Chalta Hai India: When ‘It’s Ok!’ is Not Ok by Alpesh Patel | Book Review
Chalta Hai India When ‘It’s Ok!’ is Not Ok by Alpesh Patel

Chalta Hai India: When ‘It’s Ok!’ is Not Ok by Alpesh Patel

When I grabbed a copy of this thesis (why I am not calling it a novel/book?, read on), I was like what is this “Chalta Hai Attitude” ?? And why I am not aware of it? Is it really that big a problem that somebody had written a thesis on it! And that too after research of almost 5yrs!! Really!!

Opening Lines: In a Bajaj like advertisement aired in 2012, three men were shown saying, ‘Discoverer nahin hai, par chalta hai.’

Page Count: 310 pages

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Publication Date: October 18th, 2018

Quote: “So, Chalta Hai can be defined as ‘not doing enough about a problem or inferiority’ or ‘sitting on a problem and accepting inferiority without taking action’.” 

As I engaged myself into reading this thorough research, I realized that my own “Chalta Hai”(CH) attitude is the reason for me not knowing about this big issue.

Alpesh stirs strong emotions in the reader’s heart & mind with his comprehensive research & simple words. You desperately feel the need to do something about this problem but soon the “what can I do “attitude takes over and you just continue reading.

To explore this concept & measure it, he has chosen 4 sectors/fields i.e. Education, films, sports & road transport. Trust me, I don’t think there could have any better choice. As Indians, these are the fields/topics we deal in our daily life & love to talk about. He has dwelled upon many issues related to CH & his findings are to the point. Issues like being creative Vs innovative, Indians being thinker vs doers, Constructive approach vs reactive approach & Value Vs result-oriented actions are very well touched upon.

His take on practical issues make you think a lot & hence make this a slow read. He has done a really good job in addressing issues like everybody wanting a good educations system but nobody being ready to become good teachers, film industry looking out for global recognition & awards but not ready to alter their content for global acceptance. There are many more such topics but if I include them here, it will make this article really prolonged like the book.

The facts, quotes, instances & events are revealing & as well shocking. He has included so many of them in this book that you feel like reading a thesis on these topics for mastering your general knowledge sometimes. Also, there are times when you are really enjoying the flow and suddenly got bombard with facts & lose the flow completely feeling lost. Few of the facts & topics are repetitive too, giving it a feel of a textbook from our university days. Even the format of this book, (I would rather call it a thesis) is similar to our textbooks with sections like Definition, Measures, Nature, Reasons, Root Cause & finally the Resolution. The summary table given at the end of every chapter is very interesting but takes you back to your school books.

In short, this book is really a good work of research but would have been better if presented in a more concise format. Language is really easy & makes the complex topic less complex to understands. I would give this book 3 stars out of 5 for the tremendous effort taken by the author to address this issue and hold one star for the length & test bookish format.

My Rating: 3/5 stars

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Book Reviewed by

Shubhra Mukherjee

Shubhra Mukherjee

Shubhra is a Chartered Accountant who has worked in the corporate world for 7 yrs. before she chose to become a certified yoga teacher. She is an avid reader & currently enjoying her sabbatical GAP year. Last but not least, she is a solo traveler & loves to ride, especially her Royal Enfield.


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