Ravi Subramanian Must Be Annihilated

When Chetan Bhagat writes a bad book, it is regrettable. It casts all MBAs in a negative light. People with an appreciation for literature- heck, for any good writing- will sneer at us and say ‘Oh, you’re an MBA. Like Chetan Bhagat.’ It’s hard, I tell you. Hard.

Still, there are mitigants. At least the brunt will be borne by people from IIMA and IITD. Also, TDCs and I-bankers. And those buggers deserve all the sneering they can get. So as an IIMB alumnus, my position is a little more secure.

Until now, thanks to Ravi Subramanian, batch of 1993, who has written a steaming pile of manure entitled If God Was a Banker.

If God Was a Banker is not a book to be thrown away lightly. It is not even a book to be hurled away with great force. It is a book whose copies must be seized from all bookshops, burnt in enclosed environments, and have the ashes buried under granite and basalt mountains. And after that the bookshops must be purified with Gangajal. Ravi Subramanian has accomplished the impossible and written a worse book than Chetan Bhagat.

When the very first page contains the phrases ‘The sun was yet to leave its heavenly abode’, ‘he knew the entire topography of the Greco-Roman chandelier’, and ‘his wife of nineteen years’, it dawns on you that Rupa has been on a cost cutting drive and sacked all its editors, and that the rest of the book promises untold horrors. But the true scale of these horrors is unimaginable until you actually encounter them.

The depth of these horrors is indescribable, and the range is almost infinite. There is anachronism – email in India in 1987, among other things. There is bad sex described using corporate jargon. There is a Gujew in Calcutta who speaks Punjabi. There is a shameless plug for The Hindu (okay, to be fair, the N Ram era probably hadn’t begun in 1987). There is a wholesale substitution of plot with morality play. There are – and this is surprising considering Subramanian is Tam – not enough commas.

You know, although Subramanian tries to project the moral as being about the importance of living an ethical and ascetic life, the real moral is that Iyengar men should not write1, and instead leave the writing to the more intelligent Iyers. In fact, Iyengar men should not do anything at all, except stick to their core competence of having daughters of unsurpassed beauty and dazzling charm2.

If you spot this book in your local bookshop, I urge you to do your civic duty, buy it and destroy it before some unsuspecting soul picks it up and is driven into shrieking insanity. Think of the children!

1: RK Narayan is the exception that proves the rule.
2: And let’s not forget the curly hair.

Update: As has been repeatedly pointed out in the comments, Ravi Subramanian is an Iyer and not an Iyengar. I apologise for the mistake, and urge readers not to let this detract from the rest of the post. However, I just want to point out that:

  1. This actually reinforces the case for annihilating Ravi Subramanian. He has brought shame and disgrace to not only IIMB alumni, but also to Iyers.
  2. The point about Iyengar men not being good for anything except producing daughters still holds good.
  3. Of course, Iyer men are good for producing daughters also, along with everything else. Though in the case of Iyer daughters, the beauty is dazzling (though surpassed by Iyengars) and the charm is unsurpassed.

I also mistakenly ascribed Iyengarness to R K Narayan. Apologies for that as well. So please include him in the list of Iyers who should write, and incorporate davenchit as the exception that proves the rule.

104 Responses to Ravi Subramanian Must Be Annihilated

  1. "Ravi Subramanian has accomplished the impossible"…

    So says Aadisht Khanna, who believes that Ravi Subramanian has "written a worse book than Chetan Bhagat." Entertaining post, and one that will no doubt have all the Iyengars in the blogosphere sharpening their battleaxes. I hope it's qui…

  2. varun says:

    ravi subramanian sounds iyer to me, tunku varadarajan sounds iyengar and r.k.narayan is definitely an iyer! (Rasipuram Krishnaswami Ayyar Narayanaswami). i am sorry but you got that all mixed up! the effect of reading a bad book, iguess. but hey i do agree with you that iyengar girls rock and iyers are more intelligent :-).

  3. Sanjeev says:

    > daughters of unsurpassed beauty and dazzling charm.

    any pictures to prove this claim? πŸ™‚

  4. rs says:

    I’m curious… how do you tell an Iyer name from an Iyengar name?

    • There is something strange about Iyer and Iyengar names. Subramanian, Ganesh or Ganesan, Neelakantan, Parameshwaran, meaning all shivites names, if a brahmin can only be an Iyer’s name. Never an Iyengar. Vaishnavites name like Srinivasan, Rangarajan, Narayanan, Gopalan, Varadarajan are typical Iyengar names. However another brahmin with these names can be an Iyer too. In short Iyers can have both shivites and Vaishnavites names. But Iyengars will have only one of the several names of Vishnu only!

  5. vatsan says:

    ravi subraminiam is an iyer name. No iyengar wud be named like that. Tumku Varadharajan sounds iyengar(named after the famous varadharaja perumal)

  6. vatsan says:

    that is in 9/10 cases, unless you hold some information to prove me wrong, im sure im right.

    PS: IM an outcast iyengar, who knows enough to differentiate iyers and iyengars

  7. Kesavan says:

    Cheap guy, get your Tam Brahm caste fundaes right.

  8. Harsh Ketkar says:

    I havent read “If God Was a Banker”, but I have read ON@TCC. I read your earlier review about it. I feel “Five Point Someone” and ON@TCC are NOT for people with a taste for good books. They are for those who haven’t read a single book till they reach college, and need a name of a book to fill the books field in their Orkut profile. It is better we keep our expectations low before start reading such books.
    Also, one reads such books just for precisely the same reason for which one watches movies like “Gunda”. I do agree with you that the book was really silly, but it was meant to be like that. ON@TCC was a bollywoodish book.
    I guess the same would apply to IGWAB.

  9. neha says:

    A person with a Shiva-derived name is ALWAYS an Iyer. However someone with a Vishnu-based name could be Iyer or Iyengar. The exception is Ganesha – who is appropriated by everyone – because anyone with tyres on the belly is cute and cuddly.

  10. Assman says:

    Funny post, interesting goof ups about the caste though. I will have to agree with harsh Ketkar, though repeatability of such drivel is uncalled for, as Chetan Bhagat had audaciously done in ON@TCC
    Being only partly tam iyer, I had not understood this funda of Iyer and iyengar girls man, now that I think about it, it sounds about right, Iyengar girls are better looking.
    Also dude, you surely saved some grace for IIMB, for this post is well written.
    So Iyers are the Vishnu worshippers and iyengars the shaivaites?

  11. Shruti says:

    Tunku Varadarajan is definitely Iyer!

  12. Amit Das says:

    Well.. I am staying away.. and I hate him.. for being an IIMB Alumnus! πŸ™‚

    There goes another brawny point against A-guys..
    but yeah.. FPS sucked.. ON@TCC sucked more.. and I am not touching IGWAB for fear of losing it!

  13. dodo says:


    Please do not debase Gunda by equating it in the same class as Chetan Bhagat craps.

    Gunda was so bad that it was good. Nothing about Gunda was stereotype. Every dialogue and scene (just imagine Lucky Chikna’s latakta circus) defies your thought.

    It needs something to come up with such unique imaginations whatever trash it may be.

    On the other hand this Chetan Bhagat thing is cliched to the last comma. It was bad and had nothing new( even a bad new thing is a good thing) to offer. It lacked imagination utterly. Actually, it helped to establish the notion that engineers lack creativity.

  14. neha says:

    Assman: The worshiping business works the other way round. But frankly, once the good Brahmin boys go out and discover chicken, it’s all the same.

  15. Mukundhan says:

    Hey Aditya, you can’t blame Iyengar guys altogether! I don’t agree with your generalisation.It is baseless. But yes, the book and the author are better forgotten.
    But yes, i have plans to stick to my core competence only. I wouldn’t bother you with a book like that!

    Another Iyengar.

  16. Mukundhan says:

    “subramanian” is the other name of Lord Muruga, Saravana, Kanda, Kadamba.
    It is not even remotely connected to iyengars. As someone pointed out, Adi, get your funda’s right.

  17. Mind says:

    dont know if you have read the debut novel of a punjabi called tarun tejpal. the book is ‘the alchemy of desire’ and its honestly all that you have said above and THE greatest piece of shit ever written. cant believe he is the same guy who runs tehlka and the paper that ran such beautific reviews of that piece of shit. unless it somes heavily doctored version that i picked up from crosswords. which seems unlikely

    no, i am not an iyengar or even close to that. not that it matters, but since you have brought it up..

  18. vatsan says:

    //The point about Iyengar men not being good for anything except producing daughters still holds good.// substantiate

  19. emperorFrost says:

    wtf has Ravi being an iyer or an iyengar got to do with the pile of putrid turd that he has put out as literature?

    petty regionalism/casteism as a means to discuss/bemoan crap?

  20. mithr says:

    agreed.. ON@TCC was a waste of time
    FPS was a good pass time , stopping and mocking the author .
    I haven’t read ravi’s book, but as you suggested I will do my duty.
    “Iyengar men should not do anything at all, except stick to their core competence of having daughters of unsurpassed beauty and dazzling charm”

    What makes you say so? You can’t generalize.. Well this is from a iyengar woman.. Do elucidate

  21. shrikanthk says:

    Iyers outnumber Iyengars by 4:1 across the world (incl TN)
    So, generalising about the community based on the number of writers from each community is not apt.

  22. freespirit says:

    I hate to admit this but I met Chetan in Hong Kong and well… told him I loved the FPS book ( even though I read through it with a pencil in my hand marking out the editing errors!). 2 things were clear
    1) he made an insane amount of money through the book…bad or not. And has himself a huge fanclub!
    2) He loves bollywood and he told me he imagined John Abraham in the role of that cool dude in FPS and that he was thinking of giving up i-Banking to become full-time scriptwriter.
    As was obvious from ON@TCC he wrote it purely with a movie in mind…completely unrealistic with bike chases and traffic stopping proposal!
    So while we are slagging him off, he IS laughing all the way to the bank!

  23. Rahul Raguram says:

    Madman! Put Tam-comma fundaes.

  24. Aadisht says:

    neha, thanks for all the fundaes.

    Mukundhan, it’s Aadisht and not Aditya. But then if I can goof up about Iyers, I suppose you can goof up about my name.

    vatsan, will do so in an upcoming post.

    emperorFrost it has everything to do with the turd he has put out. Iyers being the master race must be held to higher standards.

    shrikanthk, Iyers outnumbering Iyengars four to one just goes to show that Iyers are more virile and fit for survival. Especially if they are Avataram’s thatha Brahmeboodha Suryanarayana Iyer.

    Rags: Visit Tamizh Penn among others to see for yourself the (endearing but grammatically unsound) Tamizh habit of overusing commas.

  25. Shankar says:

    you guys are freaks. Ravi Subramanians book is not for Jhumpa Lahiri and Arundhati Roy die hards. Its for the guys who want to read an easy book in five hours. Its not for the ones who watched Aparna Sens “15 Park Avenue”…. its for those who watched Govinda and Sanjay Dutts Jodi No.1….. if you didnt like it… i am sure you werent the audience. I liked it. Its brilliant. I finished it in under 4 hours.

  26. Aadisht says:

    Shankar, that’s like so whatever.

  27. Shankar says:

    hypocrites…. all you guys… i am told the book is flying off the shelves at landmark and crossword. Its selling. so you guys can keep cribbing and he is laughing all the way to the bank…… am sure god is his banker.

  28. mohan panda says:

    Good story. more relevant to people from the banking community i guess. iyer or iyengar doesnt matter -or does it. stop being communal folks. I dont know wether he is iyer or iyengar, but he is a hindu. lets support a book written by our own hindu fella.

  29. metalhed says:

    ahem.. “don’t be communal folks.. lets support a book written by our own hindu fella”. mr mohan panda – wtf ?

  30. Aadisht says:

    shankar, so in the pursuit of lucre it is okay for an Iyer to allow a Bong or a Mallu/ Bong hybrid to be compared favourably to himself? To be judged by the same standard as a CT and a Punjew? You disgust me. What happened to the master race setting standards for excellence?

    mohan panda what is this ‘hindu’? There is no such thing as Hinduism. Hinduism is an arbitrary construct created by people who lack the intellectual capacity to deal with unstructured religion.

  31. mohan panda says:

    In this entire Hindu: iyer: iyengar debate, you have forgotten about the book. Ravi Subramaniam has written a book which has generated phenomenal amount of interest in the banking circles. Its a good book for bankers. thats all i want to say. you jobless f*&$ers can keep debating on other things.

  32. Aadisht says:

    mohan, you are wrong. It is a terrible book, whether for bankers or anyone else.

  33. metalhed says:

    mohan panda and coterie of four friends = phenomenal interest in banking circles, i guess. and mohan, you are beginning to lose it – what with funny charactered words starting to appear. calling us jobless, do you intend to shame us into submitting to your views? heck, i guess mohan is ravi subramanian in disguise.

  34. Lolz. But I write. May be more than a book. and giving birth to daughters is soooo far away!

    and it is Iyers AND Iyengars who write, is making you write! If we don’t write, what will you do?

  35. Rahul says:

    The book is flying of the selves at landmark/croosswords, or is it a scam being done by his employers and the publishers to create an illusion that the book can actually sell? A scam which happenned in the 90s in the US when employees from consulting frims were cooking up “business theories” and in order to sell those theories the consulting firms used the help of the publishers to ceate an illusion that the books and the theory were selling. The book is so bollywoodish and pathetic(reads like a second rate jeffrey archer manuscript draft) that i am sure there is a scam being done by the employer and the publisher to create the illusion that the book sells.

  36. Whistle Blower says:


    This book is about a real life scandal involving Sarvesh Swarup, The Ex- Super Stud Country Head at Citi Bank. Each and every incident mentioned here is real life and hence the dollops of sleaze.This book makes PERFECT SENCE to any nitwit who knows anything about Indian Retail Banking( SS Oopps, Sundeep Srivastava, changed the face of banking in India along with his mentor Jerry RAO of Mphasis ( remember, Aditya Rao who went on to form a Tech company?). SS recently lost his job in NY after stints in London and Europe.

  37. IdeaSmith says:

    Have you seen this guy? –> http://iyerospace.blogspot.com ? I think he makes the list too…oh, of Iyers who SHOULD write.

  38. 1Observer says:

    I think that Iyers like the author of this book are just a bunch of insecure girly men who just worship a lingam. Thats all they are good for. Most Iyengars are kind,
    self-assured and contented alpha males. In summary, Iyengar girls are more beautiful, Iyengar guys are more macho.

  39. Aadisht says:

    1Observer, that’s like so whatever. Iyers rock.

  40. Admirer says:

    steaming pile of manure or an genuinely interesting book. write a book if you have the guts. ravi subbu has the balls to write an interesting book. for the person who thinks that this book is based on real life events, almost authors take characters fom their own sphere of work so there is nothing surprising about the choice of characters in IGWAB. Good job Ravi Subbu.

  41. 1Observer says:

    Aadisht….You sound very much like an american teenage girl ….just kidding….Still Iyengars has more letters than Iyers….so clearly they are better……..

  42. Blogman1 says:

    Hey Whistle Blower, hit the nail on its head……imperssed

  43. cool says:

    ideasmith is right – I work in a bank myself and I was absolutely surprised to see how many people were talking abt this book, at the senior levels, they all know who is being written about right from the DSA to the side characters. As for myself, can help feeling a little disillusioned abt the industry I work with! this book might be the next Chetan bhagat types, where the purists will gasp and question the litrary merits, but wannabes will have a go and grab it happily….

  44. AR says:

    I finished the book in less than five hours..
    Seemed to be very interesting. The other side of a banker’s phenomenol success has been very clearly exposed. Thanks Ravi for the message that being ethical and complying with rules and regulations pays off ultimately in
    the long run.

  45. balaji bhardwaj says:

    The book brings into perspective that rise by unfair means may be phenomenal but so is the fall especally when rise is by unfair means.

    I disagree with with my fellow readers that
    a) the book in any way suggests all IIM grads of the same genere and texture and all need be loathed.
    b) it is meant for people who have not read a book since college days. ( I am a banker with over 15 years of banking experience and on an average read one book a

    In fact it brings out the opposite. Two people with different backgrounds brought up – financial, cultural and moral would act differently.

    It may amount to be a true story with some amount of flavour and spice added to give the “readability” element. Otherwise who would care to know about Jerry Rao and SSs of the world.

  46. Vijay Bharadwaj says:

    Folks… Ravi Subramanian has done the impossible. I was at crossword yesterday and i saw another book by some Ravi Subramanian. Its called – guess what — I BOUGHT THE MONKS FERRARI – This guy hasnt spared Robin Sharma either. I must confess I read it last night and quite liked it.

  47. shiv says:

    the book is an insight into the corporate life in a bank from many a perspectives. it may not be technically sound on a few aspects but it is gripping especially for a banker. Dont we all know how women are accused of getting on top (all puns intended) and dont we all know how it s true in some cases and where it si not true , a woman does get subjected to the insinuations. if you read the storyline broadly …..it is so bloody true.
    i have seen 15 park avenue and been gripped by it and i have enjoyed the funny side of jodi no 1 .
    i enjoyed reading if god was a banker

  48. Sunny says:

    Here is one of the articles that will help you connect the book with the real life. Shrivastav is Sarvesh Sarup in real life; Swami is P S Jayakumar; etc.

    Major Shake-up At Citi
    Mr Sarvesh Sarup, head of consumer business for Citigroup India, is headed for Europe to take on a senior level assignment. Mr P S Jayakumar, regional head, consumer finance of Citi will take over the mantle from Mr Sarup. Mr Anando Mukherjee, head of retail credit, HDFC Bank is now on course to join Stanchart as the head of retail credit. Mr Sarup is currently the country business manager, global consumer group, CitiGroup. All the consumer business of Citigroup in India including Citibank and CitiFinancial, the wholly owned NBFC of Citi, reports to him. He will now take over as the head of the GCB (global consumer group) business of UK and Germany, based in UK.

    Link: http://www.topplanetconsulting.com/Resource-Center/Resource-Center.html

  49. Wow…. so much discussion on a book. Aint I impressed with myself. Guys..just thought i would let all you know that sales of “If God was a Banker” has crossed 10000 copies…which makes it one of the all time bestsellers by an Indian auhtor for a Debut novel. And just to let Mr Aasisht Khanna know that the book has been nominated for the Oxford Booklovers Award for 2007 – only 20 books across all categories (fiction and non-fiction….indian and foreign authors) have been nominated for this. My second book—“I Bought the Monk’s Ferrari” has run out of stock on its first print within 2 weeks of release and has already gone into second print. Well, you guys keep debating on the Iyer Vs Iyengar and all the frivolous issues…. and there are others out there who will go out and buy the book…..Look forward to some feedback and discussion by this group …. on my second group.
    Ravi Subramanian

  50. ExCiti says:

    I know Citibank internally as I have been associated with it for last 3 decades and trust me that each and every line and statement in this book is true to it’s core. Book mentions about Naresh and now compare him with Shelters (citibank baby firm) owner – Raj Khosla. He was a sleaze and he was a Dalla. He has made big money because of scams he created with Mr. Sarup. There was a time in Citi when it was said that all promotions at country/regional level at top was governed by Raj and not the bankers. The scams were so much that newspapers were full of it, if you guys remember Citibank Jaipur branch scam. Raj was termed as the most powerful man in Citi during those days. Thanks to Jay, things have gone down now but it still requries lot of work to remove the bad doings of Mr Sarup and Raj.

  51. ss says:

    entertaining book. especially, as i was a part of the citigroup till somtime back. Have seen some of the things mentioned in the book myself. i think ravi you can write one more book, on one of the group co’s , you work for in citi, for your final stinct, which has even bigger scams & scandals. i am telling you, if you write a book on this group company, it will be an even bigger hit.

  52. ss says:

    entertaining book. especially, as i was a part of the citigroup till somtime back. Have seen some of the things mentioned in the book myself. i think ravi you can write one more book, on one of the group co’s , you work for in citi, for your final stinct, which has even bigger scams & scandals. i am telling you, if you write a book on this group company, it will be a, even bigger hit.

  53. Whatever! says:

    Ravi Subramaniam…the same ass-kissing,effeminate,5ft2 showing up to work every day in white polo shirts (and I mean his pre-Citi days when he was a ‘relationship dude’) …gosh HE IS WRITING???!!! Guess there are no standards these days…anyone can write and publish books!He shouldnt be writing, infact he shouldnt be doing anything that involves the public in any way!!

    Hate to break it to you Ravi Ji, but there are more stupids in this world than u think..definitely more than 10000!Oh by the way have u lost weight now or just shifted it around. And now I have to kick the person who sent this junk to me!!Bah!

  54. Ha. Ha…. btw it is not 10000 any longer..that was a while ago. In the last week of February, If God was a Banker crossed 20000 units. If it is any consolation, the second book, “I Bought the Monk’s Ferrari”, is about a 1000 short of 10000 units (and it is not even three months since it came out)…. Maybe you should read it too… Mr. Whatever… cheers.

  55. whatever says:

    did navin puri buy all your copies and how much did you pay him?
    should i look for it in the fantasy section or women’s health?

  56. Ravi Subramanian says:

    Gotcha. you called this blog “junk” and visited it twice in a period of 12 hours… just to see if i have responded. Grow up my friend. Stop being a hypocrite. Looks like you are one of those blokes, who has read my book, but would die before accepting…else you wouldnt refer to the sections you did. Thanks for promoting my book… have fun. Life is too short to be so negative…cheers

  57. Whatever! says:

    Ha, ha..I am glad I rattled you! Ofcourse I was checking this site…to gloat over my superior writing skills and to make fun of you…once in a lifetime chance…wouldn’t miss it for the world! Like u said …life is too short!
    No I havent read your books nor will read…but I have a title for your next book…
    “Mini-Me, Myself and Prozac – the idiots guide to bring out your (B)-writer side”…pls do share royalties!
    Oh and by the way this just hot of the press…
    “More than 10000 copies of RS’s recently published books were pulled off the streets. Allegedly the books, which were outsourced to China for printing and editing…(ha,ha) contain dangerous amounts of lead. The pages that were being used by the local public for chomping peanuts and chaat were reported to have caused permanent brain damage. RS’s response to this allegation was ” I am deeply saddened by the fact that the books were not being used for their intended purpose (namely as bath tissues). With that being said, I encourage u to buy my next book Minnie-me, Myself and Prozac…CHEERS!!!”
    And now I am done!!Gosh I have to get my nails done today!Adios!

  58. duke says:

    I stumbled upon the site after buying the book and checked aadisht’s blog. Dunno but the book is badly written..Amateur effort trying to cash on recent spate of IIT IIM books..and judging by the last few reactions(if they’re genuine). I hate to be leaving IIMB this year…fear I might turn into one of these catfighting shameless “distinguished alumni”.

  59. Roy says:

    Hmmm… what a trite post. got this doing a search on Sarvesh Swarup, the asshole Citibanker , Indian Psycho. And yes – we DID have email in India in 1987. I know coz I sure as hell used it.

  60. Humbhikitaablikhoonga says:

    Hi buddy,

    Well Ravi Subramanian has definitely beaten Chetan Bhagat.

    But after reading your blog I suggest you should write a book yourself because I bet it would be worse than FPS and IGWAB and you would win hands down!

    What’s the harm if trash fetches money? Didn’t they tell you in IIMB? πŸ™‚

    If you don’t then beware I have already finished 4 chapters of my debut novel, this time on software engineers!!

  61. rahul says:

    dude,pls write a book urself if u r so concerned about the bad writing nd all the stuff

    just like in movies,not every body can watch fellini,godard,bergman,ray nd all ,dont expect “normal ppl” to read “high quality” literature which u may be reading since decades

    in one of the comments written that chetan bhagat books are best for any orkut profile book listing section and thats exactly what i wanted to say

    pls ignore any bad writing or grammatical errors etc in these comments:)

  62. bubbles says:

    dudes.. what is the fuss all about… I agree with the people that have a view of it being a good book. I was an RM at an MNC bank too and things werent too different there either… I am sure people were and are RMs at banks will definitely appreciate this book. All Ravi has tried to do is tell the world what happens in the so called “MNC” banks. I personally think it is a great effort.

  63. Jeyshah says:

    Aadisht – Is it mispelt . It should read as AadSHIT . Ravi makes better money by selling books than you by waning like a kid who is spanked by a primary school teacher ….It hurts isnt it ….. in your whole life how many pages have you read leave alone writing ….. keep spitting by looking upward and your face would be full of scum

    cheers buddy

  64. Aishwarya says:

    Jeyshah – I feel compelled to inform you that Aadisht does not “wane” (or, indeed, whine) when he is spanked. You should know this, and few others are in a position to tell you.

  65. […] April 18, 2008 by chennaigalblogs I enjoyed the humour in the book. I googled for what other readers feel about it and found this. […]

  66. Hari Shenoy says:

    although the post itself was probably full of harmless lip-service level vitriol, it is still good fun to watch everyone just go at each other’s throats in this stir raised by Madman. Good stuff da!

  67. curious says:

    Did SS really lose his job at NY in real life? If so, when?

  68. Colin says:

    Firstly Mr.Aadisht: GROW UP !!!! guess your brains dont move beyond debating on the Iyer Vs Iyengar. WAKE UP we are in 2008. Secondly, everyone in the Banking and Fianancial Service industy can very well relate to this book. While people keep talking of such things in ones circles Ravi had the BALLS to gather both gossip and experiences, put pen and paper together and CASH IN . The blog talks about an “Amateur effort trying to cash on recent spate of IIT IIM books..and judging by the last few reactions(if they’re genuine)” – thats what i thought you learnt at IIM B !!!! Cheers Ravi, I did not sleep till i finished the book !!!

  69. Nandi Varman says:

    Well Mr Aadisht has everyright to voice his views,In order to defend his views he is playing the defensive game.Mr Aadisht you have all the rite to do so.I did complete the book in 3 hours,it was like a bollywood movie script.hope all the english punts will agree with me tht the title “IGWB” is an OXYMORON.(maybe a different title) .I guess half the people would have bought the book just looking at the title and Iam one of those Idiots.Mr Ravi Subramanian could have given tht title as “The Ugly Side of a Banker”.

    Well coming to the point of Iyers v/s Iyengars,well respect both these communities.Dont be communal guys.Hinduism Philosophy has classified the world into four Divisions.Iyers and Iyengars fall into the category of Brahmins.The reason for creating Divisions was that each human being has specific set of role to play in the society for a better community today and tomorrow.I was really Impressed by this comment:(and it is Iyers AND Iyengars who write, is making you write! If we don’t write, what will you do?—by Vishnupriya),its the smartest comment .

    Well coming to the book—-Its a book not meant for Bankers but for school going children(age grp btween 13-15,suggesting as my sister is reading the book).I was underlying all the grammatical errors( how did he make to the IIM’s—-wasn’t CAT tough during those days).The target Audience was the youth—too much of LUST.(was he trying to get the title of Sydney Sheldon honoured on him by the Indian youth).Would you call a ROLE MODEL as GOD????Aditya was just a GOOD SAMIRTAN,as he had loads of experience working in an Organisation,small role payed by Aditya in the book shows his experience.(There are many things,but wanna keep it short)

    The positive aspects of the book were getting the Ugly side of human beings.(Irrespective of whether it was man or a woman).Man is ready to do anything for the satisfaction of desires.All the Commerce Grads(Science guys also know it) the first thing they would have learnt in their first period of lecture “Human Desires are Unlimited”—In order to satisy his desires Man or Women are ready to go any extent.Thanks a lot for getting the animal aspect of human beings in the book Mr Ravi Subramanian.Human beings have created a world where all that matters is POWER and MONEY.

    Sorry to say this Mr Ravi Subramanian—–Is writing a passion for you???? or do you feel in order to make a living you have written this book???what was the single most factor for getting this book out??? Well looking at the way you have replied to the comments,looks like for you money is the single most factor,(guess all IIM’s should have an additional period on Philosophy of Life).I would advise you not to take SUCESS TO YOUR HEAD,it will let you down somewhere during the course of life.For me what matters in a book is whether the has some Moral Effect on readers???I do agree that you potrayed the character of Swaminathan to little effect,as someone pointed out that “Its very easy to point out bad qualities of a human being( gossips—-that’s wat happens in every organisation) when compared to gud qualities.What moral lessons I have learnt from this book is —-HUMAN BEING can make himself recognised in two ways,one is through the Ethical route(Honesty,dedication and Commitment etc all the gud virtues) and the other one through Unethical route( Money and Power).Ethical route will have lots of Obstacles but you will suceed when compared to Unethical practices which is very short term and might ruin your life.

    Iam still not convinced with the title”IF GOD WAS A BANKER” as it is not appropraite to the script.Anyone feels its appropraite please leave a comment and with valid reasons.

  70. Ray says:

    All the small details are important…….. if not given attention its a turn off—– Like KULLAR who drinks tea in a kullar in B’bbay…. its cutting boss all over bbay…. Ibm Laptop in 87 ….AMazing…… checking emails in 87 in Mumbai india….wow….that was just after the reliance world cup….cannot even imagine… Swami mailbox loaded with 400 mails…..in 87-88 that mean computers made its entry way back wow…… I remember going to a stan chart branch in Fort in 96 and they were all still manual systems in place….These all are like super turn offs and even little facts are wrong like when his meeting with global ceo and HR head is at 9-45am and then all of a sudden its changed to 10.30 am as per the authors wish….. Horrendous….. pathetic book i advise you PLZ DONT READ IT

  71. Addicted says:

    hey ppl,

    nice to find such a long thread going on IGWAB, have just completed it..it’s 5:30 AM right now and have just finished off with it. took me 4 hrs flat to finish it off..though not an excellent literary work, this book makes for an interesting read. I am heading to IIM-L this year, hopefully I ll not write anything of this sort and invite you people for another slaughter!!!

  72. Rohit says:

    Just finished reading IGWAB. Anyone who worked in Citi would completely relate with the stuff written. Though, Ravi is not in line to win the Booker prize, there is no denying that the book is very good timepass. Especially for the Citi guys!!

    Guys stop splitting hairs. Gotta see the book for what it is…light reading!

  73. Harsh says:

    Rocking review… this book was crappy… i mean this whole country is simply borrowing its reading habits from its movie-watching habits… throw them a terry pratchett or a douglas adams and they’ll wonder what’s wrong with the book…

    btw, i think you haven’t yet read the most horrendous book of all time… it makes ravi subramaniam seem like salman rushdie in comparison (though without the padma lakshmi thing by his side)… it’s called Everything You Desire by Harshdeep Jolly… i don’t blame the writer… after all, people are into cross-dressing now so anything goes…. but i really have no respect for a publisher who brouthg that out.. read that please and post your review… waiting for it πŸ™‚

  74. Iyengars_rock says:

    Dumbest blog post.
    The only message I see is that retarded khannas who dont know the difference between iyers and iyengars should keep their traps shut. They shud not make a joke of themselves on internet.

    Btw punjabi chicks are cute too.

  75. Ashwin Bansal says:

    Gujratis are cute too. The babe in If god was a banker was a gujju right?

  76. Sizzler says:


    who’s this khanna who can’t differentiate betwn iyers n iyengars. Anyway Iyengar gals not only rock but they r bold n beautiful too. But dat doesn’t make them any less intelligent than their iyer counterparts. The Iyengar beauties are a perfect combination of brain n brawn. And whoever says Iyenger men are dumb? Well, u need to b intelligent to understand n appreciate them.

    Ok, Ravi, u’ve managed to start a war!

  77. Divya says:

    i read the book, if god was a banker. I was an ex-citi employee, and you would really relate to the book, if you were one too. Even my friends who have worked in other banks, were not able to relate to the book as much as i did. what ravi subramaniam has writted in that, was the exact citi culture. i am sure a lot of my friends here would agree. you need to know the inside story to understand whether whats written in its got atleast a hinch of truth or whether the book is all bullshit.
    Guys, i think, any citi employee should read that. it was a good timepass.

  78. Nerd Fest says:

    Well, I read 1 page of If God was a… at the bookstore and immediately moved 10 feet away lest I turn the page and disgrace myself for ever.

    The point I wanted to make was ‘If God..’ being a good or bad book has nothing to with the author being an MBA from IIMB. Some middle aged corporate type wrote a book. It sucked. End of matter. By drawing attention to the IIMB tag you are only showing yourself to be one of those IIT/IIM dorks whose only self identity is the institute they went to. I suppose Ravi screwed your self identity by writing a piece of crap. Don’t do that to yourself. Let people write books for the Orkut target segment, and let us resolve to stay away from those books.


  79. Rajesh Nair says:

    Hi Friends,
    Well , I really liked the book . I guess we should encourage someone who has just started writing , rather than publicly try and pull hime down.


  80. Abhinav Srivastav says:

    Googled for this book and came across this site. Amazed at the diversity of views on this book. I read this book myself and liked it. Its a true reflection of modern day corporates. My recommendation to anyone who reads this blog is to read IGWAB. Definitely a fast paced racy book.

  81. kg says:

    Came across this site accidently….well quite interesting views ( most of them were not about the book but the writer!).. I read the book some time back. I liked it. I feel in this era of ‘multiplex masala movies’ , IGWAB is a good read for relaxed weekend………….As far the story is concerned.. I feel the God mentioned in th book is really a God for loads of people in real life… I am one of them. !

  82. Debonair Stud says:


    The title of the book itself is faulty…Should have been “If God were a banker” and not “If God was a banker”. Simple grammatical mistake, that too in the title. Roopa surely need to wake up !!!!

    Otherwise the book was OK, but the language was horrendous. Based on real life incidents involving ex citi execs. Having lived through the “Citibank years” in India, I could connect to it, otherwise the storyline was quite weak…

  83. Pink Girl says:

    Is there a way to locate someone locally to try this?

  84. Citistaffs says:

    Hey guys,
    Sarvesh was “dismissed”/ suspended. Maybe still getting paid, don’t know. He is suing Citi for 10mil sterling. In addition to all the sexual incidents in India, there was a sexual harassment complaint from Europe (Germany possibly). Story goes that Ajay Banga told him to keep his mouth shut and his fly zipped.

    Have you seen this guy Sarup? Does he really think he is God’s gift to women? Concave chest, short with a gutter mouth. The guy has a Napoleon complex

  85. Wow! what an idea ! What a concept ! Beautiful .. Amazing

  86. VeryCurious says:

    When was SS dismissed/suspended from Citi – does anyone know??

  87. Ram Kumar says:

    SS is out of Citi now. he is in the middle east with some sheikh advising on investments. The Sheikh should protect, his wife, daughter and dog from SS’s libido

  88. NN says:

    SS is out of Citi now but he might have left on his own considering his acute business acumen. Wondering if there is any truth to these stories about his been dismissed – however, there is no smoke without fire

  89. AG says:

    Hey Mr Ravi Subramanian

    all that you have mentioned is real, the way an organisation can be plundered is what you have described and to make it right we need people who bring in peace. The policies like whistle blower and all came into existence only when these things moved out of proportions.The brunt of all these are faced by those who are still there in the company. Thanks Ravi for bringing this out beautifully……. people should know what their so called ” BOSSES” did

  90. Ex Citi says:

    Hi Guys

    After reading all the comments mentioned above I had to read this book.A truly fast paced book though I am not sure how much of it is true. I have been Citi and can identify with this book. I am not at all surprised with what happened to Sarvesh. He deserved it. I could identify with the other characters also. Swami is PS Jayakumar and Naresh Ram is Raaj Khosla. However can someone please let me know who are the characters of Vivek and Anindyo. Are they Dinesh Sharma and Sanjoy Sen?

  91. Shankar says:

    Just read in business today yesterday that Ravi is coming out with his next expose ‘Devil in Pinstripes’ in November. Am sure it will be as interesting as If God was a Banker.

  92. Kalpesh Mishra says:

    Hahaha – last time If god was a banker was about Citibank. Devil in Pinstripes ia about Citifinancial and its flamboyant one time boss Sandeep Soni. Why is this guy Ravi Subramanian going after Citigroup? Need to find out more.

  93. Shivdutt Halady says:

    Hi Ravi,

    It is easy to be critical but honestly I liked your book.

    There are always 2 sides to life – good & evil – and the situations you have portrayed in your book are very real. In today’s world, materialism is in and I don’t know if that’s a good thing. Many people openly say that success is important as an end, and the means may not necessarily be so. I do not know if this was inspired by real life characters, but I must say it may well be so. Some people have also said that Sundeep was perhaps let off too lightly in the end, but again that is what happens most of the time. Again it is not only Sundeep who is to be blamed but all the other characters who played along and gratified him for their own gains. Clearly it takes two hands to clap and again these incidents may happen for mutual benefits, so no point in exhonerating the other poarties involved to blow the whistle when their ends could not be met. By the way, your other 2 books are also very nice!


  94. Shivdutt Halady says:

    Hi Ravi,

    It is easy to be critical but honestly I liked your book.

    There are always 2 sides to life – good & evil – and the situations you have portrayed in your book are very real. In today’s world, materialism is in and I don’t know if that’s a good thing. Many people I have met openly say that success is important as an end, and the means may not necessarily be so. A “stop at nothing” attitude is becoming increasingly present. I do not know if your book was inspired by real life characters as some ghave said, but I must say it may well be so because there are such people. Some people have also said that Sundeep was perhaps let off too lightly in the end, but again that is what happens most of the time. In my view it is not only Sundeep who is to be blamed but all the other characters who played along and gratified him for their own gains. Clearly it takes two hands to clap and again these incidents may happen for mutual benefits and everyone involved knows why he or she is doing what they are. So, no point in exhonerating the other parties involved for blowing the whistle when their ends could perhaps not be met o thei wrong-doings got them into trouble. By the way, your other 2 books are also very nice!


  95. Knightin says:

    Sarvesh Sarup is now with Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank. Its a shariah complaint institution based in Abu Dhabi, UAE. He is the retail consumer bank head there. I am quite surprised that the religiously sensitive and conservative institutuon has hired a sex crazed and power hungry person like Sarvesh. Yes he was ultimately fired from Citi. But he didnt go down without a fight. One episode in the NRI business blew up in face Citi. The FSA (UK Financial Authority) raided the offices of Citi NRI UK based on anonymous complaints on the malpractices being followed by the sales team. FSA found blank customer subscription forms in drawers of most of the RMs and host of official memos on unethical pricing and having bank accounts of questionable people. Immediately quite a few high profile heads rolled down. E.g. Mr. Anil Kumar was fired along with his close cronies. But Mr. SS realized his time was up. So like how it happens in gangster movies, he turned into a wistleblower. Under FSA laws a wistleblower cannot be fired. So Mr. SS continued to blackmail Citi while he continued to get his monthly salary & annual bonus. He even had an office and a secretary. Although he was not allowed to attend office his secretary was doing his personal chores.

    Mr.SS is quite a character. This book is hardly an exaggeration.

  96. ARESS says:

    In the first couple of comments in this thread, which is really about Ravi’s book based on Sarvesh Sarup, I read Tunku Varadarajan’s name mentioned in the Iyer debate.

    What most people do not know is that Tunku and Sarvesh were class-mates at school. Also, in the same class were: Rohit Bal (the designer), Anshu Jain (global head of investment banking at Deutsche Bank), Sanjoy Roy (the film-maker), Rajeev Misra (global head of fixed income at UBS), Satish Seamer (the Dubai-based equestrian wizard) and one year ahead of them was Sanjay Chugh (the agony-aunt). They all used to hang out together and were good friends.

    In his next book, Ravi would do well to focus on how/why a single class of about 35 students at Delhi Public School was able to produce so many high achievers. And I haven’t mentioned 10 other names from the same class who are very well regarded as entrepreneurs, bankers, fund managers, lawyers etc.

  97. VIGNESHWAR says:

    Ravi, This was a really good book i have read so far. My boss recommended me this book and i seriouysly think every bankker needs to read this.

    Thanks for such an exciting book. πŸ™‚

  98. Kottapli says:

    I read this interesting book in less than 4 hours.

    The book reflects nothing but real life experiences in Citibank…..I have been thro them…

    Ravi Subbu is surely an Iyer. People named after the Shaivaite names (Shiv, Parvathi, Murugan, Ganesh) can never be Iyengars whose names are derived only from Vaishnavite culture

    BTW…..the British had the following to say about a sect…”Their men are intelligent, their women beautiful…the former unreliable and the latter unchaste!” The intelligent would know which is being referred here.

  99. amit says:

    Thought I will post the 100th Comment here.

    Yep i too just finished reading on a sunday evening ( 4 hours it is )

    – Interesting Titbits about what Citi used to practice – especially the Auto Loand and Insurance Premium selling
    – Wonder why Ravi did a Alfred Hitchcock Apperance- His name is already on the cover

  100. Ksr says:

    This fabled two communities are facing extinction are in line after parsis. In entire tamilnadu assemblythere is just one iyengar called Amma and she is being deitified. In few years some poosaris may get 4-anna archana tickets. TN virtually exiled all tam brams, for their psedo-intellectulaism (CV Rangarajan thinks above rs.48 a day income is above poverty line..he was actually counting dakshinas his fellow ilk get temples in aartji plate), superlative egos, playing saan-kaccha stories in delhi corridors. If the country has to prosper, these suckers and snakes must perish.

  101. Citibanker says:

    Pity that crap like this gets written about.

  102. Not a Citibanker says:

    Sarvesh Sarup died in London two weeks ago. He was suffering from cancer. RIP

    He is survived by his wife and two sons.

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