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The Great Indian Obsession-The Untold Story of India’s Engineers- NP Recommends

Title: The Great Indian Obsession

Author: Adhitya Iyer

Genre: Travel and Humor

Price: Rs. 199

Number of Pages: 153

Indians are obsessed with 3 things- cricket, movies, and politics but one peculiar obsession that is not talked about enough is engineering and that is exactly what this book does. Adhitya Iyer set out on a backpacking trip across India for about 2 years to find out more about a unique story that he wanted to share with the world. After a crazy ride across 20 cities, he did end up with a story that will make you question the priorities of the people in our country. He has delved into the history of engineering, the reasons that led to this mania and also why parents and children in our society are so obsessed with it.

This book is not a rant on the Indian education system or engineering but it is an insight into the system, its students, parents and understanding engineering from its birth to where it stands in the present day. 


“Primarily, I am here because it offers more peace than where I come from. You wouldn’t believe it if I told you, but there are members from my extended family who don’t even consider themselves as part of India.”

“Why do your parents want you to go to IIT or take up engineering?”

“I don’t know. I never asked. You just listen to your parents, don’t you?” Yes, in India, you do.

Why we loved it:

Have you ever wondered what this madness is? Or why there are lakhs of students applying for engineering each year? Why students choose this field and then end up doing something completely different in life? All of us have at least one friend, relative or someone close to us who has gone through these four years and the book helps you understand the whys, hows and whats of engineering. What makes this book very unique is that Adhitya Iyer has not gone wrong with the facts. The research, time and effort put into writing the book is remarkable. He has covered every part of engineering, from how it begins at coaching centers to after the four years of engineering when it is time to get a job. Not just every engineer but every student in the country will relate to this book. This book also is a great way for parents and teachers to understand the minds of Indian students and this rampant disease that is engineering. The illustrations, images and quotes in the book add more to what the author is trying to say and it makes it even easier to comprehend.

Adhitya has beautifully written about his experiences and encounters with a touch of humor and satire which makes you realize that it shouldn’t be taken so seriously. He has managed to talk about topics that people usually avoid or don’t pay much attention to with simple narration. Along with his journey around the country, his inner journey adds much needed introspection to this problem. At the end of the book, Adhitya makes you hit the pause button on life and just think about where you are and where you want to be.

You’ll like it if:

If you enjoy movies like 3 Idiots, Rang De Basanti, Kai Po Che; books like The Discovery Of India by Jawaharlal Nehru, What Young India Wants by Chetan Bhagat; documentaries like Waiting for “Superman” and Race to Nowhere.

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