Zero Percentile is the story of Pankaj who is the only son in a family of 2 daughters. Needless to say he is expected to fulfill all the dreams of his family and to bring them out of their sad existence. Things didn’t look difficult for the brilliant & enterprising boy who was all set to clear IIT exams when a twist of fate threw him in a self pitying & depressing state. It was then that his father decides to send him to an engineering college in Volgograd in Russia.
Leaving behind his childhood friends Motu & Priya he moves on marking the beginning of a roller coaster ride. He battles the new language, horrid climate, totally different people etc. In the process he also finds love & an enterprising side in him which takes him to places. In all the bad times what works for him is his brain & aggressive behavior.
To know how things unfold you need to read the book.
The book is in flashback; Pankaj is waiting for a phone call and introspects about his life! We travel through his pre-birth days, his birth, school days moving on to present. Clichéd at places but an entertaining read.
What makes the book different is its setting. Russia is a country which is hardly talked about in books; I mean at least I haven’t read such books from Indian authors. Apparently they feel that the book should be set in a place to which readers can relate to. In this case half the book is set in Russia & the author really transports you there. The cold & gloominess of cold/ snow gives you a sense of loneliness faced by the students & the author manage to capture it well through his words. I guess the fact that Neeraj himself has spent seven years in Volgograd is what adds to the authentic portrayal of the place.
Not only that, even the school days (Set in Delhi) of Pankaj are described in a way that they will surely take you down memory lane. The stupid fights, childhood crush, desire to be first et. al it’s all there and well written.
The book is a fast pace read, which entertains you and turns out to be a page turner. At places I did feel that it is clichéd but overall the book makes for a good time pass read with all the masala at the right places.
A Rating of 3 from me, Priced at 95/- bucks, the book is surely worth a buy!
Author: Neeraj Chhibba
Publisher: Rupa & Co
Price: 95/- INR
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