How I Braved Anu Aunty And Co-Founded A Million Dollar Company: A Review


An Inspiring and Fun Read

When Varun Agarwal, a Bangalore based entrepreneur, begins the novel by saying, “I am not a writer but a story-teller,” he isn’t kidding. With no previous experience of writing, but out there to share his story, How I Braved Anu Aunty is Varun’s journey from being a lazy, jobless engineer to becoming the co-founder of what we today know as Alma Mater—my college hoodie is also from Alma Mater, yayie!

We’ve all had people in our lives who have told us that we’re better off being an engineer and doing a 9 to 5 job instead of making our passion our profession. We have all from time to time faced the people who have discouraged us by saying that we’re the cause of our parents’ anxiety. Varun here, is no different. In his life was the queen bee of his mother’s kitty parties—Anu Aunty—who is more interested in knowing what happens in the lives of her friends’ children. A friend of Varun’s mother, Anu Aunty is all starry eyed about her son Arjun, and can’t stop bragging about his income and promotions.

Since its Varun’s life story, one would expect it to be preachy and inspiring, but the book is nothing close to preachy. Inspiring, yes definitely! Having faced the pressure of doing engineering after finishing high school and being surrounded by friends from the same field, I could relate to a lot that Varun experienced in trying to fight with the world of aunties and gossip. What’s more is that his narrative style is not that of a conventional writer. Written in simple English, How I Braved Anu Aunty makes for an easy read even for a non-reader. Adding to it the right amount of wit and humour, the author surely achieves what he intends to—change the way present society looks at budding entrepreneurs.

You wouldn’t be surprised to find yourself smiling, every time you turn the page.  However, it’s not all about the laughs, the footnotes in italics make for an invaluable business tips. Working in a start-up company myself, I have seen and experienced the thrill of being out in the field and doing something that nobody has ever thought of doing.

Although the author could have done away with a few chapters, which seem to be there just to increase the size of the book, the Bollywood style drama in Varun’s life makes it difficult for the readers to put the book down without finishing it.

All in all, How I Braved Anu Aunty with the author’s real life struggles and helplessness, his failures, his funny yet insightful interactions with his friends and his drive to make his idea a reality makes for a perfect story. Oozing with Varun and Mal’s confidence, and mixed and stirred with a lot of patience and care, I suggest all the youngsters to get their hands on this book right away.

Shraddha Jandial

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