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Friday 13 December 2013

Book Review: How I braved Anu aunty and co-founded a million-dollar company by Varun Aggarwal

Guest Reviewer: Geetika Ahuja

About the Book:

Varun is a recent engineering graduate. His hours are filled with friends, pub hopping, and 'stalking' his love interest on Facebook. Through it all though, Varun harbours ambitions of becoming a successful entrepreneur. Meanwhile, Varun's mother, who is disturbed by her son’s lack of focus on life, enlists her good friend Anu Aunty to put him on 'track'. The meddling Anu Aunty is more than willing to take up this assignment. How Varun dodges Anu Aunty's nosey, irksome ways, en route to realizing his entrepreneurial dreams, makes for a story worth reading.

About the author:

Varun Agarwal is a filmmaker, entrepreneur and a bestselling author. He is 25 years old and has three companies to his credit - Alma Mater , Reticular And Last Minute Films. His comapny Alma Mater is India's largest provider of merchandise and memorabilia to schools and colleges. He has directed the likes of Preity Zinta and AR Rahman in music videos and his films have over a million views on Youtube.He has been featured on the cover of India Today and numerous other periodicals as well as on the CNBC Young Turks Show.


A 22-year old guy, jobless, whiles away his time at home by Facebook stalking girls. What do you picture him doing a year down the line? Definitely not heading a million dollar company.
Meet Varun Agarwal, our very own Steve Jobs in the making. His story is similar to thousands of unemployed youngsters in the country, yet different. Why, you ask? Because unlike others, he didn’t wait for opportunity to knock on his door. He, instead, went on to create opportunities.
Varun and his encounters with Anu Aunty present the saga of a typical Indian household. Anu Aunty is a metaphor for the mindset characteristic of most Indians. She could be a neighbour, a relative or anyone adept at nipping all mushrooming ideas in the bud, gracing households with their ominous ever-taunting presence, forever ready to lay roadblocks to hinder you from chasing your dreams.
Varun is comfortable leading a mediocre life, that is until Anu Aunty and her kitty party minions enter his life, taking it upon themselves to set him right. And how do they plan to do that? By coercing him to land a techie job. But, instead of simply bowing down to their pressure, he decides to tread the unconventional path.
Thunder. Lightening. Rain. Old Hindi movie soundtrack. Cue drama.
In a society which swears my work culture, any defiance of social expectations is hailed as rebellion. Varun Aggarwal gives a beacon of hope to those souls who have silently tucked away their dream to make it big as an entrepreneur under the mounting load of family expectations.
Varun gives a practical guide to entrepreneurship suited to the Indian context, bearing in mind kahani ghar ghar ki.
 Don’t shun the book just because you think it’s not your thing. The book isn’t just another MBA lesson. It is much more. Hidden in Varun’s tale is the reflection of a life many of us are leading, or are being forced to lead.
Peppered with interesting anecdotes, it makes for a good read. He has a knack for presenting everything รก la Bollywood style- with a hint of exaggeration. At many points, you actually feel as if you’re watching a movie.
Though Varun claims to be a storyteller and not a writer, I’d suggest you still pick up the book, for his storytelling skills still outscore the writing skills of numerous Indian authors on Flipkart falsely claiming to have written national bestsellers. Sigh.
So, that idea that your mind has been hinting at, that lingering dream you’ve been stashing away, go reclaim it and make it big. And when you do, thank Varun Agarwal for inspiring a love for entrepreneurship in you and re-igniting that spark.
In the end, I’ll you with two words-Carpe Diem-seize the day.

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Kritika's bookshelf: read

Angels & Demons
The Story of My Life
The Hunger Games
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
A Tale of Two Cities
Pride and Prejudice
Jane Eyre
Sense and Sensibility
A Christmas Carol
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes
The Time Machine
Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix
The Da Vinci Code

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