Keep the Change by Nirupama Subramanian
A chic-lit novel tracing the story of a Tam Bram Chennai girl to Mumbai, from a CA firm to a Global bank. From groom hunting by parents to self-hunting. From being a good traditional South Indian girl to wannabe bombshell. A lot of it seems autobiographical. As the bio-data of the author meets the protagonist quite a bit. Keep the Change could also be a typical story of a small town girl in mid-90s, stepping into the corporate world in a big bad city. And getting used to both the corporate and social environment, which has nothing to do with anything she grew up with.
Some women have gone through the cycle. Learned their lessons and have chosen to leave the corporate life behind, yours truly included. A lot of these women have looked back at their lives. And find them interesting enough to fictionalize it and write it as a story for others to read.
The story is written as a set of letters that the protagonist writes to a fictional character. Which is a nice way to express the monologues of a character’s mind? All the stereotypes are well maintained in the story. All bad people are from the North. Friendly ones from the west. And the good ones from the south. A girl with glamour cannot have brains, and a fashion disaster cannot do anything dumb except her wardrobe. A good south Indian girl even when she is alone with the man of her dreams in Goa at midnight will not cross the line. I think the author is too far from reality or is not willing to look around and see the reality. Ok, you can say, this is my story, my character and my definition of the character. But let me tell you, all your biases shout through your story.
There is a fair amount of taking on how the MNCs work, the politics, the fake work that helps the employee, and sometimes the boss but not really the organization and definitely not the customers. Recently I see a few authors raising this issue in their writing. Highlighting a culture where everyone is working only for themselves and not for the purpose for which the organization is there. And with no focus on the customers whatsoever. It is really sad. As till sometime back we wanted to believe that there were sincerity and honesty in the private sector. The author does give a sample of that stink in the organizations, especially banks.
Is there something new that you have not read earlier, No? Is Keep the Change readable yes, as the language has a certain flow to it and it tends to engage you. If you are still reading Mills & Boons or loved them at some point in time, you would like this book. And yes, there is an expected happy ending as well.