About two years back, on my way Home for Diwali, I picked up a book, on sheer impulse, at the airport. I just could not resist the out-of-the-box name of the book and the interesting blurb behind the book. The book is 31 by Upendra Namburi.
The latest book by the author, 60 minutes is in the same corporate Thriller/Drama genre and the setting this time over is FMCG, so I had to pick it up.
The story primarily revolves around two seasoned corporate rivals – Agastya and Saliesh. How they take their professional rivalries to every realm of their lives – personal, romantic, financial, to settle scores, forms the crux of the story.
The book touches upon multiple relevant subjects – competitive corporate dynamics, ruthless ambitions, day trading games, domestic violence and love.
The entire episode occurs from 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM on what seems like a normal working day. The screenplay, interspersed with flashbacks, forms a compelling read.
The blackberry messenger chats, game of chess and the constant flashing ticker of the stock market, makes one feel that the protagonist is unnecessarily complicating stuff. At the end it just ends up in confusion, making one wonder the real reason of the actions!
Also, the detailing at many places felt like it could have been avoided. Also, the characters spend too much time in their own thoughts, motives and intentions, taking away from the main plot. The book has too many details, making the plot complex and boring at times.
One interesting technique used by the author is the haiku at the beginning of each chapter. It pretty well tells you the core of what is in store. Example this,
a battle turns to war
we wash our dirty linen
with sweat and blood
The narrative is pretty fast paced and it sometimes feels too unreal for so much action to be happening in so little time.
Overall, a good read, more so for lack of options in this genre in Indian writing scene.
Of course, this stands nowhere close to the first book by the author.