SHIVA Prakash makes an interesting comment about his debut novel, in its “Prologue,” which in a way defines its true nature: “This book is about plans and outcomes, neither of which you control.” These words fittingly describe the flux of life, but not a creative work, for it is quite well known that it has to be a carefully controlled effort. Perhaps following his heart, and not being careful about using his skill, Prakash writes a novel that deals with the routine, mundane activities of its protagonist, in which episodes are piled up only to increase its bulk.
Unhappy with his “work life” of a software engineer, where his employer looks like an “abductor,” the novel’s protagonist decides to do an MBA and succeeds in getting into the Indian School of Business. He is duly impressed by its magnificence, amazed to see “so many serious people,” and thinks that being there is “straight out of a very moving dream.” But when he gets down to business, he finds the going tough; he feels has to do too much in too short a time. After that, we get details about what he does in his various classes, the classmates he has to contend with—Ranga, Mohit, Captain and others—and the professors he has to listen to. Every body is busy and stressed, virtually fighting for survival. Every chapter ends with his short telephonic conversation with some female, which is crisp and slangy, but no more than a little tittle-tattle.
After getting his degree, our hero cannot get the job of his choice. Even the ones who are lucky to get it are scared of losing it any moment, and mortally afraid of their bosses. So the great Indian MBA dream turns sour!
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