Book Title: 23:59:59 The Journey Of Survival In The B-Schools of India
Author: Sadashiv Pradhan
Total Number of Pages: 240
Publisher: Blue Rose Publishers
Publishing Date: 22 October 2018
‘Why MBA?’ is one of the most haunted questions every B-school aspirant has to answer in an interview. No matter what he or she answers to get an admission, very few have a clue why they are doing MBA, and those who do, their answer seldom has anything to do with Business Administration. This is a story of Jay who gets an admission in the best B-school of India without knowing an answer to the question ‘Why MBA?’ Nevertheless, in his journey, he meets two friends, Abhimanyu and Ishaan, who have an answer to this question. For Abhimanyu it’s money, whereas for Ishaan it’s passion. As a faith would have it, by the end of Jay’s journey, he faces the dilemma–money or passion! What would Jay choose? Will Abhimanyu and Ishaan regret their decision of single-minded persuasion of money and passion? Will B-school journeys of Abhimanyu and Ishaan help Jay in making the final decision?
I found this book different, not weird, from cover to its title and theme and all. The title 23:59:59 – a numerical title for a general fiction book is a rarity. But when I read the book and got the logic behind it. Though the cover of the book could have been much better, for instance, there should have been some people or buildings or objects etc. Be it that way because one should not judge a book by its cover, right? Yes, the central theme of the book is written all over the book: the journey of survival in B-schools of India.
When I read the synopsis, my first assumption was that I am going to read another self-help book that will teach us as to how to prepare for MBA exams and get placed for a better job. I was wrong when I begin reading and by the fifth chapter, I found myself glued to the book because of one reason: I begin falling in love with the characters. They started evolving. And at the same time, I found all characters crazy and impulsive and high on instinct. Imagine the blend yourself. As expected, they form a group of four. In the blurb there is three people’s name, there is Shalini as well. She is from their group, very intelligent and straight in her mind as she knows as why she is in the best B-school of India, unlike her male class fellows. She is more closed to Jay but if you are thinking that they both form a love affair – better give a break to yourself. She cares for all; and works hard for their well-being, especially for Jay and that stubborn guy Ishaan. How did she put her best efforts to help Jay and Ishaan gets revealed almost by the end of the novel. Yes, you are right, you got to read this novel!
Other than that group’s strength and their friendship, I found a substantial amount of drama that pervades in any B-school. The only difference is that here the drama is shown manifold and we as readers begin feeling the pressure the characters must have been feeling had they been real. Now and then, there is that quiz, that competition, that debate, and not to sideline serious of elections. I mean there are so many committees in a B-school, just like the cabinet of prime minister office. The fight is for that only and you have to survive….no….no don’t think of winning. There no one is winner…even if they win they lose something, either self-esteem or like Ketaki you got to sleep to a stranger. I mean in B-school getting a good placement is nothing but a bloody business. I wish the author had put in a bit less inside drama and focused more on friendship, betrayals, affairs, and other philosophical stuff. But still, the novel looks perfect. I still loved it.
Coming to language and narration, Sadashiv sounded like an experienced writer. He is good at storytelling…can you believe he is a first-time writer. Climax and plot are all fine, you realize them at the right time and beauty is that the writer has given an equal amount of space and privacy to all characters, especially the male ones. Those who went for MBA and those who are planning to do, please don’t ask questions and grab this book fast. I promise it is a fantastic read.
Overall Ratings: 4/5 Stars.
About the Author
Sadashiv is an MBA graduate from XLRI, Jamshedpur where he started writing his debut novel 23:59:59. He hails from Pune city where he spent his entire childhood and earned his engineering degree. Prior to joining XLRI, he had a couple of international research publications under his belt. Since childhood, Sadashiv was a passionate storyteller and a prolific writer. He was editor-in-chief for his college magazine. Even during hectic and stressful days of B-school, he did not let his love for writing fed away. He wrote numerous articles on MBA preparation and life at B-school on various online platforms.