look at the reservation chart stuck outside my train bogie to check out all the female passengers near my seat (F-17 to F-25 is what I’d look for most). Yet, it never happened. In most cases I shared my compartment with talkative aunties, snoring men and wailing infants.


When girls call a guy ‘teddy bear’ they just mean he is a nice guy but they will never be attracted to him. Girls may say they like such guys, but teddy bears never get to sleep with anyone. Unless of course their moms hunt the neighbourhood for them.


‘We get paid well, fifteen thousand a month. F**k, that is almost twelve dollars a day. Alas, 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. F**king nearly double of what I made as a journalist anyway.’


Settled? The words rewound and repeated itself in my head several times. What does it mean anyway? Just someone rich, or someone who gets predictable cash flows at the end of every month. Except parents do not say it that way because it really sounds like they’re trading their daughter to the highest bidder. But in some ways they are. They do not give a damn about love or feeling or crap like that. ‘Show me the money and keep our daughter for the rest of your life.’ That is the arrangement of arranged marriage.


Now this is something women never have to deal with: standing next to your boss in the toilet as he pees is one of the world’s most awkward situations. What are you supposed to do? Leave him alone or give him company and entertain him? Is it okay to talk to him while he is doing his business or not?


Not because they are better people. But because their country is rich and ours is poor. That is the only damn reason.


… ‘life gets to you. You think you are perfectly happy – you know. good salary, nice friends, life is a party – but all of a sudden, in one little snap, everything can crack, like this stupid pane of the Xerox machine.’


I am constantly amazed at the ability of women to calm down. All they need to do is talk, hug and cry out for ten minutes – and then they can face any of life’s crap.


Apart from blonde threesomes, I think hitting your boss is the ultimate male fantasy.


How did women manage before mirrors were invented?


‘An air-conditioned sweatshop is still a sweatshop. In fact, it is worse, because nobody sees the sweat. Nobody sees your brain getting rammed,’ …


We passed by several advertising hoardings showing all kinds of people: a couple all smiles because they had just bought a toothbrush … a young graduate jumping with joy, clutching a credit card … All the ads had one thing in common. Everyone looked incredibly happy.


What is it about music that it makes you remember things you prefer to forget.


‘Search. That is what we can do: Google will be our detective …’

And one last one from the Acknowledgements

My one particular ex-boss. My life when I worked for him was living hell, and was probably the worst phase of my life. I used to wonder why this was happening to me. Now I know. Without that experience I would not have done this book. Thank you Mr Ex-boss for making me suffer. On the same note, I want to thank all the women who rejected me (too many to name here). Without them, I would not have known the pain of rejection.

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