Through this blog post, I plan to give some good advice to Madhurima Banerjee, who handles Chetan Bhagat’s PR. I believe Madhurima is a nice person and she had no intention of playing with our sentiments. So here comes my advice to Madhurima so that she does not get the blame for wasting time & money of people who contact her for Chetan’s interview. As a matuer person, I understand that with Chetan’s growing popularity and soon to be released movies, Madhurima must have gotten too busy to handle the PR well.
My tete-a-tete with Madhurima occurred over the phone [In May, 2008] when I asked her if Chetan would be interested in a Small Talk with us. I even sent an email to Madhurima, requesting for the interview. She said she’ll get in back in touch with us, very soon. So, I called her after few days and asked if she had any confirmation from Mr. Chetan Bhagat. She said Chetan is willing to do the Small Talk and I could send our questionnaire to her through email. Boy! I was happy! Chetan Bhagat – India’s best known author of three books, agreed for an interview! My joy knew no bounds! I then asked Madhurima if we could borrow some time and collect questons from fellow engineers (aka CEans). I announced it big on the site. We collected questions and the questonnaire was sent to Madhurima after few days. Madhurima confirmed that we would get Chetan’s response by the last week of the month.
…and then started a series of emails and phone calls requesting for Chetan’s responses. Every time, I’d hear the same reply “Chetan said, he’ll send it soon”. Then one day, I heard a funny & very unprofessional response “Chetan has sent responses to few questions. I’ll send you the completed questionnaire by next Friday”. I thought to myself “That was the stupidest response I’ve ever heard”. Somewhere I had a hint that I was being fooled. But I was determined to have Chetan Bhagat’s interview. And why not? The questions were asked by my fellow engineers – they wanted to have Chetan answer their questions. And Chetan …or..err…Madhurima had agreed to it!
Then Madhurima would give me time to call so that in the mean time, she could get some response from Chetan. I’d call – and she’d not pick the phone. How unprofessional! “iD!OT”, I thought to myself. I once called from another number – and whoa – I tricked her to pick up my phone. In the mean time, I kept on sending her polite reminders and requests to send me the update. She’d reply once, after many emails but with they were all useless, with no guarantee. I remember in one of my calls to her, she repeated my sentences!
“Madhurima, kindly let me know if we could expect Chetans’ reply by Monday”. “He said he’ll reply”.”Oh, but when?”. “Ooo butttttt wheeeennnnn”
My requests after requests continued. I believe none of my requests/emails or even the questionnaire ever reached Chetan. I bet Chetan would have at least said No for the first request itself or at the most, one week’s time, if he couldn’t do the interview. But sadly, I never had any response from him.
Finally, Madhurima told me “Chetan won’t be able to do it, sorry.”. More than three months had been passed. Numerous phone calls, emails, along with the money & time were wasted. My sentiments were hurt. I felt strong emotions of anger, pain & rejection at the same time. I pleaded her again, at least put me in touch with him! Let me convince him. “No”. “If not phone, give me his email ID, I want to put my case in front of him. So many engineers are waiting for him! Please understand!”. “No.” Phone cut.
So that was the sad ending of the drama that Madhurima Banerjee had with us. I even think she must have had an evil laugh after she cut my phone for the last time. But that’s just my thinking because I was angry and rejected. Madhurima Banerjee is a nice person and I wish her all the best in life. She could take my advice if she wants to improve her way of work and be more professional:-
1. Do not make false promises to anyone.
2. Do not ignore phone calls if they come from people whom you’ve promised something.
3. Read/Reply to emails that are written specifically to you. I believe that is your job.
4. Do not make fun of people who call you. They do not call you to hear your voice, but because they want to hear from Chetan Bhagat!
5. If someone is polite, then respect him/her throughout your conversation.
6. If you have made a promise on behalf of someone, its your duty to fulfill that promise. I believe this is common sense.
Friendly suggestion to Mr. Chetan Bhagat:-
Sir, you are so dear to all of us. You write wonderful books. Could you please have more than one person to handle your PR? You’re so popular now. I guess it must be very very difficult for one person to handle your PR.
Suggestions to people who are looking forward to Interview Mr. Chetan Bhagat:-
Wish you all the best.
–The Big K–
Unhappy Chetan Bhagat Fan
PS: Those who want to interview Mr. Chetan Bhagat, please head over to – http://www.chetanbhagat.com/press_kit.html