Finally, with this book, my reading block seems to have gone away. Whew!
Bangalore Calling, a debut novel by Brinda S. Narayan is a series of short stories strung together into a full-length novel. The setting is a call-center in Bangalore, the story is about various people from different walks of life who work there, and how working in a call-center has changed their lives. The people are from all walks of life – the maid who cleans restrooms, to the expat CEO who is trying to implement American HR policies in an Indian company, to the American manager who is worried about losing her job…they are all covered here. And covered in a very empathetic way. No one is all wrong or all right. It’s just different people viewing various incidents in different ways.
All the stories touched me in some form or the other. But my favorite story has to be about a deaf girl who is marginalized at home. When her brother working in the call center receives a relay call (a mechanical voice that speaks for a deaf-mute professor), he realizes that being deaf does not mean that a person should be uneducated. His dawning realization and the change in his attitude towards his sister is very beautifully captured.
Actually, all the story snippets are excellent. The writing is top-notch, and I love the mature, thoughtful approach that Brinda Narayan has taken. I don’t know much about call centers, but the author seems to have done enough research to give the story setting a very authentic feel.
This book is a must-read for anyone interested in life in Bangalore, and the booming call center industry. I am repeating myself again, but this book is GOOD, and I am really happy to thank the publishers and the author for sending me this copy for review.
More information about the book and the author is also available at Bangalore Calling.