.. by Brinda S Narayan
A few years back and even now, one reason Bangalore is on the world map is because of the huge number of call centers. The relatively lower cost of living and the abundance of suitable workforce seems to have caused this. This book is a study of what happens to a generation that is lured by a seemingly attractive liberal culture and easy money.
The employees of a call center Callus are the subjects of fifteen interlinked stories in this book. Each of the stories shows us how the environment, night shifts, accent changes and incredible salaries change the lives of these characters in different ways. Yvette, the Anglo-Indian accent trainer, is determined to teach her trainees that learning an accent is not conversion to the American culture. A van driver, a staunch Ayyappan devotee, is disgusted by the behavior of the employees that he shuttles from their homes to the office. A Tamil Brahmin girl is introduced to the power of money and credit cards. A bathroom cleaner dreams of an opulent lifestyle looking at the people in the office and so on.
The book is a demonstration of the popular adage that everything that shines is not a diamond. It candidly tells the effects of culture change and that what goes around comes back every time. The poignant depiction of the characters and the shockingly real stories make this book a welcome change from those that are simply blatant criticism of the call center encroach. It shows that with the right attitude one can turn everything to his advantage. Every phenomenon is registered and reacted to by the people in different ways. For some it is good and for some not so much. Hence the books simply provides us with a great study and it is up to the reader to judge its intent.
A really good read in my opinion.
My rating is 4*