Musings of a corporate author

Sriram Iyer has been working in the corporate financial sector for over two and a half decades now. A global Bengalurean i.e. Bengalurean who has lived in different parts of the world gives a tongue in cheek, humorous peek into the corporate world with this book.

‘Musings of a Corporate Voyeur’ is a collection of eleven short stories. The surveys that are supposed to boost employee morale, the ‘bosses’ who are leaders and office gossip – all feature in these stories. Anyone who has been in a corporate environment is sure to relate to the book.

Sriram Iyer. Pic courtesy: Sriram Iyer

Iyer lives in Jayanagar with his wife and son. He passionately follows cricket and enjoys occasional rounds of Golf. Edited excerpts of the email interview.

It has been three months since your book launch, how has the response to your book been?

The response to the book has been very positive so far.  Reviews on Amazon and FlipKart have been very flattering or it simply may be that I have some very good friends!

What was the inspiration behind the book?

People spend a lot of their life at the workplace.  People also end up taking their jobs and themselves too seriously to such an extent that many of them have lost the ability to laugh at all that is happening  around them. The goal has been to entertain readers and give an opportunity to view all that happens around them in a lighter vein.

How did your colleagues react to the book?

My colleagues have reacted very favourably and positively to the book once they have satisfied themselves that they have not been the inspiration for any of the characters.  I have had people walk up to me and tell me about how some incident or the other has felt like it has been taken straight out of their own very lives.

Are you viewed differently at corporate situations post the book release?

It is still early days but I would hope not. People are mature enough to see the funny side of things and in any case, I do not believe that I have passed judgment on anything or anyone in the workplace.

Do you find work / corporate stress in Bangalore funnier than elsewhere?

With the world becoming increasingly global, the kinds of stresses are similar at work.  Of course in the case of Bangalore it is even a challenge to get to work.  So the fun starts much earlier in the day in Bangalore- as soon as one leaves one’s home to get to work!

The book has a lot of tongue-in-cheek references to the corporate world, are you like that in real life too?

It is very difficult to really talk about myself objectively.  I think the people who work with me would say that I try and keep the mood light.

What do you have to say about work-life balance?

Work-Life balance is critical for a long healthy life as well as professional success and occasionally to preserve one’s sanity.  The good news is that more and more corporates recognise its importance and now it is up to each person to make that a  part of their psyche.

How did you find the time to write the book?

The inspiration of course is the exceptionally fertile environment at the workplace, world over. Additionally, I have a family that has been very accommodating.  I used to spend time on weekends and holidays, writing.  It started out as a hobby and when one has something that one is passionate about, one will always find the time.

Will you write more books? If yes, what will it be on?

I certainly plan on continuing to write as long as I enjoy doing so and there are people who are entertained by what I write. For the moment, the next book will also be a collection of short stories on the work place.

Your biography on the back of the book says you are a ‘passionate follower of Indian cricket which is perhaps most responsible for having honed his appreciation for both comedy and tragedy.’ Please elaborate.

Anyone following Indian cricket for any length of time will attest to this. The complex and delightful mix of individual excellence, prima donnas on and off the field, large measures of politics thrown in, appeal across all age-groups, performances that yoyo between euphoric highs and pitiful lows, regular doses of intrigue and scandal – all this makes for entertaining drama. The events around cricket in the last 2-3 years bear ample testimony.

Will you write about cricket, considering it provides so much of entertainment?

If I have something that I think would be interesting to say, would certainly write about cricket as well.

What kind of books do you read? Who is your favourite author?

I read all kinds of books.  Have read Gabriel Garcia  Marquez, Albert Camus, Jeffery Archer, Somerset Maugham, Haruki Murakami, Tom Sharpe, Wodehouse etc.  I don’t have any specific favorite genres, though I prefer books on humour, Tom Sharpe and Wodehouse are very enjoyable.

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