Over the past month, I have received three reviews NRI:Now, Returned to India by email that have made my day. Two were positive, the third one was a long email (over 1,000 words!) and had a lot of constructive feedback. I loved all the reviews, and I’m posting them below, with suitable edits for grammar and length. These reviews may or may not make it to amazon or other sites where my book is available.
Here’s the one I received this morning:
Amar, Greetings from XXXX
I read your NRI: Now Returned to India book and must admit this book was really amazing. Being an NR (but loving)I, I was so much living the story rather than reading it. When is your next book coming? I was so much amazed while reading as majority of my life resembles your story lifestyle, ambitions of higher education after few years in industry and always challenged in own decisions (Except returning to India and a long hunt for Soulmate 🙂 ).
I would love to know your experience of returning to india and pursuing MBA there
Great work on your writing and keep it up , looking forward for your next book.
Then was the epic post about what went right and did not go right about NRI:
Hi Amar, (or Amol),
I recently purchased a kindle , courtesy amazon prime day , and was really looking forward to read a book by an Indian author. I came across your book and the title caught my attention and It became imperative to choose your book and commence my reading experience on kindle. I finished your book today and I have some criticism (constructive) and experiences to share with you. This may be take up more than a few minutes of your time , so please bear with me.
As I mentioned above, it was absolutely necessary to start with your book because our stories aligns somewhat. Without going into my background , I want to mention that I went to the states for my education (undergrad) and returned to India 5 years later just like you did. Although our backgrounds and skills are poles apart, our situations were very similar. Everyone I knew questioned my return and criticized it like crazy, including my mom and dad who had initially supported my decision to come back.
Unlike you however, I returned to India without any job experience in the states. My return was a very impulsive decision because I was very young and immature at that point in time , and had absolutely zero value for money (thanks to dad). The criticism became overwhelming for me and I rented an apartment in Bangalore and shifted there for three months under the pretext of finding a job. I just wanted to clear my head and take a decision about my future for the most part.
Dealing with the system after returning from a temporary stay is NOT as bad as you described. You were much older than I was when you left for the states. Pune is better than Bangalore when it comes to dealing with the system because at least you spoke the language. If I could get a really nice apartment in a building which hates bachelors, and get my pan card in simple steps, without my dad’s money or any contacts , I am sure most people can.
Now the next thing is office experience. When I finally figured out how the job system works, I worked in two different companies before going back to the states again for masters. I had equally bad managers and HRs and on top of that I was very inexperienced at my job ( I was an electrical engineer switching to computer science. It was really big shift for me ). And yet , I was able to very easily cope with them too after a couple of weeks at my job. The long working hours were never an issue because everyone does that. I wasn’t the only one and that made things easier , even when I wasn’t exactly loving my job.
So what I am trying to criticize is that most of what your wrote as problems are easily managed with an attitude change. If you are not in US , don’t act NRIish.. that simple. And how you had a limited social life is beyond me. Infact my social life in states is more limited with flexible working hours and less stress. India is a very big country with way too many opportunities! Living and surviving in India is simpler than states.
The next set of criticism is with the way you wrote your book. I couldn’t figure a direction in the book till the end. I wouldn’t even call it entertaining because nothing you wrote entertained me honestly.One thing you did not do is dwell into your love stories and I am thankful for that.
When I read you were writing sequels to this book, I felt responsible to tell you that your first book had enormous scope of improvement. I would still want to read what your write, but only this time I know what parts I don’t want to read. Let me know if you disagree or if I got something wrong.”
And finally, a sweet email by a youngster:
Just read your book ‘NRI’ in one sitting- 2-3 hours on my Kindle.
As an 18 year old who shuttles between Mumbai and Pune every week, your book gave me a sense of familiarity and brought about some excitement.
Hoping to read your other works through the summer. Good job!
My take on reviews is: take them as they come. After all, the one who folks the reviews took the time to read your book, and then write about it!