Marketing man's humorous take on life

Marketing man's humorous take on life
Paddy Rangappa.

There is no dearth of Indian fiction on college life at the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and high-flying careers thereafter. Among young Indians, the genre seems to have an insatiable appeal.

In this mould comes another novel - marketing professional Paddy Rangappa's humorous Been There Bungled That. The book, Mr Rangappa's first, traces the journey of character Jagannath Srinivasan, better known as Jags, through college life at IIT and IIM before he embarks on careers in consultancy, advertising, marketing and banking.

Jags' life is comically rudderless, his educational and career choices depending on the most sought after courses/jobs available rather than an interest in them. Which, in reality, is true for millions of young Indians who join engineering and business education institutes not out of interest, but simply because these degrees are seen as a stepping stone to a "bright and successful" future.

Running parallel in the book is his love story (Jags falls in love with his professor's daughter), marriage and eventual parenthood, each stage filled with hilarious gaffes. He meets his future wife when he sneaks into his professor's house to submit a late assignment.

Mr Rangappa, who is from Tamil Nadu and is now a Singaporean, says the inspiration for the book came from the numerous columns he has written for Indian papers and tabla! on his professional and personal life. He has an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad and holds an engineering degree from the National Institute of Technology, Warangal.

He was tempted at one stage to write the book as a memoir but instead created a fictional character which lent more freedom and creativity to the story. Mr Rangappa said: "The book needed exaggerations and over the top situations to make it funnier, which fiction allowed me. In a memoir, I couldn't have taken such liberties."

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