Book Review : Chetan Bhagat’s One Night At The Call Centre

Original post in my blogspot on January 8, 2011

My Rating

After almost 6 months of not reading any book , I read this book a few days back . I had earlier read Chetan Bhagat’s Five Point Someone which was indeed good .

              I must say comparing this to Five point someone is not cool , as this book does not deal with the students , although it represents the youth of the country . This book is about 6 call centre employees – Shyam , Priyanka , Esha , Vroom , Radhika & “military uncle” . Just like Five point someone was adapted in a movie , the bollywood movie -“Hello” (2008) starring Salman Khan was adapted from this story . Turns out that this book has twist through the literal  “deus ex machina ” – a plot device where a complicated problem is abruptly solved by an unexpected intervention of a new character. The new character in this story is none other than God.

            The preface includes a train journey by Chetan Bhagat from IIT Kanpur to Delhi where he meets a beautiful girl who narrates him this story provided he makes the story , his second book . The book then starts with the Shyam , as first person – who tells the readers about his misfortunes as a call centre employees . Turns out that each one of his colleagues had their own woes to share . As it said – every head has its own head ache , Shyam also shares the woes of the other 5 . The 6 of them had their own American names , as the callers from the US could pronounce their Indian names . They had to deal with all kind of meaningless calls , regarding every silly problem that could occur after purchasing a product and they had answer all of their callers patiently .

            Three-Fourth of the book goes at a good pace describing the lives of the 6 people . Apart from the problems with the callers , they also had a terrible boss – Bakshi . Shyam and Vroom had designed a new website for the firm and they submitted the report to Bakshi . Shyam was expecting to be promoted as the team leader while Bakshi submitted the report to Boston with his name in it . Thus , Bakshi not only affected the Shyam’s work life but that had impact on his personal life as well . The 6 of them had a terrible personal life as well .

              The twist comes when the lives of the 6 people dramatically gets affected on the same day and they leave in a Qualis at 2 am . They end up in getting the Qualis skid of the road into a construction site where they battle for life. It turns out that Shyam gets a phone call then , a phone call from God . The call is also heard by the others and God tells them the reason for their misery and how they can overcome it .

              The story then speeds up with Shyam & Vroom threatening Bakshi ,  saving the jobs of the colleagues and then improving their own lives as well . They have plans of starting their own web designing firm , and Shyam get backs his love- Priyanka . The story makes an abrupt change after the phone call of God . I was expecting a good twist in this story but turns out that this wasnt upto the expectations . But the book is definitely worth a read . Turns out that the girl who narrates the story turns out to be Goddess Shakti , herself or was it Chetan Bhagat’s dream ?

              Well , inclusion of the new character – God was a good idea but turns out that it didnt fit the storyline very well . The post-phone-call story isnt that good . One thing why I like Chetan Bhagat’s books is that he describes the characters in the story really well . He does the same here – may it be the mysterious story teller girl or Shyam . The pace of the book is really good till the phone call from God & I was drowned into the story . I feel that the post phone call story could have been better. Thats it for now , I had a nice time reading the book while travelling in the bus . Hope you readers have a nice time too  🙂  .

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7 Replies to “Book Review : Chetan Bhagat’s One Night At The Call Centre”

  1. you cant compare any of CBs book with each other.. All are different, has different plots, different story and different backdrop of the story. You need to read them again to understand the purpose of the story and the message he is trying to say. He just mingles the love story and other entertaining part with the message that he wants to convey. Anyway i agree that 5 point someone was a better novel then One night at call center. But i still like his 3 mistakes in life and 2 states more then this two, with 2 states being my fav of all his 4 novels. Eagerly waiting for revolution 2020.

  2. Chetan Bhagat novels are treat to read…..jst luvd all of dem especialy 3 mistakes of lyf…..n coming to 1 night at cc,i think dat there could have been some better twist aftr the phonecall frm god…oderwise it was really good!!!

  3. The way this review has been written is really cool, much alike to the author who has written it :).
    Can you also write something about 3 states ?? I just wanted to know the Summary of that book .

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