CAT Race: A delightful and breezy #Manipal Story


Title:  CAT Race
Language: English
Author: Hriday Ram Shenoy
Genre:  Fiction/ Business & Economics
Publisher: 2016 December 2016
ISBN – 10: 1946280968
ISBN-13: 978-1946280961
Binding: Paperback
Price: Rs. 199 (Buy from Amazon)
Pages: 176

Review Synopsis: CAT Race is a delightful and breezy read on the situations that a CAT aspirant faces. For a Manipal student, the added bonus is the beautiful memories this book is surely going to evoke in you the moment you open its pages. I, personally loved this story and would cherish the authors personally signed copy.CAT Races

Detailed Review: 

Four years at engineering college should be enough to get you into the groove to choose engineering as a profession. Right. Right! Right?

That is the dilemma every engineering graduate faces. No, let me rephrase that – ‘every’ unsure engineering graduate faces. There are those who sail through with flying colours and have predetermined goals and ambitions. But this book is not about those guys/girls.

The CAT Race is a book telling the story of those engineering graduates that meander through their engineering college life without a thought on what lies after college. Most of us fall in this group.

Many get into generic jobs that pay them enough to live the high life. Then there are those who abhor these jobs and would rather prefer to change professions and follow their passions as singers/musicians/artistes and the like.

And then there are those that decide to join the Rat Race and pursue an MBA. An MBA requires one to get through the “Comprehensive Admission Trial” or better known as the CAT. And that’s how this book gets its name.

Set in steamy Manipal, the book takes you through the life of the happy-go-lucky protagonist, Aayush, who decides to do an MBA because a cat messed up his room. There are references to the Manipal we all love, and this book will surely evoke nostalgia and longing for the girl or boy who is Manipal.

What sets this book apart from all the novels that you may have read before is the sheer simplicity of narrative that draws you in and makes you want to be a part of this story. The characters are well sketched and stay etched in your memory long after completing the book.

Story from the book blurb: Aayush, a fresh engineering graduate, realizes that idling, snoozing, internet addiction and motorcycle spins don’t really qualify as skills to build a successful career. Goaded by parents, trounced by top-achieving buddies and encouraged by stray incidents, Aayush takes a plunge into the dog-eat-dog rat race called CAT – a nationwide, competitive test to make it to the top business schools.

What follows is a simple, everyday motley of events as Aayush enrolls himself at a CAT coaching center, where he comes across interesting characters, -including an eccentric tutor with a penchant for fancy dress and an exquisite temptress, Nakshatra.

Set in the serene backdrop of Manipal, a student-dominated township in coastal Karnataka, CAT Race is a simple, short and comfortable tale that highlights the struggles and aspirations of every B-school aspirant, providing insightful yet light-hearted views on the many stages of successful enrollment to management institutes. 


  1. A short and breezy read.
  2. Well etched characters that stay with you and remind you of the people you meet every day.
  3. If you are a Manipalite, this will surely get you nostalgic and remind you of a life that you had.
  4. A smooth story-line without jarring changes in the plot.


  1. Short. Would have wanted it to go on.

Who will enjoy this? This book is for those who reminisce about their college life and long to relive those moments again. If you are a Manipal graduate, especially a graduate from the pre-2010 era, this is something you will cherish forever. The Malgudi days like feel in the book is something that is not possible in present day Manipal.

Buy or Don’t Buy? A must Buy for every Manipal student!  A buy for the rest of you lot who are planning a career after engineering or planning an MBA career. Here’s a link to the book on amazon.

Also if you have a cat and don’t want to mess with your career ideas, then learn about the “best cat carrier“.

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