Sunday, December 18, 2005

Walden Bookstore's Bestseller List

Here's the list from Walden bookstore
  1. False Impression - Jeffrey Archer
  2. Predator - Patricia Cornwell
  3. At The First Sight - Nicholas Sparks
  4. Mistress - Anita Nair
  5. Kite Runnar - Khalid Hosseini
  6. Moscow Vector - Robert Ludlum
  7. Main Chance - Colin Forbes
  8. Camel Club - David Baldacci
  9. Shantaram - Gregory D Roberts
  10. Mediocre But Arrogant - Abhijit Bhaduri

Friday, December 02, 2005

The Sequel - Abbey in the Corporate World

Yes, the sequel to Mediocre But Arrogant is underway. Am working on the title - got to figure that out sometime, isn't it. I took seven years to write the first book - so figure I have some time to go.

Meanwhile there are reactions and responses galore to M-B-A and every now and then there is a mail that raises some hypotheses about Abbey's love life to be.

Sayantika Roy, who is an alumnus of BITS and now working for WIPRO, Hyderabad suggests:

"... I think Abbey should find someone whom he really really loves ... neither of the three ladies have the real thing in them ... Priya does love him unconditionally but love should be reciprocated... it shouldn't be a compromise...abt Ayesha , well she was never serious about it , she is out of question...and Keya , well her character isnt too well described. she is one of those mysterious chracters , i feel so...but u r the author so i guess u will figure it out :-)"

Sayantika says she wants to write a story herself. If it is about her Alma Mater she could call it "BITS and Pieces" (that was Abbey's suggestion).

Deccan Herald - Sunday, 13 November 2005



Triumph of the Mediocre
Tarun Cherian

Mediocre but Arrogant’ by Abhijit Bhaduri, follows the 84 batch of MIJ (Management Institute of Jamshedpur, a very thinly disguised XLRI) through 2 years of MBA – one covers QT, Marketing, Crowd Dynamics, and of course pairing, ambition, friendship… etc, etc, etc. The book looks through the eyes of Abbey, a DU, SRCC graduate who out of happenstance, (that he pretentiously terms serendipity) lands up in MIJ. ‘Mediocre but Arrogant’ doesn’t have a plot, or a semblance of one, but funnily that doesn’t really seem to matter, for what the book has in abundance is characters— that seem to be taken from your gang of college friends, (if of course you did post-graduation, or more specifically an MBA in the 80’s in India).

There’s Rusty, the streetsmart friend, Haathi, the institute doyen, who looks beyond the course to preparing the batch for life, Gopher, the slimy one, and Priya, Keya and Ayesha— the love interest… Fundu (needs no intro), Sethu, the resident brain… And friends is what Abbey needs in abundance, for the transition from an easy-going DU eco graduate to half-baked MBA type takes all the efforts of friends like Rusty.

Abhijit claims that Abbey is not autobiographical. Maybe not autobiographical of himself, but it feels like the autobiography of the 80’s college kid. Unlike the hippy 60’s, the naxalite & emergency 70’s, the 80’s college scene was, by and large, typified by a generation without causes— except maybe a decent job, a girlfriend, finding the dosh to buy rum, and going abroad.

Quite appropriately, nothing happens in ‘Mediocre but Arrogant’. Just the usual. Job interviews. Dates. Trying to pass. Crazy Profs. Friends. Real friends. Half enemies. Booze outs. Bob Dylan. But in that nothing happening, something happens. Friends, exams, late nights, affairs… the stuff from which college memories are constructed. The stuff that inspires drunken speeches at old college friends’ meetings. It is in this space of relating college life, the ‘no big deals’ of almost every 80’s college kid that Abhijit has excelled. The authenticity of the dialogues, friends, incidents, phattas, attitudes are the book’s heart. But what really makes it work is the interleaving of these in a quixotic, ‘non-linear edit’. Leaving behind a “We are like this only” feeling.

For long, too long, Indian writing, has tended to avoid the drab marketplace of life, the space of the middle-class-familiar. Life, ‘Mediocre but Arrogant’, reminds us (with oodles of nostalgia) is not just about the brilliance of the brilliant, but also equally heroic are the minor triumphs of the mediocre.

Check out the link at http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/nov132005/books10514220051112.asp

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Bushra Hameduddin and more

The Homecoming at XL was great.Partying till 4:30am was even better. the XL band - Bodhi Tree played all the hits like XL ki Kudiyan, Sab Ka Katega and the freshly minted GMD (ask an XLer for the full for form).
Here's the letter of the week...

I'm not going to tell you how much I enjoyed your book, because I'm sure that's nothing new for you. But I want to share with you the part I loved best...it was the ending...Haathi's personalised letter to his students. It was so touching, I cried. I'm doing my MBA, and for the past few months, I've been feeling lost and that I've lost my way, and I don't know why I'm doing what I'm doing anymore. And Haathi's letter meant so much to me becuse that did away with some of the restlssness I've been feeling.
I'm a bookworm and have no human friends, only books. I'm looking for inspiration, and I find it very hard to be inspired.
One reason I love books is that they provide insight into the human character, and since I dont get along with real people, it gives me clues about them.
Thanks.

Bushra Hameduddin
bushra.hamed@gmail.com

Saturday, November 12, 2005

See You in Jamshedpur on 19-20 Nov 2005

XLRI, my alma mater is having a Homecoming party. Got to be there. Here's an opportunity for me to relive my days there - complete with chai and adda at Dadu's Dhaba and VOLUNTARILY eat the Mess food served by Basanto.


Meanwhile here is a mail from Amartya Banerjee - not Sen

Read your book.And i think its grt. i could myself relate a lot with the book because of two reasons.Firstly because i am an ex hindu college hence memories of delhi uni, and north campus came back flooding. and secondly becoz i teach in a B school in kolkata so the potrayal is next to original.

i teach media and communication management at the International School of Business and media(ISB&M).lthough i have never been to a B school myself but have done a professional course in Media hence well acquainted with the life style.Its a grt book and infact its a grt book to be made in to a film.Have you thought about it?Hope to read more from you in the near future. How about one outlining your corporate experiences??

Regards
Amartya Banerjee

Prof Amartya Banerjee
Chairperson-Admissions Professor-
Media& Communication Management International School Of Business & Media (PUNE/KOLKATA/DELHI/BANGALORE)
IB-163 Sector 3 Salt Lake City
Kolkata, India

Friday, November 11, 2005

Go Ahead You Crazy FLICKr...


Vairamani Pandiyan, my buddy who is a great photographer and someone who is always at the forefront of what is new on the Net and also claims to have read every joke on the Net at least twice (why? does he not get it the first time?) He has got some amazing photos on his page http://www.flickr.com/photos/pandiyan/60315594/

He writes his review of MEDIOCRE BUT ARROGANT

Isn’t it great to have a celebrity as a close friend? It sure is. He tells me he signs girls' T shirts!The book shown here is waltzing in the bestseller lists along with Dan Brown and JK Rowling. Written by someone with whom I spent the best years of my corporate life, doing exactly what the characters in the story do. Wise-cracking, irreverent and carefree, making fun of everything, making puns at every turn and working once in a while. Mediocre But Arrogant; not exactly but something like that.

Want to know what really happens in the hallowed halls of a big-name business school? Don’t go for titles like ‘What they really teach you at Harvard’ and such. Truth is out here.

MBAs. These marauders, turned out by the dozens by business schools, invading the corporate corridors, stalking the boardrooms, weaving their web of mesmerizing magic and devilish deceptions, have effectively transformed the business organizations into powerful institutions with an 'A' in economic results and 'F-' for humaneness. Where do they come from and how are they made? Get an insider's view.

On a personal note, Abhijit is Anything But Mediocre. Jack of many trades and Master of caricaturing. Puns, limericks, silly skits, jokes, cartoons – he got me into many of those. When I torture some of my Flickr contacts with silly never ending puns, it is Abhijit who is to be blamed. But then I must admit that some his jokes are good. Otherwise serious publishing houses wouldn’t have bothered to publish his writing throwing good money. Then again, it may be bad money and may be his jokes are the kind people like and goodness has nothing to do with it.Meet Abhijit Bhaduri. Do read his blog for a flavour of the book. What next Abhijit? Syndicated columns, movies, Abbey dolls.... Sequels definitely, I reckon. Speculating in possible titles... Well, the protogonist is likely to graduate and step into the corporate world. So Married But Available, Mean Beast Always, Mayhem Bedlam And .... You are welcome to suggest. I'll get him to send you a free copy if he likes your title.

Thus spake Pandiyan and I loved some of the comments and suggestions his readers had to offer...
Someone who mysteriously signs as 42n81 said:

i love it that someone wants to stick it to the MBA's. it's a bad brotherhood of academix who couldn't make it in the real world from day one . . .i will buy this book, it's a promise :-)

i think an Abbey Action Figure would be nice as a next step . . . big money in those. Fun for kids of all ages. Abbey comes complete with a lot of Smoke & Mirrors, its own set of crocodiles they cry real tears !,

cute Super-Hero suit with the motto "Looks great in Theory" embroidered in real plastic, a full set of two gleaming hatchets to axe unsuspecting vested limbs of corporate entities, and gold velvet Commando Rope to pull cronies into cushy over-paid positions, or better yet, as Consultants!!!

Watch Abbey contribute chaos as he doles out money to same age-group peers that look strikingly like him! It's up to you to determine if Abbey's mission is actual corporate deconstruction or simply well-executed preservation of the peer species. Is Abbey doing it to create a loss-leading tax shelter or it is just because Abbey doesn't know how to really work?As if that weren't enough . . . wait, there's more!

If you buy the introductory Abbey Action Figure set today, you can get Abbey's Blood Red Corvette complete with special Personalized Parking Lot sign for half price.

Thanks dude!! Some of those suggestions certainly make sense. Will help fund the sequel - Abhijit

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Sriram V Iyer from Madras, TN, India writes...

This is one book I couldn't just stop reading. Its so addictive that the reader eyes gets glued to it. Its all about Life in a B-school and more, the life that Abbey, the protagonist goes through in his two years at MIJ (a B-school of repute) at Jamshedpur or "Jampot" as referred to in the book! - and Abbey's life before that as a student of Delhi University. The well-etched characters stay in your mind so fresh. The magical world in the book that draws you into it is almost like the aura that exists in RK Narayan's Malgudi and its characters. I liked Malgudi and its characters, but I adore Jampot, MIJ and Abbey's world that revolves around it. What are you waiting for? Haven't you got a copy yet? Go get it, before it gets sold out !! Here are a few illustrations which sparkle in the book.
1. Ayesha's eyes - Abbey's classmate at MIJ
2. Abbey's classnotes on Organizational Behaviour (Orgy B)
3. Abbey's classnotes on Strategic Planning (Pari's class)

http://readsriram.blogspot.com/2005/10/mediocre-but-arrogant.html

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Tribuneindia's Bestseller List

Check out the Tribuneindia.com's website for their bestseller list
http://www.tribuneindia.com/2005/20051002/spectrum/book5.htm

The Sunday Tribune list reads
1. Eldest by Christopher Paolini
2. Shalimar the Clown by Salman Rushdie
3. Mediocre But Arrogant by Abhijit Bhaduri
4. Bood Royal by Harold Robbins and Junius Podrug
5. Blood Storm by Colin Forbes

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Deccan Herald's List of Bestsellers

BESTSELLERS
Fiction
1. Eldest; Christopher Paolini (Doubleday, Rs 695)
2. Shalimar the Clown; Salman Rushdie(Jonathan Cape, Rs 595)
3. Five Point Someone; Chetan Bhagat (Rupa, Rs 95)
4. Shantaram; Gregory David Roberts (Abacus, Rs 411)
5. Are you afraid of the Dark; Sidney Sheldon (HarperCollins, Rs 195)
6. Mangal Pandey; Rudrangshu Mukherjee (Penguin, Rs 150)
7. Mediocre But Arrogant; Bhaduri (IndiaLog, Rs 195)
8. Inscrutable Americans; Anurag Mathur (Rupa, Rs 95)


Source: Landmark Forum
Deccan Herald - 18 September 2005

http://www.deccanherald.com/deccanherald/sep182005/books1433472005916.asp

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

From the land of Charminar and Biriyani


dear mr b
Just finished reading ur "MBA"...comparisons with "In Which Annie Gives It Those Ones" is inevitable and the gut response is u are good. Campus lores are mostly delightful and ur writing is v smooth -- --- thanx for a good read!!
Had borrowed this volume from the Sens (Subroto n Sanjukta) and had a read n return deadline to catch before they rushed off to bombay.......hope to pick up a copy for myself from a Hyderabadi bookstore soon....
Meanwhile keep the good work going....
Rgds

Damayanti Mukherjee
(Hyderabad)
dam.babs@gmail.com

Monday, September 26, 2005

Sonny says... Yeh Dil Maange More

Abhijit,
I enjoyed M.....B....A immensely. Having started it I could not stop reading it and thankfully it was a great companion on a long international flight. You did brilliantly well in switching the pace and the narrative with multiple little plots in play was absolutely engrossing. Abbey was real and all of us who have been through a similar education pattern can relate with many of the characters. Great reading - I did not want the book to end. Yeh dil maange more!
Sonny

Saturday, September 24, 2005

The First Reading in US at Gautam and Ipsita's

It was a lovely setting. Candles and soft music set the mood for the evening. It certainly helps that Ipsita is a very talented architect and interior designer. Gautam and Ipsita Goswami had chosen their living room area to create a great setting for a storytelling session. Gautam (an IIT and IIM-A alumnus and now a Prof at a Business School in New York) had already raced through most of the book earlier. He set the mood by sharing his perspective of the story and what he found interesting about the book. The smell of rain was still fresh in the air as we all huddled around on floor wrapped in sheets and rugs and talked about the book and our times in the college till the wee hours of the morning.
Thank you Gautam and Ipsita for making the first reading so memorable.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Get an MBA free...

XLRI, Jamshedpur is organizing Homecoming 2005 on19-20 November 2005.
Be there in XL and get a free M-B-A (Mediocre But Arrogant).

S Harinarayana - also an XLer from 74 BMD who runs Fortuna Consultants, Hyderabad, India has magnanimously offered to gift Mediocre But Arrogant to all XL alumni who attend the Homecoming 2005.
All the XLRI alumni who attended the book's launch in Bangalore and Hyderabad got a free copy too last month.

Thanks Hari

Monday, September 19, 2005

Mehul Pandya writes...

Dear Abhijit,

Congratulations and compliments for an exceptionally well written book.

Though, I am not from XLRI, I appreciated the theme and description of Abbey, Priya, Keya and Ayesha, Rusty, Gopher etc and others. Being a part of the HR fraternity, (I did my MHRM in 2001 from MS University, Baroda and currently with PwC) the book took me back to my PG days. Many of the events from your story also resembled some of the events in my life at my B-school and couldn't help but to compare them and drifting into past.

It is like the vicious circle that when you are a child at a school, you want to go to college; when you are in college, you want to be in job and when you are in job, you want to go back to school as a child. It made me read your book at a stretch and over the last weekend, I finished reading it.

However, I would have expected to hear more about Keya and Abbey and still wondering what happened to that? If you had the liberty to complete the story to be a happy ending, what would have been your story? Perhaps, I would have also imagined Abbey entering into a serious relationship with Ayesha.

But anyways, congratulations and compliments again. It was worth spending two days at XLRI (virtually) .

Kind regards,
Mehul Pandya
mehulbpandya@gmail.com

Friday, September 16, 2005

An Army Commander's Take ...

I was a little lucky to lay my hands on ' MEDIOCRE BUT ARROGANT ' authored by your honour. I am not competent enough to review this excellent portrait of some of us who plan or happen to be at institution of learning . Nevertheless once we are there, the sculpturs are there to give shape & convert the novices into the architects of nation of tomorrow.
Maintains reader's excitement to reach the last page -- the real essence .
Thanks for making the book a great reading & looking forward to very many such wonderful books by you , sir
Regards
Yours Sincerely
Commander S K Sharma ( Retd )

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Anubhuti Sharma of Hewitt, US wrote to say

"Mediocre But Arrogant is a walk down a familiar road…. on each page I met people I knew, revisited places I’d been and felt the feelings I had trying to find my way….as Abbey’s train pulled away from Tatanagar for the last time, I was once more sad to leave my own memories behind. This book is timeless – the characters and their experiences will resonate with anyone who has lived on an institute campus….

Abbey and his friends re-create the magic of sipping chai with friends, strumming drunken songs through early hours, making “life or death” decisions on love and life, tackling colorful professor personalities and their colorless assignments, and in the end winning a ticket to the corporate circus – somewhat wiser.

As one turns to the end, one can’t help but feel a certain wistfulness for the memorable moments that have passed in the company of old friends."

Friday, September 09, 2005

Satarupa Ray's Interview at Oxfordbookstore.com

A man of many interests, Abhijit Bhaduri has illustrated several books and is an accomplished cartoonist. He loves the theatre and was a popular voice on All India Radio where he read the news in English and participated in a number of radio plays and music based shows. He now hosts a popular radio show in the US, about classic Hindi movies and film music.
On a recent visit to the city of joy, Abhijit Bhaduri launched his debut novel, Mediocre but Arrogant at Oxford Bookstore (
http://www.oxfordbookstore.com) Kolkata. Here along with the stalwarts of Indian industry and advertising – Mr Russi Mody and Mr Ram Ray, the author and HR professional, regaled the audience with their take on MBA – that coveted degree, which, for the last three decades, has been deemed mandatory for ascending the corporate ladder. Russi Mody, with his customary wit, lamented his lack of the requisite degree, but seemed to “manage” well enough during his 58 years at the helm of TISCO, several instances of which he recalled with nostalgia and humour. Commending the author on his work, Ram Ray, CEO Response (http://www.responseindia.com/) said that reading the book was like attending a great party – the sort that stays in your memory. The author then took centrestage, and read with considerable theatrical skill, certain highly amusing anecdotes about Abbey, the protagonist, his friends and professors, which immediately transported the audience to their college days. The reading was followed by an interactive session and the consensus that emerged was – the purpose of higher education was to facilitate and acquire knowledge of oneself and of the world. In an exclusive interview with the Content Team, Abhijit Bhaduri spoke about his trilogy, the readers and higher education in India.

Interviewed by Satarupa Ray
Designed by Subhadip Mukherjee


On his debut bestseller novel, Mediocre but Arrogant
Mediocre but Arrogant is a book about the essence of being young and being yourself. It is about growing up and discovering yourself in the process. The story is a generic one – a slice of life that all of us have gone through – and has been given an universal format.

On his readers, who have read, re-read and not read his book as yet
You should sit back and think about the good times you have had in life. After reading the book, you miss your friends so much that you give them a call, as you have not got in touch with them for so many years.

On why his book stands out amidst several other bestsellers
The purpose of education (in a management institute) is not to learn about management theories but to make you realize that you have the ability to make the world a better place. Many people do believe in this. The book drives home this simple idea about life.

On the trilogy of which Mediocre but Arrogant is the first one
The trilogy is about the three phases in a person’s life.
1) The first book tells the story of Abbey as a student.
2) The second book shows Abbey in the throes of mid-life crisis. In Mediocre but Arrogant, Abbey went to MIJ feeling that he was a genius knowing it all only to realize that he knew so little. He goes through this same phase in the second book but now he is a part of the corporate world. All the preconceived notions break down. The world jolts you in a way that you wonder whether that idealism was really required or not. So don’t let this happen to you and don’t become cynical.
3) The third book is about pursuing your dreams. You have a vocation that is very different from your profession. There is a calling – i.e., your dream in life. No matter what, don’t give up the ability to dream. Continue to dream regardless of your age.

On higher education in India
India has rich opportunities. Cost of education when compared to universities abroad is really nothing. We have a tremendous resource in our fantastic education system. Indians are doing so well all over the world. Thomas Freidman in his book, The World is Flat has said, “India is the place of the future”. I feel it’s our education that makes us walk tall.
Most importantly, we have a social support system that is taken for granted by us. Such a social support system is non-existent in a country like the US. We have social nurturing of relationships without expectations. When you are down, a light-hearted adda with your friends or family is taken for granted in India, but in the US this is taken as invasion of your privacy.
I am glad that our education teaches us how to build relationships and how to work with people.

To the young people who do not make it to the best institutes in the country
As Abbey prepares to face life, Father Hathaway tells him, “Never underestimate your ability to make a difference.” It’s strange but funny yet I truly believe in it. It’s amazing how many different things we can do in the world and make a difference to the world.

On Chetan Bhagat, author of the bestseller, Five Point Someone
I appreciate anyone who has gone through the process of putting an idea in the form of a book. I know how tough this is. It took me seven years to write Mediocre but Arrogant.

On his favourite authors
Satyajit Ray, Sunil Ganguly, Shankar, Bani Basu, Joy Goswami, Upamanyu Chatterji, Arundhati Roy…the list goes on…

On three books that have made a difference in your life
1) The Mahabharata – It gives the most comprehensive perspective of life.
2) Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet– It talks about everything - marriage, love, justice, and children.
3) Sudhir Kakar’s books – These give you an understanding of self and society. As a student of organizational behavior and psychology, his books have been of great help to me.

http://www.oxfordbookstore.com/oxfordonline/asppages/home/home.asp

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Interesting Contest: Another Oxymoron?

Oxfordbookstore.com is running a contest around oxymorons. If you like them too, here's your chance to win some prizes. Here's what their site says:

"In Mediocre but Arrogant, Abbey’s friend, Rascal Rusty jots down oxymorons in his notebook. Read the book and send us Rascal Rusty’s favourite oxymorons along with five of your own oxymorons to feedback@apeejaygroup.com. Please ensure that your entries are original. Abhijit Bhaduri will select the best oxymorons and we will feature them on his section.

If you have any queries for Abhijit Bhaduri, do send them to us at
feedback@apeejaygroup.com. He will be delighted to reply to your queries."

http://www.oxfordbookstore.com/oxfordonline/asppages/home/home.asp

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The Breakfast Show on NTV 7

Reading an excerpt from the novel Mediocre But Arrogant. Click the picture to play video.

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Set in a fictitious B-School...

Interview on NTV 7's Breakfast Show with Host Will Quah. Click the picture to play video

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Monday, September 05, 2005

Sumita Ambasta's Review of the Book

Book Review: Mediocre But Arrogant
by Sumita Ambasta
Monday, September 05, 2005

Before anything, a necessary admission must be made. I started reading the book with the attitude that I read the handouts and literature in XLRI, the business school both the writer Abhijit Bhaduri and I got our dubious distinction of being “Mediocre But Arrogant” in. This attitude, in one word, is flippant. Therefore, my surprise at the journey Abbey, the protagonist, embarks on in the book, deftly and sensitively portrayed by Bhaduri’s skillful narration, has the power to jolt the most cynical ones among us into at least one moment of thought. Each of those possible thoughts though, hide behind funny encounters, and matter of fact incidents that have never given us pause before. In that, Abhijit has succeeded in examining what exactly is the role of higher education in a society that values material success of exterior kinds, involving degrees, wealth, corporate positions, and fame. And he does it while making one laugh and cry, in a world that is funny, erotic, irreverent and colorful in ways we have never viewed it. Yet, these lovely memories haunt all of us, who have been through any kind of education.The labyrinths of succeeding in corporate world is a topic done to death before, but here one will find insights, specially in the form of a character called Rascal Rusty that gives new face to what it means to be Darwinistically ambitious. He has the capability of finding resonance and empathy with our dark sides which desire to be successful, not knowing how to reconcile it with the “nice” image we also aspire to at the same time. Abhijit has created an amazingly real character with public and private sides that exist but not acknowledged before. The part which might create controversy in India is Abbey’s sexual adventures. The younger generation will identify with how real the dynamics of his multiple loves and numerous women portrayed in the book is. I do see however, the parents (and teachers) uncomfortably squirming at the prospect of amorous sides of students being discussed as openly as it has been here. From some reports, I believe this discomfort at “good students at good educational institutions do not indulge in these escapades” has already been expressed in the media by one of the directors of a prominent management institute after reading the book. This educator may be clearly uncomfortable with the sensitive and erotic side of a normal young student, but no-one will dispute that this has to be the most real account of student life one has read in contemporary times. Even if some of it leaves a questionable taste in one’s mouth, as reality does too. This exploration is wonderful and younger readers might find things there that may be of myriad values. The book has illustrations that give it a distinct flavor and create images that Abhijit intends to share. Its acronyms, a part of student life, may sometimes get a little difficult for non XLers to follow, even though each and everyone has been painstakingly explained. A ready reference would have helped. It does create a real environment of school life though even in this. For readers who might complain about this, it might serve a good reminder that any kind of literature is set in a time and place and cannot be completely understood without understanding the details of that temporal reality. It does not affect one’s ability to enjoy the book though. The story and its conclusion, or lack thereof, is not important. We all have heard it before, even lived it in our experiences or in another’s. It is the process, the journey that Abhijit narrates with a flair of a wonderful travel writer in images and descriptions that transport us elsewhere through words, is what stands out. The only difference is, the journey is not in any geographical place, but Abbey’s mind and his being. Anyone interested in such journeys will relish the nakedness of thought and feeling in this book, even while squirming uncomfortably at seeing how it is laid out for all to know and read. It is intimate, vulnerable and yet not unnecessarily emotional, something that is a difficult balance to create. It is deliciously funny and irreverent at the same time, an astonishing feat.The larger setting that stood out was how the threads of exploration in this book relate to greater realities of outsourcing, globalization and transformation of identities. Not that the book deals with any of this directly. It might, if Abhijit writes a sequel, which I sincerely hope he does. A non- Indian reader, for instance, may be struck by what goes into the people who are challenging established meritocracies globally through outsourcing and global movement of talent. Is the professional who emerges out of a country like India merely struggling to survive, or is there greater questioning of education, identity, self and all these concepts in this process? Does this process have any implication on how things will be shaped in future? Many XL students, like their counterparts from other similar institutions in India have gone through Abbey’s journey. This may create an impact on where they end up in life, something Abhijit has left undefined, in this book. Well, the imagination is endless and its only when reading the book, will these possibilities emerge.

Read her blog at http://sanjeevni.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Moneycontrol.com Review

Words weave their tales
Two books that could keep you company, when your stuck in traffic.
2005-08-22 12:05
http://news.moneycontrol.com/leisure/news_detail.php?autono=177344

Books always give everyone chance. The readers get to live their experiences vicariously in the comfort of their homes while authors are given... well, a chance to write and if they are successful, then fame and pots of money as well.

Yet another book making news is 'Mediocre but Arrogant' written by a "Gomba". Well, this is not a pseudonym but stands for "grossly overpaid MBA!" Anyway, this book is about love in the time of management.

It's an interesting read, if you're still nostalgic about your college days. And while it also packs in the humour, 'Mediocre But Arrogant' by Abhijit Bhaduri provides you with an intuitive, insightful and reminiscent account of your student days.

The book has it all - from the college wisecrack, to the guy who plays Bob Dylan on his guitar, to the class hottie that every guy is trying to woo, bad hostel food and the works. But just in case you thought the title reflected the caliber of MBA graduates, the author himself a human resources graduate from XLRI rushes to explain.

Abhijit Bhaduri says, "With a very mediocre understanding of human relationships, when you do a course in HR or management or any kind of higher degree course, there is a certain amount of arrogance that comes into people, which says I begin to understand people. One of the greatest myths is everybody believes they are great at communication and great at working with people."

But the irreverent attitude doesn't go down well with the professors at IIM. Director of the IIM-Bangalore, Prakash G Apte says, "Life on MBA campus, especially at an IIM campus is quite tough. There is not much time left for love, let me tell you. We keep them busy from morning to evening, we demand a tremendous amount of homework from them!"
So, if love was such a forbidden fruit, that should make this book that much more compelling.

To read extracts of Mediocre But Arrogant :
http://www.ndtv.com/ent/bookextracts.asp?id=313&bookname=Mediocre+But+Arrogant

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Interview on Malaysian National TV with Will Kuah


The bookstores in Kuala Lumpur do not have the book yet. A first time writer has to do everything (and you thought all they had to do was write?) - including visiting bookstores only to be told that by one helpful lady at the counter of Kinokuniya Bookstore (http://www.kinokuniya.com/) at the Suria KLCC mall that "people rarely ask for mediocre books". How can one stay CCC ( Cool, Calm and Collected") when someone delivers a death blow to the ego? I showed her my copy of the book. She shrugged and said in her cute Manglish, "I agree, lah. But must try also can."

Got an opportunity to appear on The Breakfast Show of Malaysia's NTV7 with the fast talking Will Kuah who has a very MTV-ish personality and way of speaking. It was aired at 9:30am on 30th Aug 2005.
http://www.ntv7.com.my/Prog_MNN_Main.htm

Difficult to ask insightful questions if you have not read the book fully - and he really had not been given time enough. Given that he had not heard of XLRI or Jamshedpur, he did not ask me the second most popular press question - is Management Institute of Jamshedpur just another name for XLRI, Jamshedpur? So he HAD to ask the obvious question - you guessed it - "Is Abbey your alter ego?" At least slightly different variation of "Is Abbey you?"

And when he wanted me to show the viewers some of Abbey's Classnotes, I kept flipping the pages desperately trying to locate one while trying to keep the conversation going and wondering why the lights had to be so bright that not only was I unable to locate any cartoons, all the pages seemed blank under the glare of a million spotlights. After what seemed like hours I located the one on Ayesha's eyes (my fave) and then changed my mind in case I offended any conservative viewer. Then settled for the sketch on Strategic Planning Classnotes of Pari.

Will said that as soon as Mediocre But Arrogant becomes a film, he will feature it on his other show called MY ENTERTAINMENT (ENG) Mon to Fri, 12PM which is an exciting, slick daily show that gives you the latest in international and local entertainment news. Covering music, movies, fashion and beyond.

Maybe some day even that will happen. After all where there is a Will (Kuah) there's a way.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

View From Kuala Lumpur


Am in Malaysia. Always good to be back - having spent three and a half great years here. Had a good time attending the Malaysian ad awards party (thanks to my friends Drs Bishun and Anjali Lal) that brings in the best of creative work around Asia Pacific.

Mediocre But Arrogant is now up to the second spot in the NDTV's list of best sellers http://www.ndtv.com/ent/booksnew.asp
The list reads like this
No 1 The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
No 2 Mediocre But Arrogant by Abhijit Bhaduri
No 3 The Hungry Tide by Amitav Ghosh
No 4 The Zahir by Paulo Coelho
No 5 The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho

Am in Hong Kong from 31st Aug till 1st. Will miss the Merdeka Day (Independence Day) celebrations in Kuala Lumpur. The Twin Towers still look gorgeous when they are lit up.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Daily News & Analysis, Mumbai


Daily News & Analysis, Mumbai
10th August Page 9

Mediocre But Arrogant' MBA
New Jersey-based human resource professional and first time writer Abhijit Bhaduri unveiled his semi-fictional novel 'Mediocre But. Arrogant', at Oxford Bookstore, Churchgate on Tuesday. Having completed his post graduation in HR, from Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRl), Jamshedpur, his book is poignant yet has a witty1ook at life in a B-school reflecting the exuberance, paradox and pain experienced by the protagonist.

"The book is not autobiographical. Set in 1982, but reflective of the life and time of the handful of business schools in that period, and is relevant even now,” says Abhijit It narrates the story of Abhijit, popularly called Abbey, at the Management Institute of Jamshedpur, with all his shortcomings and anxiety.

Talking about the trepidation be encountered while writing his first book, he said. "It's very difficult to write humour. It's like bungee jumping. You never know if the rope will survive the drop."

Present at the launch was film director Shyam Benegal, who said, "lt could make a good film, but not by me by someone younger and fresh into the profession."

The book has been published by Indialog Publications, and costs Rs 195/-.

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Mediocre But Arrogant Hits Best Sellers List

Oxford Bookstore

1. The Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
2. The Hungry Tide -Amitav Ghosh
3. Mediocre But Arrogant - Abhijit Bhaduri
4. The Zahir - Paulo Coelho
5. The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho

http://www.ndtv.com/ent/booksnew.asp

Read an excerpt from the NDTV.com site
http://www.ndtv.com/ent/bookextracts.asp?id=313&bookname=Mediocre+But+Arrogant

The Statesman, Kolkata 4th Aug 2005


For a few laughs
ABHlJIT Bhaduri's 'Mediocre But Arrogant’ was released at Oxford Bookstore on 3 August. It is a lighthearted read about the most coveted degree of the last three decades – the MBA

Published by Indialog Publications, the book revolves around Abbey, a MBA student. He said: "The protagonist is aimless, to an extent like me. When I was about to join high school, I did not know which stream to choose. I did not want to study science and humanities students had 'little scope', I took up commerce but nobody spoke of book keeping! It took me seven years to write the book but I'll be quicker with the sequel." The first of a trilogy the story is about Abbey doing his MBA. Book two follows Abbey into the corporate world and the third will be about Abbey pursuing his dreams."

Abhijit is a human resources professional and is currently posted in the US. The former student of Xavier Labour Relations Institute has also illustrated several books and is an accomplished cartoonist. He hosts a popular radio show in the US about classic Hindi movies and music on Radio EBC.

Also present at the launch was Russi Mody and Ram Ray, CEO Response India. Mr Mody said: "M stands for Modi but I don't know what MBA is all about. I've studied at Oxford University tor three years and I behaved like a lunatic, for I was there on my father’s money. So whenever someone speaks of MBA, I say good luck.” As for the ad guru, he said: "Reading the book was like going to a party, a party one does not forget. The book made me revisit college."

Friday, August 19, 2005

Book Review at The Week

Writers' World

Mediocre But Arrogant
by Abhijit Bhaduri, Indialog Price Rs 195 Pages 264

Reviewed by Debashish Mukerji

Pure serendipity no doubt, but campus novels seem to be becoming a hot new trend in Indo English fiction. Where there was a void earlier, three have appeared within a year. Chetan Bhagat's surprisingly successful Five Point Someone, about life at IIT; Sudeep Chakravarti's Tin Fish, enshrining Mayo College; and now Abhijit Bhaduri's effort. The acronym formed by the title points to its subject: the business school world. In this case, under the thinnest of disguises, the renowned Jamshedpur based XLRI.

All three authors have much in common: they are first-timers, successful professionals in diverse fields and alumni of the institutions they have written about. The books are similar, too: taking a wry, irreverent, but ultimately indulgent look at these premier institutions. In Mediocre But Arrogant, narrator Abbey joins the Management Institute of Jamshedpur, has initial misgivings, makes friends, finds girlfriends, works hard, plays harder and drinks a good deal to ultimately pass out of the institution and land a decent corporate job.
It is a delightfully honest account, a meticulously faithful rendering of the arduous demands and delicious diversions of an elite management school, with its formidable curriculum—subjects like quantitative techniques, organisational behaviour.

Its eccentric faculty—the likes of Father Hathaway or Professor Tathagata Chattopadhyaya are instantly recognisable; its in-house acronyms and nicknames; and its summer projects and placement interviews.
Loaded with humour and narrated at a cracking pace, here is the insider's account of B school life, which the latter's sleek prospectus will never reveal.

Source: The Week
http://www.the-week.com/25aug21/lifestyle_article4.htm

Monday, August 08, 2005

XLRI - It was good to be home








It was good to go home. The release at XLRI was on 4th Aug 2005. The venue was the small audi. Seated left to right: Fr Casimir Raj, Director of XLRI, Dr Jittu Singh, Bushen Raina - MD Tinplate Co of India and Rana Sinha, President of the Jamshedpur Chapter of XL Alumni.

Having food at the XL mess was a great idea and Madhukar Shukla's brain child. That was followed by the XL band playing some terrific XL songs that have been composed over the years. I finally got to hear "XL di Kudiyan" (composer Rohit Munjal - who I finally met at Hyderabad).

Had chai and samosas at Niranjan's dhaba and then had a serious OMAXI meeting with Madhukar Shukla for the rest of the evening.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Kolkata Newsline - Expressindia.com 5th Aug-2005

Alma Matter
Abbey is not Abhijit, declares the author of India’s latest alma mater novel. So will Abhijit Bhaduri be lucky with the book, or the proposed Bollywood film?
Shamik Bag
Kolkata, August 4: They went to the same school, St Xavier’s, Delhi, though Upamanyu Chatterjee was a year senior to Abhijit Bhaduri.
Years later, the two have met on common turf, as writers, and the coming of Abbey, Bhaduri’s protagonist in his debut novel, has followed the coming-of-age of English, August’s Agastya as contemporary Indo-Anglican fiction’s most sardonic and understated characters. And while Agastya took a cockeyed look at the highly-worshiped institution that is the Indian Administrative Service, Bhaduri’s Abbey harbours no romantic reverence or illusion for yet another middle-class Indian fixation: the MBA.
Bhaduri’s take on what is considered as the holiest (and most milking) cow among academic careers in India is explained from the title of the book, Mediocre But Arrogant, which also works as an acronym for the MBA profession. The name emerges from “a moment of despair of Abbey,” an MBA student of the fictional MIJ institute in Jamshedpur, when he feels that for a mediocre student like him, all the MBA stamp manages to do is to make him feel arrogant, the author explains.
Like Chatterjee, an IAS officer, Bhaduri sources his book from first-hand experience he gathered as an MBA student of the prestigious Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), Jamshedpur. Bhaduri was in Kolkata’s Oxfordbookstore on Wednesday for releasing Mediocre But Arrogant, which is the first of an intended trilogy of Abbey novels. The author is at pains to explain, “the book is not autobiographical, neither is it meant to disillusion people about MBA.” “It is intended to take a funny look at life in the ‘80s, which is when I did my course. There are about one lakh people writing the CAT exam, but not every successful manager is an MBA. It’s a myth,” says Bhaduri, who is now based as a HR professional in the US. “And it is, I reassert, not an autobiographical book.”
In Mediocre But Arrogant, published by Indialog, Abbey is a direction-less Delhi-based youngster who goes to school and college in the city, till almost fortuitously he lands up in MBA school. Through a spree of events involving professors with thick Bengali accents and thicker sense of humour, roommates like Pappu, who sleeps over the campus interview rounds, and the head of the institution who brings in a sense of profundity, the first installment of the trilogy is apt material, Bhaduri thinks, for a Bollywood film. “I’ll be meeting a few producers when I visit Bombay later this month. I think the first book is just right for turning into celluloid form and its language will be a mix of Hindi and English. In the second book, we find Abbey becoming part of the corporate world and in the final book, he finally finds his calling. These two books don’t fit into the screenplay I have worked out,” informs Bhaduri.
Even when it comes to discovering his true passion, his creation shares a common streak with the author. A stage actor, an Indian classical musician, an accomplished cartoonist who once taught the art to readers of Target magazine, a host of a show on Bollywood’s classic films and music that gets aired on the US’ Radio EBC station — Bhaduri wears many creative hats. So has he found his calling through writing the book? “I wish it paid my bills,” answers Bhaduri, “But fact is, I still earn my bread and butter from my day job. It’s only the J.K. Rowlings of the world who can do it. I hope the book will be India’s answer to....ok take that out.”
Chetan Bhagat has earlier tried it with Five Point Someone and Sandipan Deb with The IITians. Bhaduri wants to be the third time luckier.

Source: http://cities.expressindia.com/fullstory.php?newsid=142396

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Campus Life in Book Pages from The Telegraph - Friday August 5-2005



Campus life in book pages
OUR CORRESPONDENT
Abhijit Bhaduri signs on his book after its release at the XLRI auditorium.

Jamshedpur, Aug. 4: How much similarity is there between Abbey the protagonist of Mediocre But Arrogant and the author?
Abhijit Bhaduri insists that they were born on the same day, lived in a railway colony and studied in Sri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi. “But hey! There’s where the similarity ends. I am not Abbey. He is very practical but I take life as it comes,” comes the reply from Bhaduri.
The suave and enigmatic head honcho of a leading MNC in the US, is back at his alma mate, Xavier Labour Relations Institute (XLRI), to release his book Mediocre But Arrogant. Bhaduri calls his book a story about love and life in a business schools.
The story of the protagonist Abbey and his friends at the institute is filled with humour and had the audience in splits when Bhaduri read out excerpts from the book, anecdotes about Abbey’s roommate Pappu and his encounter with Ganauri the washerman.
Bhaduri reminded the audience that the book is not about XLRI in particular but its about how life is perhaps in any premier college.
“Every character and incident is generic we all might have met them at some point of life or other ,” said Bhaduri.
The book was formally released by B.L. Raina, managing director Tinplate company of India Ltd and president National Alumni Association XLRI. It was a nostalgic moment for everybody as well as the author as he spoke about the days spent at XLRI and his association with Tata Steel in the initial years of his career. The book is lined up for release in Mumbai, Delhi and Bangalore. Bhaduri is already writing the second part of this triology and is also in talks with producers in Mumbai to either make a movie or television serial based on the book.

Friday, August 05, 2005

The Telegraph - Calcutta 4th Aug 2005



B-school, mediocre & arrogant- XLRI alumnus pens book on life in management institute
NISHA LAHIRI IN CALCUTTA AND NILANJANA GHOSH CHOUDHURY IN JAMSHEDPUR

Bhaduri in Calcutta. Picture by Pradeep Sanyal
Aug. 3: “What’s common between J (JRD Tata), Russi (Mody) and me?” asks Abbey, an MBA student of a business school.
“A dismal academic record,” replies a friend.
“Leadership qualities,” counters Abbey.
Just one of the pearls of MBA wisdom expounded in the book Mediocre But Arrogant, by XLRI ex-student Abhijit Bhaduri, launched in Calcutta this evening. As the author read aloud extracts from the book, the audience — with an overwhelming majority of XLRI alumni — exchanged knowing looks and amused laughs.
“It’s a generic story, about college life and the hostel experience. It’s not autobiographical, neither are the characters real, but they are drawn from real people and actual events,” said the New York-based Bhaduri, director, human resource, for Colgate Palmolive Global. But with Jamshedpur as the physical backdrop, there’s no getting away from the XLRI touch.
“It’s not exactly about XLRI, its just like any other management institute,” said Abhijit. And why Jamshedpur? “I am familiar with every place in the city. For any author it is imperative to know the physical setting of his own story as it gives a realistic touch to the entire plot.”
He will be in XLRI for the launch of the book on Thursday.
Abhijit’s association with the steel city is not limited to his student days at XLRI. He was deputy divisional manger (management division) at Tata Management Development Centre (TMDC) from 1989 to 1994.
The Calcutta boy did his school and college education in Delhi, including a degree in law from Delhi University. But it was his post-graduation in human resources at XLRI that gave him the insider’s story on the MBA experience. The journey for the “novel on the love and life in a business school” began seven years ago. Mediocre But Arrogant is the first of a trilogy, with the next instalment already in the works.

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1050804/asp/ranchi/story_5071938.asp

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Mediocre But Arrogant - Launched in Kolkata

The Venue: Oxford Book Store, Park Street, Kolkata
This is truly a book lovers heaven. Make that a book writers' heaven

Ram Ray, CEO Response advertising agency released the book with the Chief Guest Russi Mody adding to the buss with his characteristic comments about how "all education is a waste" !! Ram Ray swore that he had read and loved the book which not only had humour and punch but also brought in new insights.

http://www.telegraphindia.com/1050804/asp/ranchi/story_5071938.asp

Check out the link. Nest stop .... XLRI the management institute in Jamshedpur

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Write Your Review of Mediocre But Arrogant

If you have read the book, write your review here.

- Abhijit

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Mediocre But Arrogant - India Launch

The Indian price for the book is Rs 195/-

The India launch starts off with Kolkata. 3rd August 2005
at 6:30pm
at the Oxford Bookstore at 17, Park Street, Kolkata 700 016, India
http://www.oxfordbookstore.com/
Contact Ms Maina Bhagat at mbhagat@apeejaygroup.com for an invitation if you are the formal type. Else just walk in and join the launch party.


Will be in XLRI, Jamshedpur on 4th August for a day to visit the campus.

This is followed by the launch in Mumbai
9th August at 5:30 pm at Oxford Bookstore at Apeejay House, Dinshaw Vacha Marg, Mumbai

The launch in New Delhi is on
11th August 2005 at 6:00pm at India International Centre
Address - Annexe: Hall No 3, 40 Max Mueller Marg, New Delhi - 110003, India
Mr Gurcharan Das will release the book

In Bangalore the book is being sold at
Crossword, Vinayaka Book Distributors Gangaram, Strand Bookstall, Shankars The Bookshop etc.

Hope to meet all of you during the launches.

If the book has not reached your favourite bookstore then raise the alert with Mr Gagan Das at gagan@indialog.co.in or on his cell 098108-07342.

Buy a signed copy of the book
In US the hardcover international edition is available for US$21.95 (plus $3.00 shipping). Send me an email at abhijitbhaduri@gmail.com
Make cheque payable to PERFECT CONSULTANTS LLC

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Pre-order your copy of Mediocre But Arrogant

Here is some early praise for Mediocre But Arrogant
******************************************************************


"Took me straight back to my college days!!" — Shobhaa De


“Mediocre But Arrogant is a heady and delightful blend of so many flavours; it is funny, sad, touching, romantic, reflective ... One gets spontaneously seduced into living through Abbey's life — with all its exuberance, paradoxes and pains. M-B-A is not just about life in a B-School; it is about the process of growing up into an adult...” — Dr Madhukar Shukla, Professor (OB & Strategic Management) — XLRI, Jamshedpur

“...a witty and insightful depiction of the two years in a business school student's life. Using Abbey's classnotes as illustrations is a unique idea.” — Tarun Sheth, management guru

"This may be the Indian answer to Peter Robinson's cult book on MBAs Snapshots from Hell" — Gautam Ghosh

Wednesday, June 22, 2005


Coming soon to a bookstore near you

Monday, May 30, 2005


Priya's Poem "BUTTERFLIES" - Dedicated to Abbey

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

The MIJ Song


This is the MIJ song that Abbey started to write. Help him complete the lyrics.
If you can add chords and put it to music, even better...

The MIJ Song

Chorus:

The two years I spent in MIJ
Studying for my MBA
Precious hours spent with friends
Drinking the night away
Those term papers we’d to write
Every Professor had a strange quirk
It took Rascal Rusty to figure out
For each Prof what would work
Someone liked quotes, some liked to see graphs
Some liked humour in Assignments just for laughs

The two years I spent in MIJ
Studying for my MBA
Precious hours spent with friends
Drinking the night away

Dadu’s dhaba was our usual haunt
Whether for chai or cigarettes that we’d want
Where Arunesh sang Dylan's songs
With the shiny black guitar he would flaunt...

Thursday, April 07, 2005


Prof Naresh Parihar - "Pari" for short. Taught us Strategic Planning

Tuesday, April 05, 2005


Abbey's Class notes on Microeconomics

Monday, April 04, 2005

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Friday, April 01, 2005

Mediocre But Arrogant - the storyline

Mediocre But Arrogant - a story of love and life in a Business School is the debut novel of Abhijit Bhaduri. Set against the backdrop of a fictitious business school in the steel city of Jamshedpur, India, this is a story of how the two years of doing an MBA transforms Abbey's life, perspective and relationships. Anyone who has lived in a school or college hostel will be able to identify with the characters of this funny but insightful novel.

Abbey - the narrator and protagonist is in MIJ - the coveted Management Institute of Jamshedpur, as an act of "serendipity". That is where he meets several classmates in the Boys Hostel - Harpal Singh alias Hairy, David Chummanoor - Chumma for short, Arunesh Nanda - the guitarist who sings Dylan songs and the mysterious, enigmatic Rascal Rusty. And then there are girls ... Ayesha for one.

There is Dadu's Dhaba, Basanto, the Mess Bearer who doles out pieces of chicken to the select few as if it was a state secret. Ganauri - the dhobi who comes to pick up the laundry on his moped.

Will Abbey find the love of his life? In a Darwinian microcosm of the corporate world, MIJ has taught Abbey to hone his survival instincts and shave off jagged edges of his character. Is this what he wants to be?