|Book:||You Can Sell|
|Number of Pages:||328|
WHY I READ THE BOOK
The book caught my attention as soon as it was up on Blogadda – for one, it was just in line with my work profile and other, I am a sucker for self-help books. Who doesn’t love a well experimented and oft taken path to perfection? Self-help books, as often misinterpreted are not the easy way out for dummies. On the contrary, they are a means of knowledge sharing and evolving as a group.
To give you an idea about my work profile, I am involved in client engagement, from the requirement analysis to project completion phase and my work revolves around a lot of sales processes happening in my organization. I saw an opportunity to better myself at these processes and who wouldn’t grab a free hands-on training from THE sales guru?
WHY YOU SHOULD READ THE BOOK
As Mr.Khera puts it, everybody is a salesperson at some point of time. You need not explicitly be into the sales domain to identify yourself as a sales person. If you are a student seeking admission, you are selling your resultsheet to your college. If you are a writer, you are pitching your draft to your publisher. If you are a homemaker, you are competing to be the best host in your social circle and yes ma’m, that makes you a sales person selling your hospitality skills to social contacts. (Err…I honestly didn’t want to sound so medieval finishing schoolesque. Nevertheless, you get the idea!)
After reading this, now if you are wondering ‘How in the world am I a salesperson?’ You’ve gotta read this book to find out!
The book consists of 31 chapters each dealing with different aspects of selling – which is defined both as an art and a science. The author sets the tone for the talk in the book from the Preface itself. What I like about self help books is that it has a lot of motivating anecdotes. This one too has them, and coming from Mr.Shiv Khera, they give a feeling that even successful people have had their fair share of a learning curve before becoming an authority in their field.
The author starts from What is Selling? Well if you want to learn something, the very basic thing is to know what you are learning. He says that those into Sales are not there by accidents. They choose the profession and then excel in it by following a few set of rules which when combined with ethics and logic give fantastic outputs. He gives the readers a well defined action plan after taking him through the basics and ends on a very alluring note that ‘You can sell’!
Each chapter has in depth discussion on its topic (For example : What buyers need and want). The chapters throught the book describe how giving the best to your customer should be your prime objective rather than earning money (which eventually follows ;) ) The salesperson should always be looking for a win win situation for his firm and the customer. It delves hugely into the buyer psychology and offers insights into how can one create the need for his product when he sees that there is no possible way people may want to buy it.
It focuses on the communication that should go on between the sales person and the prospect – at the time of pre-sales, sales and post-sales. Sales deals are basically relationships that you build over your career and go a long way in establishing your brand in the market.
There are assignments at the end of each chapter for evaluation of your learnings from it based on your own professional setting. I had quite a time scratching my brain over it. The assignments help one get to know – kinda like the SWOT analysis – where he stands.
WHAT I LIKED
I liked the simple narrative, well defined chapters and flow of the tutorial style lessons. The quotes used to illustrate a point are spot on.
To quote an example :
“Winners make it in spite of problems, not in absence of”
WHAT I DID NOT LIKE
Well, the book does get a bit repetitive as the chapters progress. I guess it is a strategy followed by most motivational speakers to imbibe the thought process in their audience.
IN A NUTSHELL
The book is worth its money. The advice therein is golden. Just start from now, be consistent and success follows. Those into sales, aspiring MBAs and self help book lovers should absolutely read it.
A tip for reading the book : Refer it time and again even after you finish reading it. Write down all the exercises in a notebook and analyse your present standing vis-a-vis that from the book. Practice what is written……you won’t believe the results I got after putting this book in practice have kept me from posting this review since long :)
Reap the benefits of a seed well sown, a deed well sold!
Credits : Book Information – Flipkart.com
This poem is inspired by Magdalena’s poem The Erring Arrow . I had written a version in the comments section, which is somehow lost now :( It ain’t coming back, but for a miracle. I have written another version, from the theme I remember. Pliss to critique. This is kinda my first foray into a literature term called Enjambment.
They don’t see
my heart burning in reflection
of the fire in the wild.
The child in me,
Parched with thirst
The erring arrow was to kill,
It fulfilled the Almighty’s will
where they see, the fire;
the solemnly burning pyre.
The cycle of creation,
My seemingly erring arrow
is the hope for a happy ‘morrow.
An aftertought : This poem fits into the Holi theme no? Happy Holi everybody! May good win over bad in your lives always!
Gee, I feel very sheepish to have put the project on hold like this. Anyway, this is a floating composition based on ZNMD’s awesome poem, Zinda Ho Tum by Javed Akhtar. I can’t fill in his shoes or have the refinement his words have, but these came randomly to me while commenting as an Alpha user on the site we are developing. Here they are -
jaan kar bhi anjaan ho,
to zinda ho tum.
toot kar bhi pure ho
to zinda ho tum.
registan ki me ret ke zarre sa tapna seekho,
bawandar si taqat rakhkar thandi hawa sa baho tum.
dilo me bechainiyan leke chal rahe ho,
to zinda ho tum.
bechainiyon ko jeene ka sabab bana sako,
to zinda ho tum!
I have an on-off association with Astronomy. I can’t claim I’ve got even amateurish skills, but I make it a point to take a sneak peak at the mighty sky when I am informed of some once in a lifetime celestial events. In 2010, I enjoyed the Geminid showers with a very bugged and sleepy DeeDeeTweets. Last year, I enjoyed the Lunar Eclipse with a spiritual tilt along with the regular astronomical hoopla over explaining friends that Eclipse is not a Twilight series movie but a scientific phenomenon, and then diving into 4th standard Geography/Science. Lunar eclipse and moon have found reference in popular culture too. I loved this song from Bandini which incidentally played on the radio then. Such simplicity. She gently reprimands the moon saying ‘tohe rahu lage bairi’ :)
Normally in conversations with friends, there have been a lot of goofups where I pointed at Venus and said it is Jupiter and vice-versa. Thankfully, they don’t notice ;) I was at my wits end once. When I came from office and saw the bright Venus shining near the moon; and when I stepped out to get some grocery, there it was again, in an entirely different direction. I was flummoxed and looked to check on the original, thinking this was an imposter :P There it was! It was a case of “Mai Teja hu, mark idhar hai” (Read “Mai Venus hu, moon idhar hai”). Then saneness set in as I realised that the mighty Jupiter and Venus, both were making apppearance at the same time. And this week, there are gonna be 5 members of our solar system attending the customary taaron ki mehfil in the night sky. Technically, they can be labelled as guests, considering they are planets :P
Here are the astronomical details and timings. Heavenly bodies….. they are very particular you see ;)
Excitement is building with respect to planets in Earth’s sky. Jupiter and Venus are edging toward a spectacular conjunction in March 2012. Mars is getting bright and will join up with Jupiter and Venus as soon as darkness falls in late February! This month, three planets – Venus, Jupiter and mars – conspicuously stage themselves in the February 2012 evening sky, while Saturn more modestly displays itself in the predawn hours. Mercury, the shyest of the five visible planets, will put on a good showing after sunset during the last week of February.
Source – Earthsky.org
A poet from a country which has freedom of artistic expression may not choose to publish his work (for whatever reasons, say personal); while there would be an artist struggling to get his work published in the less free regions of the world. I sat pondering on this for a while and then the idea of this post came from the word Paabandiyan, which means restrictions. Every word has a relative meaning from person to person. So does Paabandiyan.
A picture of two friends from an old era came to my mind. Say from Chanakya’s period. They both studied at Nalanda. One wants to finish his studies and head to Himalayas to explore the deeper questions of life. While the other, wants to finish his studies and head home – and get married to his fiancée. The first friend finds it very amusing of his friend to walk into worldly ties willingly. His own family has been appealing to him to stay back. These ties are suffocating him. He wants to be free, while his friend wants to embrace them happily. To the world, he would be forbidden to be a part of society as a monk. But to him, he is willingly giving it all up. At this moment, ‘restrictions’ ceases to be true to its negative connotation and is just a hollow word. And hence, the poem says – There are many forms of restrictions, some voluntary, some enforced. To the world, the Paabandi is for the monk, who won’t be allowed to live in the society. While to the monk, the Paabandi is his family’s insistence on staying back and getting married.
paabandiyan to kai hain,
kuch chahi, kuch anchahi.
ek hain,chahte hain azaad hona,
aur ek, bandhano me bandhna
kahi ek kadam bandhe jeevan ki dor,
aur kahi door ek jogi chala himalay ki or,
paabandiyan to kai hain,
kuch chahi, kuch anchahi.
Image credit : www[dot]myopera[dot]com, www[dot]fineartamerica[dot]com
Quite an eventful week. Watched Agneepath. Apart from that, no respite from worldly tasks. I am trying to take out 15 minutes every morning for this section. This is an attempt to gauge the feasibility.
Nadaan dil sabb kuch paana chahta hai,
waqt ke panno se akele bhidna chahta hai,
kitabi keeda almaaria ulatna chahta hai,
shayar ye deewana kalam ka saath chahta hai,
kya kahen janaab, bas khwabon ka sahara hai,
rozmarra ki zindagi me uljha dil bechaara hai.
5 mins to type, 5 mins for the pic. Works, I guess. :) I do not know what this conveys, but rhymes well :P
Image courtesy : http://www.artgalleryimage.net
This book review is being written through me at the evil behest of a rogue Martian.
Otherwise Martians be good people, they be. You may understand that these words have been censored out by him, these too and these too……. Focus, you earthling!
Warning : This whole review is a spoiler. Go buy the book and read it first to get the head or tail of this review written by this very incapable earthling. Regards, Martians.
Why I read the book
One fateful day, when I was doubling over in pain due to a kidney stone….I noticed Sorabh Pant’s tweet about Westland Books bestsellers. The agony on my face made way for worry as I realised that the Mayan Apocalypse may not be a rumour afterall; since @hankypanty had tweeted without a tinge of humour, sarcasm or pun! I had realised that it might be a PR kinda thing, ‘cos people do so when they write a book. Had he written a book too? *Lord save us!* I asked him about it, as I saw Martians landing….and in turn, managed the feat of getting
@amisht, @ashwinsanghi and him form a very adorable mutual admiration society. I love that kinda thing! *sniff* Little did I know that I was the target of this sharp marketing strategy devised by the Martians who are outsourced by Ms. Recliws, who has ghost written(no pun intended) The Wednesday Soul. They tactfully bombarded me with pictures and media bits about the book and at a sleepy moment, under the influence of a 400mg Spasmoproxyvon, took over my brain too and made me sign-up at Blogadda for the copy. *I was wearing normal zero glasses then, should’ve worn sunglasses to escape* Over the days, they made me read the book, not once but twice (once with Wren and Martin’s souls) ; bribing and coercing me at times.
* here’s the real reason *
Most of the books I am picking up these days are when I am skeptical about their overnight success or the way the author might have handled the plot. I have been following Sorabh’s tweets for quite some time. He can be very witty at times and sometimes, I do not like his tweets at all. I found myself shaking my head all through the description of the book and thought, it seems whacky,…..but still it might have a Comedy Circus kinda humour maybe. I can’t stand sick jokes in the show. I have high regard for stand-up comedy, but I like them when they are not nasty in an insulting way, each line has an underlying wit to it and most importantly, it is not cheap. This book, written by a stand-up artist, seemed to have some elements which made me skeptical about the praise it was garnering; but at the same time it was not cheap. I could say that without reading by seeing it’s price tag – Rs.250!
Why you should read the book
Okay it’s not cheap. So you can drop that reason. It doesn’t have an emotional touch. The prerequisites are an IQ above 130 and to keep the logical side of that genius brain (yes, I have one of that kind too :P) aside to appreciate the beauty of the writing. So, don’t buy the book. *tap on the head by Martian wielding an electric taser* Err….you should buy the book for it’s humour quotient. You’ll find yourself sucked into the world created by Ms. Recliws…err…Sorabh and not find it out of the blue at all! You’ll fall in love with the lunacy out-folding itself right from the author’s intro, preface to the last page! If you like Govinda movies and Steve Martin movies alike, this one is for you! You’ll meet lotsa celebrities from the geek world, your college idols (Pythagoras, Gauss…. Che Guevara), Attila the Hun(who tries to pass off as Hagar the horrible but fails when he tries to joke using hun err… pun). I read it for Guru Dutt, yes I was one of the disappointed Guru Dutt fans when… *tap on the head again… “No spoilers, earthling”. “Alright, I got a little carried away. Keep the taser away please, I have a review to write”*
Recliws wanted it to be a philosophical title, but Sorabh titled it The Wednesday Soul, to cash in on the hit A Wednesday and the Chicken Soup series which always ends in soul. The cover has been designed by a secret symbologist, so that it has Greek letters hiding in the font of the title. It gives it a Dan Brownish feel. The word Sunglasses is written in different colors to combine sun and glasses which play a major role in the story. There is liberal use of Feng Shui eye symbols to keep it from the evil eyes of self proclaimed critics and book reviewers, but they don’t work on me :P I even got this through the Martian standing on my head!
There’s not much of a story…… *looks around with frightened eyes trying to spot any approaching antennae with tasers* The story is a classic romance panning not across years, eras but incarnations after incarnations – the standard Bollywood masala. Nyra dies in a freak accident to discover that there is a world of the dead, where they term us the real ghosts! When she dies, she is denied the right of living happily ever after with the love of her life – the burly hero of the story, who is a classic mysterious lead. What angers her more is that she was a victim of an evil conspiracy by the classic Bollywood villain (who I guess had possessed Ajit, Pran and Prem Chopra during their shoots that led to many masterpieces in the Hindi Cinema). Now this villain, who goes by the name of Kutsa is actually…. *”Alright! Keep that away. Sigh….”*
Anyway, the story is awesome. It has references to history, politics, science, astronomy, and what not! You will read every chapter with delight at finding new laws of the world of death. Two stories run parallel, the live world and the dead world. Some characters move effortlessly from one to another and lead to an awesome finish of the murder mystery. *Keep it consistent Earthling, you said it’s a comedy, then changed to romance and now to murder mystery? Ms. Recliws said it’s about finding your innerself and that Coelho soul searching stuff….I haven’t dared read the book you know…..after seeing your state….*
Nyra, is a no-nonsense urbane vigilante, who roams around like a Ninja avenging the gory crimes against women. She has her flaws too. Like she drinks, and goes out on Delhi roads….alone! She thinks from the heart. She is spunky and does not even heed Gods when it comes to following her instincts. She is err…how shall I put it delicately, a little on the wrong side of normal weight(read fat), but totally in love with herself………that is what I liked.
The hero of the story, Chitr, has a mythological parallel and is very cute as the amnesiac Head of some important department in the world of dead. He is just perfect, if he just didn’t have that paunch. He really needs to lose some weight. Hence, he is a perfect match for Nyra. See the deep thinking?
Kutsa – Now this name really got to me you know! He is a very nasty villain inspiring awe from even the people he tortures. He is the epitome of vileness. One good thing came off it. I was haunted by the name, thinking I had heard it somewhere and then realised that it is very similar to my gotra…..maybe the rishi influenced the ideology of my ancestors and read a lot about my descent and Kutsa rishi, to realise with relief that this is just a work of fiction by the author. He was not like that at all! And I got to know much about my origins too :) Win win :D
There are so many supporting characters like I said. You’ll recognise some of them instantly from your textbooks, iPod lists, fiction books and if you know some Nobel Prize Winners. I haven’t mentioned any from the parallel story but they are totally ROFL material. A hyper Northeast Indian doctor and a Delhi cop with no sense of grammar or tense priding himself on speaking chaste English, make the parallel leads.
Being a stand-up artist, Sorabh writes like one. Witty, ladden with puns and contextual jokes. I read along swiftly till the first 2-3 chapters appreciating the quirky style, but was immediately held up by typos which keep appearing to the eye which is gifted with spotting “typo- score” like the “eye-score” mentioned in the book. Westland should really have had better editors and diligent proof reading before giving the book to print. This I say because the book is surely on its way to the bestseller list. Urban India has an appetite for books which tickle their grey cells and I give full credit to Sorabh for respecting his readers’ intelligence to digest such a whacky story! All this in a debut novel – which is not his forte – considering he is temporarily retired from scripting TV shows (psst…not getting any writing work or so the grapevine says…. *the Martian was on a tea-break ;) *)
me likey……..me dislikey :)
Thumbs up for the innovative plot, flow of writing and respect for readers. I really felt the editing was lax….I think a book published by Westland should have been a little carefully proofread.
In a nutshell!!!!!!!!!!
Picking this one up is compulsory! Not to flaunt your IQ score, but to enjoy a thought provoking journey to the Universe of the Dead and Alive. You’ll surely come out wiser and happier from it. Also I can use some peers to discuss the amazing conspiracy theories discovered and allusion spotting done by me. In order to convince you that this is not sarcasm and I really liked the book, I give it a rating of 3/5. :)
Go read it and come back to the review :) You’ll like it all the more.
Disclaimer : Typos in this post, if any, are purely unintentional. I haven’t got my payment from the Martians yet :’( Please feel free to point them out, though I won’t correct them….it takes me eons to write a post and will take another era to correct them. Just wear your sunglasses, the typos disappear then ;)
I have missed some days, will cover them up as I find time. Till then, this one is an archive from my collection. This was a spontaneous response to Md Muddassir Shah’s picture of a blooming seedling on a busy road. The seedling had sprouted at such a place, where it could be easily trampled by a pedestrian or a passing vehicle. It conveyed a sense of defiance, a zest for life and a certain spunkiness to me. Hence, the below lines which say, that this is my land too! My ancestors lived here, co-existed with you and now you have usurped my land! A hint of Sadda Haq, a try at an eco-friendly poem…….
suni thi kahaniyaan
kabhi mere ajbao ajdaad baste the yaha….
kabhi ye sadak thi ek nikharta gulisataan….
apni taraqqi ke nashe me khoye e insaan
ye zameen meri bhi hai sun le aaj ye elaan!
Glossary – ajbao ajdaad – ancestors, nikharta gulistaan – blooming garden, elaan – proclamation.
A Republic Day Special this -
Wo kehte hain mera watan,
ab nahi raha Iqbal ka chaman,
mere zehen me jhank ke dekho zara,
aaj bhi hai wo jazba, wo nazaara,
jab har dil me ek hi baat hoti thi,
mohabbat sirf ek tarah ki hoti thi,
jasbat wahi naye andaaz me jhalakte hain,
jab kadam Dhvajvandan ki or badhte hain.
kehta hai Tiranga dekhkar apni azaad avaam,
bas jung-e-azaadi me nahi the muhib-e-watan,
uss anjaan shaheed ki ilamat hai har wo insaan,
asar-o-rasokh na kare jisko apna rutba-e-hum-watan,
mahej insaan se salook kare jaise insaan………..
zinda hain, kuch galiyon me aise chand bashinde,
jo lautayenge is gulistaan ko uske nayaab parindey,
aur wo kehte hain mera watan,
ab nahi raha Iqbal ka chaman!
zehen – conscious, jazba- emotion, jung-e-azaadi – freedom struggle, muhib-e-watan – patriots, mahej – only, bashinde – inhabitants (here – citizens), gulistaan – garden, parindey – birds (here, the peace pigeons signifying good citizens), nayaab – rare, asar-o-rasokh – influence
The general idea of the poem is -
Some claim that India is no longer the land the great poet Iqbal described as Saare Jahaan Se Achha. I would urge them to look inside my conscious and they will see the same inspired emotion reflecting in my thoughts, which was in the minds of people fighting for India’s struggle; as I walk towards the flag hoisting ground. The emotion is love, there was only one kind of love which existed then and it was for their country. The Tricolour looks proudly at the assembled Avaam, it’s free citizens and addresses them saying,”It is not only in the freedom struggle that patriotism manifested itself. They were not the only patriots, the people who laid down their lives in the freedom struggle. The season of patriotism is not over. Each one of my citizens, who treats his fellow citizens with equality – without being influenced by his status, symbolizes the unknown freedom fighters of that era.” There are exist (even though few) citizens like this, who live in the bylanes of this country. They have vowed to bring back the rare species of such patriots. And they still say, my country is not Iqbal’s Hindustan anymore?!
This post started from a discussion with my cute junior Apeksha . She had written a sher and wanted revising. It is a beautiful thought where the girl tells her beloved that her heart is a mirror which shows his reflection in her eyes. She urges him to keep it safe as the fragments will end up hurting him only in return.
My junior expressed it beautifully in a sweet and crisp way -
Ye mera dil nahi aina hai aapka
Har nazar,apna hi aks dekhoge
Iske tutne pe khud hi ko toh bikhra paaoge.
I messed up her composition in the following two ways!
dil-e-nacheez nahi ye aaina hai,
har deedar-e-nigah aapko -
dikhlata aks aapka hai,
jara nazakat se rakhiyega,
baat adna hai fir bhi gaur farmaiyega -
toot jaana iska aapki shaksiyat ka ishtial hoga,
tab bhi magar zarre zarre me aapka mazhar hoga!
dil-e-nacheez – this insignificant person’s heart
deedar-e-nigah – trying to look into my eyes – i guess :P
aks – reflection
adna – small/trivial
shakshiyat – personality – here the person you are when you are with me
ishtial – combustion – hyperbole yes yes :P
zarra – particle
mazhar – a miniature avatar, incarnation of what is left of you.
and (on request for a 4 line version)
dil hai mera aapka aaina,
aks aapke base inn naina,
toot na jaaye sambhal ke sajna,
bikhroge aap hi jeevan ke angna.
cheesy eh? :) Nevertheless, this marks the beginning of Project 365.
Been a great year. It was a pleasant surprise to see WordPress sum up the 2011 blogging year for me in such a sweet way. If I were a child, I’d certainly start liking statistics after having a look at this report :)
Thank you WordPress and my dear dear blog readers for such an awesome year!!!!!
A very happy and rocking 2012 to you!
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A New York City subway train holds 1,200 people. This blog was viewed about 4,000 times in 2011. If it were a NYC subway train, it would take about 3 trips to carry that many people.
Imaan Police Chowki, Ravanpur is celebrating World Heart Day today on the insistence of Commissioner Sahab. Inspector Bajrang Pandey wants to sieze this opportunity to impress the inscrutable Miss Chautala. Hence, he has roses delivered at her desk.
Chandramukhi Chautala(spotting the roses) : “Ye sab kya ho riya hai yaha?”
Gulgule : “Madam wo aaj World Heart Day hain na, to Sir ne aapke liye ye rose bhijwayen hain. Mujhe to lagta hai madam, ki Sir aap pe lattu……..*thadak* ……mera matlab hai Sir aapko like karte hain”
Chandramukhi has a faint smile on her face. Gopi who was reading the paper intently till now, looks up and realizes that Chandramukhi had asked a question some time back. He considers it his duty to explain what he doesn’t know Gulgule said earlier.
Gopi : Why is the flowers is the? Today is the Heart Day is the!
Gopi : *heek* ya……..this one!
Gulgule : Madam tel nahi khayenge to kaise chalega – madam aap bhi na ek number ki……….
Chandramukhi : *thadak* ryapte hain na – *gesturing in her trademarkstyle* ‘diet food’ ……ye kha. na kya keh riya tha beta tu?
Gulgule : *rubbing his cheek*……..bholi hain *thadak*
This scene has characters from the cast of FIR which airs on SAB. Special thanks to my friend Devika who initiated the conversation on Facebook Gopi style in reply to which I wrote this. And a humble request from a big fan to FIR producers – please bring back Shiv Pandit! Nobody can play Hanuman Prasaad like him!Wishing all of you a very Happy World Heart Day! Take care of your heart, it is not only yours! ;)
the first raindrop falls on my face, gently rolls dissolving all the worries that the future carries like the wind thoughts flow in the sky, self assured tranquil, the pristine white clouds glow resurgence,since long allured! rainbow beckons, as the mind reckons, it longs to live, to dream, to get drenched in the mellow Shravan rain.... in the distance, at the horizon, shiny silver beams, crackle a mystic smile spreads,eyes sparkle - as unto solitary dark clouds, lightning engulfs!
Poems are the best way to break the writer’s block………there’s definitely a crack in the block now……. ;)
Hey guys, I am back after a long hiatus. Was caught up in office work.
All credit to Blogadda’s Book Review program which ensured that I post within a week of getting the book.
Why I read the book
I had first heard of Ashwin Sanghi in an article which quoted that the 26/11 Mumbai attacks were eerily similar to the description in Rozabal Line. Also, comparisons to Dan Brown drew my attention to Mr. Sanghi’s work, as I am a sucker for rational interpretation of religious symbolism and rituals. After Rozabal Line, Minissha Lamba’s tweet mentioning Chanakya’s Chant as a good read came along. I am always on the lookout for fast paced political thrillers and here was the one that fitted the bill to a perfect T. I picked it up at the first opportunity I got and battled through my jam packed office routine to finish it within time. (Chanakya niti did help me there ;) )
Why you should read the book
The story catches the reader’s attention right from the prologue where old Pandit Gangasagar refuses to die before seeing his protegee ascend the ultimate throne in the democratic hierarchy of India.(Yep President as a head of the state is a misnomer) The narration oscillates between 2 eras drawing parallels with the tale of Chanakya in ancient Magadh and Pandit Gangasagar. The resemblance between both is uncanny and keeps the reader turning the pages till the end.
The plot is mainly character driven, with the storyline highlighting events in their lives. A Brahmin called Gangasagar stumbles on an ancient scripture holding the secret to Chanakya’s power while learning wily business tricks from his mentor Agrawalji. Soon the mentee becomes the mentor as Gangasagar shifts his focus from business to politics. He ingeniously creates a party with the help of a local don and a slum-child – and manipulates them both like a master puppeteer,eventually changing the canvass of Indian politics as Chanakya did for independent and cohesive Bharat.
The character etching is so efficient that it almost seems as if Chanakya is reincarnated in the form of Gangasagar in the 20th century.He believes that even to do good through politics, one has to employ dirty methods. His strategy consists of bribing, intimidating, assassinating his opponents without letting on a whiff as to who the perpetrator is. Chandini does justice to a rags to riches heroine, the core of Chanakya’s mystical chant.She is a smug confident lady fully aware of her greater role in Indian politics when she is sent to study in a foreign university. The supporting characters also have parallels in both the tracks and are believably grey in their mindsets.
The author’s writing style is short and crisp. Amazingly that does not compromise with the fluidity of the story – almost as if you are reading a film script. The anecdotal narration style (although some are common knowledge in Indian masses) makes the reader feel as if he is a disciple attending Chanakya’s classes at Takshila.Dialogues dominate the feel of the book. I am thinking of making a compilation of the awesome one-liners by Chanakya and Gangasagar :)
me likey……..me dislikey :)
What I liked is the seamless merging of the two eras, I still don’t know which one I found more riveting. The landscapes of Kanpur and Magadh are sketched so life-like replete with the aromas dominating the paan shops, halwai dukaans and zhopadpattis! What I did not like is the romaticisation of Chandini’s life – somehow we always expect famous politicos to have an explosive background story – and yes, she is true to that stereotype. I guess it was essential to the plot :)
In a nutshell!!!!!!!!!!
Overall verdict, please pick it up anytime – if you are looking for a fast paced thriller, an out of the box Indian fiction,better perspective on Chanakya. You can even pick it up as a study in better business strategy, what people call ‘kootneeti’ while the genius called it ‘Chanakyaneeti’….doesn’t have to be bad always! :D Happy reading folks!