After the success of Five point someone, Chetan Bhagat’s latest venture, One Night @ the Call Center received mixed reviews. This 289 pager is a tale of six people working in a call center called “Connexions” in Gurgaon. The characters are Shyam, Varun, Esha, Priyanka, Radhika and a Military Uncle. It’s a story of their pain, sorrows, ambitions, love life, personal trauma and the happiness they share together.
One Night @ The Call Center revolves around six people, three men and three female to be precise, working in the same group in a call center. Though distinctly different in all aspects there was something which bound these folks together - their messed up lives.
The story is about them and how a night in their office changed their lives forever.
Shyam Mehra, call name Sam Marcy, is the narrator of the story and if you are looking for a more detailed intro, I can add that he is the hero of the novel. Pretty confused in life and more so because of his screwed up love life. Shyam’s character is that of the ‘boy next door’. Does his life change after God’s call and does his love life finally get a happy ending?
Varun Malhotra, call name Victor Mell, is Shyam’s friend. Very smart and loves speed, which is why his friends call him ‘Vroom’. Varun hates the call center and his Americans employers. Unfortunately, he has to compromise for the simple reason that he has to keep up his standard of living. Otherwise he runs at risk of ruining his image in front of his friends. Does he stay back at the call center or does he find another way for himself?
Esha Singh, call name Eliza Singer, is the pretty face of the group. An aspiring model, who ran away from home and took up a job at the call center so that she could achieve her dreams. She works as a call center agent by night and meets model coordinators in the day. But does everything go the way Esha planned? Does she make it to the modeling world?
Radhika Jha, call name Regina Jones, is the only married one in the group. Trying to manage the household activities and her job, Radhika’s main aim in life is to earn money and settle down on one hand, and manage her mother-in-law on the other. She loved her husband deeply until she found out about her husband’s love interest. After knowing the truth does Radhika forgive her hubby or walk out of the relationship?
Priyanka is the heroine of the novel. To be precise, Shyam’s ex-girlfriend. Priyanka’s mom wants her to marry an NRI and she finally agrees. Though Shyam and Priyanka had called it quits on their relationship a long time ago, her feelings for Shyam still linger. Who does Priyanka finally marry, Shayam or NRI Ganesh?
Military uncle is the oldest of the lot and the odd man out. A family feud forces his to stay alone even in his old age, an uncommon phenomenon in India. Military uncle’s heart cries out for his grandson. Will they ever be united?
Shefali and Mr.Bakshi have special appearances.
Bhagat’s writing is simple and clear. He writes in a comfortably natural style, without complicated words, which keeps the narration lucid and easy to follow. His writing is also loaded with subtle humor, especially the one-liners, which are just awesome.
The realistic characters and easy language undoubtedly make the novel interesting but there are places where it tries your patience as well. The narration of Shyam’s dates with Priyanka are a bit tedious and long winded. Another point which drew my interest was the resemblance of the novel to any Bollywood ‘masala’ movie. I don’t know whether I would call this a shortcoming of the novel, but there were so many instances where I thought this was just like a movie!
On the whole, like my brother, I too believe One Night@ the Call Center is fab! It definitely makes an interesting read and Chetan Bhagat has proved himself once again after his debut novel, Five Point Someone. However,do not compare this novel with his first one as this would lead to the essence of the former being lost. Bravo Chetan!!!
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