Neeraj Chhibba is out with his second book, Zero percentile-2.0 Missed IIT Kissed Gurgaon. I had reviewed his first book (review here) and had found it racy and perfect Bollywood material. ZP(2) is the sequel to ZP(1) and chronicles the lives of the Pankaj, Motu ,Priya and their friends( Nitin, Arjun, Jaanvee and San).
The book starts with snapshots of the lives of the main characters (all except Pankaj) in 2006, who found a software company called PureConsultants . The company is developing a product called Babe ,which is touted to be a game-changer that will catapult the company into the big league. Each individual in the management has a different problem to grapple with – Nitin is afflicted with HIV and has money problems ; Arjun’s daughter is special and has to deal with problems on his marriage front; Jaanvee is not sure of her feelings San , and Motu and Priya have their own issues . The author takes us through the problems of each individual elaborately. T he first 100-odd pages are a sure damper in terms of pace of the book. I was left wondering what the point was of going into excruciating details of problems some of them faced. Also I thought the issue with Nitin and how he gets ostracized and slammed on news channels because he is afflicted with HIV was just over the top. Nothing much happens during this period, but one knows something has gone wrong because of the absence of Pankaj from the narrative.
Then, the narrative flits back to 1998 and chronicles the events that lead up to the formation of PureConsulants. The pace starts picking up at this point and we get to know why Pankaj was missing from the first part. We also get to know that Pankaj was one of the co-founders of the company Numerosoft and then something goes wrong to changes the equation between friends and causes PureConsultants to be born.
The third part of the story starts in November 2008 and PureConsultants goes through an adrenaline-filled hostile takeover bid. Will Motu and his loyalists manage to fight off the takeover bid or will they succumb to the machinations of their secret enemy ? Umm.. You’ll need to read the book to figure that out.
Narrative-wise the last part is the most exciting as Neeraj gives a day-wise countdown to the prospective takeover. The writing is choppy and a labored ( especially the first part). The ending also seemed a little too melodramatic and predictable.There are lots of references to the first part and it might make sense for people to read ZP(1) to understand all the dynamics at work.What works the best for the book is the pace and the fact that its a breezy read. Neeraj also explains the workings of a software company, and that makes for interesting reading. That said, I certainly liked ZP(1) better than this one.Overall, an ok read.
I’ll give it a 3/5 for this one.