Joker in the Pack
By Neeraj Pahlajani and Ritesh Sharma
At the inset this appears to be another story by IIM alumni but as one proceeds the story seems to grow through the reader. The story revolves around Shekhar Verma, a middle class average boy, who struggles to make a career for himself. Through the life of Shekhar the author very subtly represents the beliefs of the Indian family where a child would be a hero only if he does well in studies or a teaching mother would be preferable as she would assist in household income and due to fixed school timings would also perform the mandatory duties of the ideal ‘bahu’.
The hype created by the computer boom is visible in the way everyone wished to get into a computer science course irrespective of the details of the college or course shelling out big money without guarantee of future. The trauma students go through when they realize the validity of their course. The only way most of them find a solution is do an MBA. The way students manage their studies and CAT preparation reminds us of our college days. To add to all this there is the romance between Shekhar and Anoushka and their ambition to get into IIM and IIT respectively. The story takes a turn when Shekhar gets into IIM Bangaluru. Here he finds himself most ordinary. The IIM part is an excellent package of the story including the studies, projects, events, friends, comraderie and finally the campus placements. What follows from here is a series of events where Shekhar manages to bring himself among the top.
Somewhere, somehow most of us have experienced what Shekhar goes through. The satirical representation of the problems is the key that holds the reader’s attention. There is a brilliant representation of the life at IIM. This is an excellent book for all those people who want to read in bus or train after a long days work. The language is simple and tactful.