Skip to main content

Coinman : An Untold Conspiracy - Pawan Mishra

I received this book to review as part of a Goodreads initiative. The synopsis of the book appealed to me as it is set in an office environment and my background in human resources and organisational behaviour added more fuel to the metaphorical fire.

The protagonist of the book is a chap called Coinman, your average office goer who finds himself at the brunt of office politics and a victim of bullying behaviour. It was difficult for me to not classify the various miseries that Coinman faces as gross misconduct on part of the perpetrators (Yes, my HR hat remained tightly secured).

The book is based in a small city in North India and the characters that you come across are easy to identify if you have worked in a small private ltd company in India e.g. the loyal employee with an unreasonable sense of entitlement, a clique of 3 to 4 employees who dare not deviate from group norms, an ‘off-handish’ manager, a female employee who is the ‘heartthrob’ of every male employee solely because of her perceived film star looks and last but not the least, senior management who only make an appearance to reprimand or fire someone.

I couldn’t help but empathise with the protagonist and wanted him to succeed against the bullies in each cruel situation. Although the plot was well thought through, I felt that the use of language left much to be desired. Having said that, I will give the benefit of doubt to the author as this may have been done intentionally in order to be in sync with the characters and the setting. There are many Hindi terms used in the narrative which gives the reader a good feel for the environment in which the story transpires. A glossary with the terms explained is useful for a reader not familiar with Hindi.

My profession dictates that I am alert to the prevalence of bullying in the workplace so I must emphasise that I felt very uncomfortable reading about the details. This doesn’t take away from the fact that this type of behaviour is unfortunately not uncommon in organisations. Therefore, by addressing this often ‘brushed under the carpet’ topic, Mishra has indeed done well.  Finally, does the book have a satisfying ending? I’ll let you decide!


Popular posts from this blog

Sab Moha Maya Hai - For The Sake of Valentine's Day!

14th February, Valentine’s Day. A day we are told we must “celebrate” as it epitomises this wonderful emotion that we as humans are capable of – Love.

“So, what are your plans for the day?” I was asked this question about a million times today and all I said was “Oh! I don’t know, I’m very unromantic!” to which I got responses like “But it’s the day of love” or “Come on! you need to celebrate love!” and so on. Having reflected upon this small talk that people often engage in to ease the awkward silences, I felt the need to put my thoughts to paper about the difference between romance and love as I find the two are often confused- one for the other. Romance is an expression of love, not love itself. Love is when you consistently strive for the wellbeing of another despite it causing you discomfort or pain. It is unconditional, not based on trivialities like tokens of affection which have sadly come to become measures of the extent of love. If you buy me a cake, you love me 30%, a design…

Flesh and Bone and Water - Luiza Sauma

I was delighted to receive this book for review from Penguin UK. Having grown up with memories of the Penguin logo in almost every bookshop I visited, it felt wonderful to be recognised as a reviewer by this world renowned publishing house. 'Flesh and Bone and Water' has nothing to do with South Asia. However, the commonality it shares with the region is that it is set in Brazil, a place that is often referred to as also being part of the 'third world' group of nations. "It's easy to leave a place when you're young. Coming back is harder. That's my advice : stay where you are." And so begins this beautiful novel which I would term as part coming of age and part an immigrant's journey from Brazil to Londres (London). More importantly why does the protagonist Andre venture back on a journey to his childhood home? The author Luiza Sauma has very poignantly narrated the story in first person so it feels like Andre is telling you his own story. You…

Serving Crazy With Curry - Amulya Malladi

Food! - That wonderful part of our existence that not only plays the essential role of providing daily sustenance but is also an archetype of culture and tradition. For me, food is a meaningful catalyst to creating unforgettable memories and associations. There are certain foods that I associate with certain events or significant people in my life. I also seek comfort in food be it a hot bowl of dal rice after a hard day at work or a sneaky piece of chocolate as a reward for achieving something (Yes, I do apply the principles of behavioural psychology to my own life!)
I first came across Amulya Malladi’s books in London’s local libraries. I was impressed that her books are well stocked which is an indication of their popularity. I read a couple of these books and soon found out the reason for this. Two words – Writing and Characters! Her writing is immensely engaging and her characters threaten to come alive page by page. This certainly applies to ‘Serving Crazy with Curry’.
Devi, our …