‘Why MBA?’ is one of the most haunted questions every B-school aspirant has to answer in an interview. No matter what he or she answers to get an admission, very few have a clue why they are doing MBA, and those who do, their answer seldom has anything to do with Business Administration. This is a story of Jay who gets an admission in the best B-school of India without knowing an answer to the question ‘Why MBA?’ Nevertheless, in his journey, he meets two friends, Abhimanyu and Ishaan, who have an answer to this question. For Abhimanyu it’s money, whereas for Ishaan it’s passion. As a faith would have it, by the end of Jay’s journey, he faces the dilemma–money or passion! What would Jay choose? Will Abhimanyu and Ishaan regret their decision of single-minded persuasion of money and passion? Will B-school journeys of Abhimanyu and Ishaan help Jay in making the final decision?
23:59:59, the title itself gives us a comprehensive overview of how life happens for MBA aspirants in business schools. Putting forward a fictional story with bitter truths, Sadashiv Pradhan has apparently talked about almost all the situations that can happen in B-Schools and that is very impressive. Right from the most competitive and toughest examination that is required to get into such school up to the rigorous classes, placements, assignments, quizzes that happen during their degree, this book tells it all.
The story follows our protagonist Jay, a somewhat famous football blogger who despite not wanting to pursue MBA, gives into his parents wishes after cracking his MBA entrance examination with great marks. In the initial part of the story we get to see how Jay, tries to cope up with his business studies and makes some great friends while doing so.
I absolutely loved the protagonist’s optimism and the way he thinks. He tries to give the best in everything he does and doesn’t fear failure. Also, the fact that even after joining his MBA he kept up with his blogging is admirable. To be honest all the other characters were impressive as well. The author has tried to build characters, by giving them different perspectives. Each character has their own reasons for joining B-school and the way the path that they have decided to follow to achieve success is different as well and that is the actual reality, isn’t it? How some aspire to reach their goals through hardwork and dedication while some others just using their cunningness and manipulate others to reach the top. While some actually want to gain knowledge others are there for a money loaded future.
Such were the drastic characters that the author brings to us. All real. Not one character overshadows other be it in terms of dialogue or thinking and that is to be applauded. The writing style is also swift and has a simplicity and flow to it. The author tries his best to put forward a lucid sketch of B-schools in India and succeeds in most parts.