By Ketan Bhagat. Grade A
People blessed (ha!) with siblings would agree that there are positives and negatives when it comes to following what your sibling has already mastered. You share the same parents, and, therefore, the same genes, and that means anything one sibling accomplishes, you should theoretically be able to accomplish a bit of that as well. You like it or not, when you enter the same domain, comparison is bound to happen. Michael and Ralf Schumacher? Mukesh and Anil Ambani? Michael and Fredo Corleone? Adolf and Rudolf Dassler?
Have you ever heard of any NRI who:
- Hasn’t washed dishes and vacuumed carpets
- Hasn’t missed any of his friends/ family members wedding in India
- Doesn’t watch Indian movies, no matter how long he has been outside India
- Hasn’t been to a striptease
- Doesn’t indulge in Indian food whenever he visits India on a vacation
Do you know any Indian who:
- Hasn’t thought of moving out of India for a better, safer life
- Isn’t fed up of the scams, traffic jams, filth, noise, crowd and crime that are part of everyday life
- Isn’t tired of attending endless weddings, festivals, birthdays, farewells, parties, lunches and dinners that happen almost every second day in India
- Has never envied (secretly or openly) his friend / family member living outside India
- Hasn’t wondered what makes NRIs return to India
Welcome to the world of Kabir newly married and newly arrived in Sydney, hoping to live the glamorous and sophisticated life he has always dreamt of. After all, a life without frantic competition, traffic jams, queues, dirt, corruption and social obligations (read evils) can be refreshingly convenient. Professional success, new friends, a sincere boss… everything seems to be going just fine. But doesnt this sound too good to be true?
Coming straight from the horses mouth, Complete/Convenient is a roller coaster ride through emotions and experiences as they really are and as you imagine them to be.
Ketan’s Complete/Convenient doesn’t, in the least bit, follow any of Chetan’s writing cliché. It is witty, wise, and—most important of all—truly beautiful in ways that many books are not. There’s an honest, ardent majesty in which life of an NRI is showed. Ketan has wholeheartedly embraced the situation of most NRIs and that may be because this book is inspired by his experiences. The book has so much joie de vivre and if there is any justice in this wworld, Ketan will be huge star soon.
I loved it! I loved it because it was funny, poignant, and smart, and simple, and complete kickass, and takes absolutely no shit from any of its detractors. There, I said it.
India. Yes, it is dirty, and dusty. People litter and spit and urinate in public. Yes, there is corruption. Most service providers can’t spell ‘punctuality’. Roads have potholes bigger than there are craters on the moon and if you drive in Delhi, your testicles live in the daily fear of retracting into your lungs. Yes! Why would somebody like to live in such a country? This book will tell you why a billion people still reside here, despite its abundant, endless flaws. Why there are perfections in its imperfections. Ten out of ten to Ketan.
The book is divided into three chapters; from Mumbai to Delhi to Sydney, the stay in Sydney and coming back home. Working in an MNC in Mumbai, Kabir gets an offer to shift to Australia after marrying his college girlfriend (No, its not that simple. There were many complications and speed breakers but let’s gloss over this homage Ketan has paid to his brother). The newly married happy couple moves to Australia and remains there for two years (No, obviously its not that simple, there are complications at extremely large scale and speed breakers bigger than biceps of any botox laced wrestler, but let’s gloss over that too). However, as time flies, Kabir starts feeling nostalgic about India. Torn between personal, professional, family and life in two different continents, the story of Kabir has love, patriotism, duty, friendship, tragedy, sacrifice, comedy, drama, despair, hope, AND romance – all expressed and expressed very simply. The first half of the story will make you chuckle, but the second half will make you weep. The emotions are many and sublimated without being maudlin. Watch out, they may slip by before you feel them.
If you are someone with the lacrimal apparatus of Attila and pride yourself with the ability to never getting your eyes moist while reading books, I dare you – no, I double dare you to read Complete/Convenient. This is beauty. Classy! Leave the technical details aside, this is one honest book that you must read.