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Mr Funnybones

The book is Girish Aivalli's observations on the day-to-day activities in a corporate landscape under the guise of a novel

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The four holy cows you should not joke about are sex (We don’t know what it is, nor does our culture allow us to), politics (even your most outlandish character may have a real doppleganger), religion (even elaborating this can land me in trouble) and corporate management (it just is not funny). The brave few go on to attack the first three, with mixed results. The last is usually left alone because it really is unfunny. Girish Aivalli sets out to prove it wrong.

'Yes Sir' is his observations on the day-to-day activities in a corporate landscape under the guise of a novel. Written in first person, it follows a middle-level manager as he goes on to impart industry gyan to Devasis Ghosh aka Charlie, an eager beaver of a management trainee. Beginning with why companies go for these trainees, the book is a cheat sheet of the various processes in a modern industry, or at least, according to Aivalli.

Power point presentations, conference calls, internal audits, travel expenses, office politics, office romance, nothing is spared. Aivalli gives a humorous explanation to things we, as managers, were doing all along without really thinking about it.

The book is short and fast-paced. There are situations where you cannot but chuckle when you find you have been there too. However, 'Yes Sir' would have worked much better as a collection of vignettes, rather than a novel. But because it is a novel, Aivalli has to create a flow of events and it is so forced that it shows. Which is a shame because this book is genuinely funny in parts.

My only serious grouse, other than the lack of a comma in the title, is the rampant sexism. Aivalli might be recounting what happens in most workplaces, but it certainly leaves a sour taste.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.


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Vinu Syriac

The author is a freelance contributor

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