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May 17, 2014

Book Review - 160 : An Affair to Remember





Author : Harkeerat Anand
Publisher : Srishti Publisher & Distributors

Filled with cheesy motivational posters, computer workstations crammed side by side, dumb bosses / blonde's and bored employees looking for a career change - ABCDEF Corp., a software giant, rankles with a sameness of a suffocating software giants existence. Until one man and his best friend take things into their hands. What follows is a series of misadventures, flushing both men down a pink-caked urinal of self-destruction. Set in a city that once was, in an IT giant that once was, the two men journey through a cobweb of friendship, ambition, embezzlement, crime and most importantly, love. Will they survive ABCDEF Corp.? More so, will ABCDEF Corp. survive them?

If writing witty one liners and cracking LOL jokes was all about writing a book, this one would have been a winner all the way. Unfortunately, there is little plot movement in this which takes away the sheen from much fun you will obtain from the jokes and the one tone narrative structure will take away the joy from what could have been a compact little book on vagaries of corporate life.


There are multiple scenes which will make you smile - the appraisal meeting of the lead protagonist, the onsite manager visit or even the police interrogation scene when the CNG kit of the boss's car causes a minor blip. But as the narrative goes forward, the jokes dry up, becomes repetitive and in the end, there are too many diversions to end the story which does little justice to either the characters or their initial motivations.

I also couldn't understand the author's fascination with urine. Every second page, there is one reference and by the end of the book, you are completely grossed by it. The Mumbai fables and constant references seems forced and even the old vs new life seems monotonous after a while. The author does make some pertinent points regarding simple vs complex life (comparing 1990s with 2010s for example) but all this humour is weighed down in the end by lack of coherent plot.

I am going with 2/5 for Harkeerat Anand's 'An affair to remember'. It could have been a decent book but is flawed because the author relies more on tone of the characters rather than characters. An opportunity lost.

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