WRITING STYLE: 2/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 2.5/5
Catchy title: Check.
Catchy Cover: Check.
Catchy Language: Check.
Reader relevance: Oops..!!
And that last statement defines the fate of Abhay Nagarajan’s Corporate Atyaachaar. Though well written with decent comical timing and content, the book has failed to click with the majority readership. Corporate Atyaachaar: The Comical Journey of an Office Doormat is a book by Abhay Nagarajan, who is basically writing about his job. Yes, you heard me, about his job. Where he got placed, when he got placed, what was his job profile, what was his “actual” job profile, how were his colleagues at the Bangalore branch of his wealth management firm, and lengthy and sometimes futile narrations of his client meetings are all you will come across in this witty book. He writes this book in the form of journal entries describing mostly his day to day meetings with clients and conversations with the boss.
But barring all that and speaking very honestly, I enjoyed the book, and this is because of having worked in the mutual fund industry I was able to relate to the daily crisis-like life which sales people and especially those in the Banking & Financial services industry have to go through. And due to this fact, I had no problems with the complex financial terms and jargons and was able to enjoy this book. I liked the way the book portrayed the life of guys in this industry with a nice humorous twist and thus for me, the book was an easy and interesting read.
I especially liked the way the author has bestowed names upon various characters in the plots. His boss the “Human Ball Scratcher (HBS)” is the particularly funny one and I think by far he is the best and most hilarious character in the book. With his love for the incessant scratching of private parts and absent-mindedness to offer the same hand for handshakes to clients and colleagues, he is a total muse. I liked the way in which the author has comically narrated incidents about HBS and how his actions and words are shaped by his domineering ego. Also, HBS is always shown as one who is very keen to portray himself as the know-it-all guy, like when he shows off his superior knowledge of worldly matters by deducing that his clients’ twin babies will be fighting fiercely over the client’s property in future by just seeing one kid hitting the other one while playing cars. So, to read about HBS, his words, actions and silly eager-to-share “Gyan” was indeed some good fun.
But, that is as far as it goes. If I consider the general reader, I imagine Corporate Atyaachaar to be a not-so-good read for them. To establish this observation I’ll quote a personal incident. My brother called me one day and asked me what I was reading. Well, I told him about the book and he told it sounds interesting and asked me whether he should buy it or not. I told an outright no. Reason being the same, for me it was a good read but for my engineer brother it won’t be and then there was also the fear of getting some terrible book recommendation from him next time, which he may recommend with the sole intention of getting back at me. So, I said no.
Now, would I recommend Corporate Atyaachaar to a not-so-finance-related reader? No. But would I recommend it to my colleagues back at the asset management company I worked with? Yes, definitely yes. In recent times the Indian book market has been flooded with certain genres. Mythological fiction, chick-lit, marriage & love experience sagas being a few of them. So, when a guy writes about this industry and his office life, it is a welcome change.