Ex-Disney India chief Basu launches debut novel

At a well-attended function at Bajaj Bhavan, Mumbai earlier this week, presided over by renowned author, Ruskin Bond, Pratik Basu, 30-year veteran in the field of marketing, advertising and media, released his debut novel Clueless & Co. Brinda Chudasama Miller, contemporary artist, introduced the author in his new avatar as a writer and acclaimed theatre person, Mahabanoo Mody-Kotwal, best known for her production of The Vagina Monologues, read a passage from the book.

Clueless & Co. - drawn from the author's early experiences -takes a whimsical, light-hearted, tongue-in-cheek and thoroughly exaggerated view of corporate life, in a Calcutta of the mid-'80s, from the perspective of two relative greenhorns - one, Rahul Banerjee, who, on a sudden impulse, resigns a stable, albeit unexciting, job with a multinational firm to start a marketing research agency of his own, in partnership with two relative (and, as subsequent events reveal, rather weird) strangers, and the other, the unnamed 'I' who, as a sales executive in another multinational, finds himself constantly blundering into situations that his business school education had not prepared him for, in office, as well as at home and on the unpredictable streets of Calcutta.

While they have separate "misadventures", their paths do cross in the end, as paths in Calcutta's restricted commercial circuit were prone to do, in those days, setting them up, rather conveniently, for a sequel (this time, in the world of advertising and media, in Bombay).

While a series of bizarre experiences stretch the talent and fortitude of our reluctant heroes to breaking point and force them to unlearn all the tenets of management that they'd imbibed in business school, they manage to muddle through, in the end, by adhering to a simple life-lesson: not to take oneself too seriously. "Clueless & Co." is an invitation to join them in a rib-tickling, rip-roaring, rollercoaster ride through a wacky world of mortifying misadventures and commercial calamities.

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