'How I Braved Anu Aunty and Co-founded a Million Dollar Company' by Varun Agarwal is a story about twenty-something Varun, who is in a fix: he shuns the corporate rat race and dreams of becoming an entrepreneur. Armed with an unwanted engineering degree, his hours are filled with friends, pub-hopping, and ‘stalking’ the girl he loves on Facebook.
But when the formidable Anu Aunty enters his life, his languorous existence spirals out of control. She tries steering the course of Varun’s destiny by scheming to bring him on ‘track’. His mother turns on the Bollywood histrionics and drags him to a counsellor. Feeling cornered, Varun hatches a strategy to hoodwink the canny aunty at her own game. But as the chase heats up, who will have the last word? Will Anu Aunty thwart his plans to found a million dollar company? Or will he succeed? Along the way, Varun learns his best business lessons from kitty parties and the ubiquitous Indian aunty.
Hilarious, informative and filled with nuggets of everyday wisdom, this page-turner will inspire budding entrepreneurs not to give up on their dreams.
Here's an extract from the book:
'He Got Only 95 per cent, Ya'
I have a vivid memory of my first encounter with Anu Aunty. I was in the sixth grade and my mum had come to school to collect my report card. Mum had met her at a random kitty party and they struck up a friendship that lasts till date-ruining me in the process. While at school, I was always on the average side when it came to studies, and had no qualms about it. But that was before Anu Aunty breezed, or rather, thundered into my life.
After collecting yet another disappointing report card, my mum was heading towards the door when she bumped into Anu Aunty. She was one of those women who always poked her nose into everyone else's problem and sniffed for one even when there was none. She walked with an air of importance and pretended to know everything. She spoke in this characteristic sing-song style that never failed to annoy me.
'Poo, haw are you ya?' she gave my mum, Poornima, a friendly thwack with her heavyset arm. My mother quickly hid my report card in the folds of her sari and beamed.
'I'm good, Anu,' she said. 'I didn't know your son studies here. What a pleasant surprise.'
Hmm…I didn't quite buy this. You see, Indian aunties always know what other aunties are up to, what their children do, how much their husbands earn, the latest dish they have learnt to cook, and a billion other things that will make your head spin.
'I know ya. It is a pleasant surprise. So how did he do?' Anu Aunty was salivating with curiosity.
Okay, this was the bad part. Aunties hate it when they don't have a good comeback.
I had never given my mum a reason to boast about me and this moment couldn't get worse.
'You know how these boys are ya,' my mother put on a tragic face. 'They don't study only.' She looked at me accusingly, as though I had just failed the IIT entrance. I was eleven years old, for God's sake!
'But how has your Arjun done, Anu?' my mum asked.
Arjun was the blue-eyed boy of our class and the apple of teachers' eyes. He could have an orgasm at the mention of exams and read textbooks with the same eagerness one reserved for Penthouse. He would always be interested in how much I had scored, pissing me off mightily. You remember that nerd in your school who would raise his hand every time a teacher asked a question? Arjun was that fucking nerd.
'Oh! Arjun hasn't done well this time, ya Poo. I'm really surprised by this boy.' Anu Aunty sighed.
I smiled for the first time that day. What? A glimmer of hope? Maybe for once he screwed up?
'How much did he score, Anu?' my mum asked with renewed enthusiasm.
'Only 95 per cent.' Anu Aunty shook her head in dismay.
That is when I was introduced to the devious and sadistic world of Anu Aunty. She had this innate ability to make you feel extremely bad about yourself. 95 per cent not only implied that Arjun had topped the class, but the entire sixth grade as well.
'Haw, but that's brilliant ya, Anu.' My mother looked so impressed that one would think Arjun had received the Nobel Prize. I wondered fleetingly if this would be a good time to break the news that my Maths teacher wanted to meet my parents next week.
'No ya, Poo, I had set a target of 98 per cent for him. He knows very well he is not getting his G.I. Joe now.'
Who the f*** scores 95 per cent and asks for a G.I. Joe?
Anu Aunty wagged her fat finger at me. 'Varoon, you need to study hard, son. Stop giving your mum so much trouble ya. Remember, no studies, no future. Anyways, chalo, I'll go now. Have to drop Arjun for his violin classes also.'
And with that Anu Aunty turned around and left us in the dust. My mum was awestruck. It was as if Virendar Sehwag had met Sachin Tendulkar for the first time. What was worse, she wanted to turn me into Arjun's clone now.
Book: How I Braved Anu Aunty and Co-founded a Million Dollar Company; Author: Varun Aggarwal; Category: Fiction; Pages: 256