Joker in the pack

Joker in the pack

Joker in the Pack - An Irreverent View of Life at the IIMs

Authors

Joker in the Pack [(http://www.jokerinthepack.in)] , published by Orient Paperbacks in 2007, is a work of fiction by Neeraj Pahlajani (IIM Bangalore 2004-06) and Ritesh Sharma (IIM Lucknow 2003-2005). It describes life at the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs).

Story Outline

Joker in the Pack describes humorously (and often satirically) the life of Shekhar Verma - a middle class student who grows up in the post liberalization era.

The book starts off by describing Shekhar's childhood in a typical urban middle class setting, playing gully cricket and "ice-pice" (I Spy). As Shekhar reaches senior school, he is influenced by his middle class brethren into pursuing a "dream job" with an MNC (defined as any job that pays very well as per prevailing standards). In order to achieve this job, he enrolls into an Information Technology course as it is considered "hot" by recruiters. He gets disenchanted with the course once the IT bubble bursts in India and salaries plummet. Shekhar then trains his eyes on the IIMs, in the hope that an MBA from an IIM will help him get his dream job. The book describes in detail Shekhar's life at an IIM and introduces the various personalities that make up life there including 'Northie Lafanders' and 'Dosa Dudes', the influential Placement Committee ('Placecom'), wise 'Daddus' and the glamorous 'Page 3s'.

Throughout the book, Shekhar has been shown as being critical of the middle class that "labels kids according to the marks they get in exams and salaries they get in jobs". As a character, Shekhar is shown to mature as the book progresses, culminating in his starting to question his own beliefs and actions and the sarifices he has made to achieve something he is no longer sure he wants.

Manjunath Shanmugam Trust

Joker in the Pack features a section devoted to Manjunath Shanmugam and the Manjunath Shanmugam Trust. The book also has a tie-up with the Trust through which part of the sales proceeds are passed on to the Trust. [http://www.hindu.com/lr/2007/12/02/stories/2007120250210400.htm]

References

1. Joker in the Pack website [http://www.jokerinthepack.in]
2. Orient Paperbacks website [http://www.orientpaperbacks.com]
3. Article from Management Compass - A fictional take on the placement ‘mandis’ at IIMs [http://www.mediamates.biz/regular_update/book.html]
4. Article in Economic Times - The booming genre of campus-based novels [http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/rssarticleshow/msid-2547284,prtpage-1.cms]
5. Review of Joker in the Pack - The Hindu [http://www.thehindu.com/lr/2007/12/02/stories/2007120250210400.htm]
6. Review of Joker in the Pack - The Telegraph [http://www.telegraphindia.com/1071123/asp/opinion/story_8576818.asp]


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