I was On the way to Coimbatore and I am happy to write about something not related to running.
Promptly ensured that I carried the book “Ready Steady ..Exit ” by c P C Bala Subramanian.
It mattered that Bala is a very good friend of mine as it forced me to read this book. The rest of the drive to write this review happens out of my own emotions and has nothing to do with our friendship.
First thing is the pace with which I could complete reading it. I m near Thiruppur and I have done the reading and halfway to writing this. At my age, holding a book brings me to sleep especially at an early morning train journey. I am well awake fully drawn in by the events in the story. Short but Racy and I went through the streets of Pondy, Chennai and Mumbai in a jiffy. Loved the feeling.
I half is a must for both CAs and Non CAs. For chartered accountants, because you will be to relate to every event while we struggled our way through the course. Non CAs can understand the mental state of CAs before they complete the coveted qualification.
The second half was a great thrill and a management lesson in more ways than one. The protagonist handles the life and relationship with an enviable suaveness and was lovable again. You don’t have to be a Financial Expert to appreciate the fast paced business events of the book but it tells us a few things about modern day laws of doing business.
I even felt emotionally touched on an occasion. Enjoyed the subtle sarcasm and humour. Also felt that each page contained a strong event and couldn’t even skip a page..my honest rating is ”
Exceeded expectations. After a long time, a happy feeling of finishing reading a book in one go. Some credit to Bala for keeping it short but more for keeping it so interesting.
Kudos. Will recommend a reading by most of my friends who have not read it yet..
A fantastic read indeed.–Krishnamoorthy,
Disclaimer: PC Balasubramaniam the author is a good friend of mine and we did our CA in the same firm.
Having said that, i am convinced that this is a great effort that brings to life visually the typical journey of a Chennai based CA turning into a successful entrepreneur and then exiting when the time is nearly ripe. The story is quite interesting and has been narrated with natural ease. The underlying humour and vieled sarcasm are intelligently interwoven into the practical storyline.
The success of any author is bringing in a level of credibility to what he or she wishes to tell and PC has this amazing quality naturally in him.
A must read for any one having even a remote interest in knowing about CA as a profession (particularly in South India) and how the life of a young and ambitious entrepreneur could pan out.
A fantastic read indeed.–Sambasivan,
Ready Steady exit!’ Thoroughly enjoyed the book by P C Bala Subramanian, didn’t want to exit the book even after it ended. Being part of the Chennai CA fraternity, the connections were too many and so spontaneous…
Be it Ramaias’s companies act, the CA Hanuman Kovil, our beloved institute campus, that dreaded moment which decides our fate or our loyalty to our partners…could relate to almost everything so closely! Loved the book for so many reasons especially the coveted degree that eventually arrived for Gautam , a friendship with Anand that stood the test of time, a beautiful relationship with Neha that blossomed into a marriage, new relationships that changed perspectives in life and ofcourse the interview by Anand.. the relation (or the absence of it ) between being legally right and & ethically fair
PC, Truly loved your first experiment with fiction and wishing you many more! A must read for all Chennai CA folks :– Shanthi Krishna,
A good story well told. I especially liked the local flavor and the simple unpretentious breezy style. Naivety of first time entrepreneurs, shenanigans of “consultants” , wheeling-dealing of brokers, and entrapment, all make an interesting tale. Way to go PC P C Bala ! Looking forward to your next !:– Mahesh Iyer,
A simple story made interesting. If you are on a 2.5hr flight, the right book to carry. Most CAs would relate to the initial portion of the book. Loved the part on the van carrying the results. Read it to relate to it !! PC has done a fantastic job in putting together this fiction, a first for him after 2 successful books. Looks like a difficult but determined effort to wean himself out of the Rajanikanth centric writing. Difficult because of the die hard fanatic following and determined because of the need to create a niche. And one must say he has succeeded well. All in all a pretty good book. Short, effective and engrossing touching on varied aspects from struggle to friendship to ethics and legality. Buy it, you won’t regret it !:– Ravi Ramamurthy,
This book is slightly longer than a short story (I term it so since I felt it was so interesting that I wanted it to continue for a few more pages)…Its a wholesome entertainment. Struggles, romance, family pressure, enterpreneurship, the Private Equity space, the Stock Market wolves – Ready, Steady Exit is all rolled into one…the pace at which things were moving amazes me… The conflict between traditions and the modern practices is brought out well by the author – this adds to the humour as well. Any CA student of the 90s (and thereafter) can easily relate to this story – success stories of the “Era of Liberalisation”. In the first few pages, you start identifying yourself with the characters…the author’s narration of the Wedding arrangements reminds you of Chetan Bhagat’s Two States – of course, in this case, only one state is involved. If you know Chennai well, you can visualise the entire story as well. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and in one line I can say – If you to want to enjoy a long weekend, pick up this book.–Chella K Raghavendran,
A must read for the wannabe entrepreneur. Discover the romance of free enterprise and savour the riches that true financial freedom confers in the first 120 pages. Negotiate the grey space between law and ethics thereafter, if you are keen to turn your riches into wealth. Between staying rich and getting wealthy, lies the invaluable wisdom that underlies the intriguing world of valuers and valuation! Learn from the school of hard knocks or read this book!–Shekarsan ,
Written in a leisurely style , Ready Steady Exit holds the reader engaged from start to finish. It is a story of two enterprising friends in Chennai who want to make it big on their own. It is well narrated with humour interspersed. All in all a book worthy of appreciation.– ananth,
A very interesting story woven around Chennai and Chartered Accountants…for a first time fiction it is a commendable job! The characters just flow and what impressed me most was how I could relate it to my own startup, the excitement, the first order and all that can keep your adrenaline racing….
Gautam’s dad is the representative of the typical South Indian father….the one who has a lot of aspirations on his kid but can never accept whatever the son is doing until the son is successful! The conversation between father and son and the ‘mind voice’ of Gautam is laced with humour! As every South Indian mother, Gautam mom believes that her son is the best and showers her affection on him by feeding him to her heart’s content whenever he lands in Pondicherry. The story narrates the pains of every aspiring chartered accountant, again something that is so common in a south Indian family.
Anand is the ideal friend, surprisingly magnanimous; a very lovable character, his attraction for the pretty Ruchi is so humourously narrated. The business association with Vimal and Ruchi based on face value shows how naïve ‘first gen’ entrepreneurs can actually be! The way the duo redo the office for Vimal and Ruchi’s visit is absolutely hilarious!The visit of the ‘prospective’ father in law who is impressed, but at the same time doubtful of Gautam’s material success in life is actually so true, not many parents would prefer an ‘entrepreneur’ son-in-law!
The beautiful Neha and her love for Gautam, her intelligence and her commitment to her profession, the way they plan to get their way through with their parents, keeping ‘family’ above all, is extremely strategic and makes you smile! The smart Avinash and Navin (the Consultants) prove to be much smarter than the duo and the twist in the tale is a big surprise! The writing has a bit of R K Narayan’s style that is very enjoyable!
The best takeaway for me is that one has to be passionate when he/she starts a business, run it with the same enthusiasm, but when he/she realizes it is time to ‘exit’ then it has to be done dispassionately when you know the going is good! This is what ‘Management Schools’ tell you too! The very enthusiastic duo, Gautam and Anand keep you engrossed and I finished the book the day I lay my hands on it! The icing is of course I was there during the launch and got the book personally signed by the author
P C Balasubramanian….kudos and looking forward to more such engrossing fiction!
A fantastic read indeed.–Sukanya Sriram,