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Book Review – Child / God by The Corporate Slacker

Before I even get into the content of the book, let me answer the burning questions that readers of this blog (all three of you) must have.

  1. Yes, Ketan Bhagat is related to Chetan Bhagat. He’s the younger brother of India’s best-selling author and columnist.
  2. No, the book is nothing like the typical Chetan Bhagat book.

In fact, Child/God is not a typical book at all. It’s something quite different, and refreshingly so. Far from the dumbed-down, stereotypical stories of boys and girls that have flooded the Indian market like a Mumbai downpour, Child/God is a sincere attempt to depict a middle-class Indian man’s journey from mindless corporate slavery to a person at peace with his life and his choices.

Plot

I have said before that Child/God is not the dollar-paperback sort of stuff that characterises the output of most Indian writers today. If anything, it veers towards – yes, believe it – literary fiction.

The book deals with the life of Raghav Malhotra, a Delhi boy with an unremarkable academic record who nevertheless manages to go to a premier MBA college and gets a typical middle-management job with an IT Company. His wife Leela is a yoga instructor and Raghav’s primary ambition appears to be the success of her enterprise.

The biggest influence in Raghav’s life, however, is his elder brother Rishi Malhotra, whose own career has been spectacular – IIT, IIM, Investment Banking and then a career as a bestselling novelist. The other is his mother Seema, whose abandonment of the boys’ father in their youth has been a definitive event for both the brothers.

 

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