Zero Percentile – Missed IIT Kissed Russia

The Arrival of Zero Percentile

The cat is out of the bag. It has taken me a long time to do this. I had decided to go full hog with Zero Percentile and that is what finally helped me succeed. It took a lot of effort to get this to a publisher and finally to print and a lot still needs to be done. My advice to all those aspiring writers is that if you want to do it, apart from your ability to write, keep a very strong support system with you, because, without encouraging words and help from the people you love, you will stop before you have even started. If I look at things in retrospect, then I can emphatically say that writing was the easiest of all that needs to be done to make a book successful.

The first copies are out in the market and the response has been fantastic. The last I talked to the Publisher he said that the book is going for a second print run. A lot depends on destiny now; destiny which played a big role in the life of Pankaj – the hero of Zero Percentile.

The Struggle

Writing Zero Percentile was relatively easy. What followed was actually not. After having been spurned by all the leading publishing houses it was extremely difficult to keep myself motivated. Then I said to myself ‘What the heck! I have a story to tell and I would go out and tell it to the world’ and not give up trying and that is when Rupa happened. So, God does help those who are willing to help themselves J.

Missed IIT Kissed Russia

Zero Percentile


  1. Congratulation!! About time. I m glad that the book is out and i’ll be doing my bit to recommend it to anyone interested in good reading. This is gr8!!

  2. Yes Anirudh. It took a long time waiting. It does need support from good people like you to fly

  3. Will try and pick it up!

  4. Sure Priti, please do. And if you find the time do let me have the feedback as well 🙂

  5. very well written..enjoyed reading your first book a lot..

  6. i thought to give a try to ur book after reading good reviews on some blogs.i buyed it from flipkart as at gave a good deal.

    i liked ur book as ur book had that IIT part which many students face in our country(i.e.many students fail to pass iit and go through that agony)

    i too tried for IIT and failed,but my luck didn’t took me to russia and now i m in NIT.

    i simply loved the charachter of sveta and the ending really touched my heart.i would like to know that was ther any girl like sveta in reality??

    waiting for ur second novel…….

  7. Thanks Ujaas, Pratik for finding the time to read the book, appreciate it and then taking the trouble of visiting my blog and posting a comment.

    Yes, more people fail to make it than go to IIT. The period after not making it is very depressing for most. So, I thought I’d try and touch upon this topic in the book. It has relevance for a lot of people in India. Pratik, you did not end up too bad either (you are in NIT right?)

    Sveta is a very strong character in the book and deserves to be loved. As for her really existing, well. let me ask you – do you think such women really exist :-)? Only in fairytales I guess!!!

  8. its like searching water in desert,but stil ther is some probability of a women like sveta being present on earth right now:-)

  9. It was really a gr8 delight reading the book.
    to be frank i have never engaged (b’coz of uninterest) myself in reading some Indian novels, but soon after bagan with the book i realized and thought my idea was wrong, am not an author like you to give my words a multiple flow to praise but you definitely deserve the urge to come out with something interesting again soon…
    will keep waiting Neeraj – Wish you Good Luck in your future endeavors…

  10. Thanks so much Sucharita. Feels great when someone not known to you likes the book. I will definitely write when I have people like you waiting for my second book.

    Thanks again 🙂

  11. well i neeraj ji,its been a tremendous pleasure to read your book,at first i thought i would be same story as going on stands these dayz bt as the story moves forward god…it seriously took me to the lands of russian n i felt d same emotions as written on the book…it was a gr8 journey to tell…thanks a lot fr bringing out such a wonderful book…looking fwd fr ur next book eagerly..n wish u all sucess….
    shiva varma

    • Hi Shiva,

      extremely sorry for the late reply. Thanks so much for liking the book. This is exactly the kind of encouragement new authore need.

      I will definitely write again. Please do tell your friends about the book.

      And thank you for taking the trouble to write


  12. A mail just poped up in my mail box imaging your book: ZERO PERCENTILE; I read few abstract from your web site. i hope it should be gd the 2morrow morning i will finish it. i really love books

  13. Thanks Chandan, that would really be great. Happy reading!!!


  14. thnx for replying sir,jus want to add …i read many novels based on theme of campus life,but i was kinda stunned reading zero percentile as it was whole sort of journey from 1st day of the school to the enterin into the profesional world..the part where the protagonist was sitting at airport and calling his gf was simply splendid,(“the moment her gf te him the truth nad cut the phone”)i was jus shocked…wonderful book…eagrly waiting for the next one from you.
    shiva varma

    • Thanks Shiva for the great feedback. Sorry for the late reply. Hope you get it. This is the kind of feedback which actually eggs you on to go through the excruciating pain of writing again. Thanks so much and good night

  15. Hi Chandan,

    Did not hear back from you. Hope you liked it. TC – Neeraj

  16. Hi sir, it was a great feeling reading your book. You took me (back) through some magical moments of my past. I think every indian can find himself at some part or the other in the story. You almost took through every possible relation, an avg. indian can cut through his/her life. Looking forward for your next one.
    Thanks again for the book, and thanks to my friend who recommended me to read this book.

    • Wow! Great to hear this. I am really happy that you liked it and could relate to some parts in the book. This, I believe, is the biggest satisfaction for a author. Yes, I will surely write the next one too 🙂

  17. Здравствуй,Нирадж!Поздравляю с выходом твоей книги!Много о ней слышала,но пока не успела прочитать.Помнишь ты меня или нет?Я Люба

  18. just bought Ur book.heard alot about your book….I wish i like it..

  19. Thanks Vijay for wanting to experiment with a new author like me. I hope too that you like it and come back and leave a good comment. Happy reading!

  20. @Neeraj
    I got this book recommended by a friend. Zero percentile and the tag line impressed me much to read further (Missed IIT and kissed Russia). I am IITan and I know some of my friends which I can relate to pankaj when they didn’t made it. The childhood part was interesting as I felt nostalgic about school days. Further the dreams of the fathers to their children and the struggle by us to keep up to their expectations were every where with the Indian student. The student life in volgogard and the business tactics played by pankaj are highly interesting. The curiosity took me to read the total book in 2 days and I enjoyed every page. Wish we too could get one sveta…and her love. I am glad to communicate with you here. All the best and awaiting for your future endeavors.

  21. this is truly a captivating & fascinating piece of writing…any desi who has been a student in the ex-USSR /CIS countries in the turbulent times of the late 80’s to mid 90’s will be able to instantly connect with the book and its characters…it was almost like a walk down memory lane, being able to expressly identify with the episodes, circumstances and context as part of one’s own personal experiences or that of many (one would even venture to suggest most) compatriots who ended up as students in this very enigmatic place and time…this book would eminently qualify to serve as their collective autobiography covering an impressionable and poignant epoch in their lives.

  22. Thank you Sanjay and Sreekanth. These are really very nice and encouraging messages which motivate me to write even more.

    Sanjay you are right. A lot of my friends in Russia have been able to identify with the story and imagine themselves as one of the characters in the book. Those were indeed enigmatic times.

    @Sreekanth: Yes, I wish all of us have Sveta in our lives if only such women exist 🙂

  23. Hi Sir ,
    Hope you are doing good like this, one again.
    I read it more than four times and never getting out of it and felling something is missing out life.
    Thank you sir .

    • @ Vijay 4 times that’s a lot of patience I must say. Makes me feel very proud and happy. Thank you so much. Neeraj takes a bow.

  24. Hi Neeraj

    Just Completed the book, a collegue recommend me that this would be good read and gave me. Indeed was a very good read. Inspite of long hours and reaching home late everyday (software professional) would read until late night irritating my spouse and son. Excellent Work. Already started expecting on your next book.

    All the Best.

    • That was a huge risk that you took Ranga. It is very difficult to face the wrath of the family and that too for a book by an unknown writer :-).

      Thanks for loving my creation. It feels great when people send in comments like these for ZP. Thanks again.

  25. Hi Neeraj

    Just Completed the book, a collegue recommend me that this would be good read and gave me. Indeed was a very good read. Inspite of long hours and reaching home late everyday (software professional) would read until late night irritating my spouse and son. Excellent Work. Already started expecting on your next book.

    All the Best.

  26. Hey Neeraj,

    I really liked the book…Keep Writing 🙂

    • Thanks Pragya. WIll certainly do. The second one is going to be a sequel. Lets pray for its success.

  27. Hi Neeraj

    Congrats for writing such an amazing book……I came across the Title while surfing on the web for some books for my upcoming weekend. And there I Find Zero percentile, missedIIT KISSED RUSSIA, the last two words made me Nostalgic. I too had studied in Russia and you mentioned the city as well (Rostov na Donu). Your second half of the book for me was just like reliving all the moments through the memory lane. I could relate to most of the instances you shared. Russia for most of the people who lived or studied there has been a life changing experience It is good that you through your book have shared them and kept nostalgia alive.

    • Dear Aviral,

      Hope you are well.

      Since you are one of those who loved ZP1, I felt that I must inform you about the launch of the second book Zero Percentile 2.0 – Missed IIT Kissed Gurgaon. It is the sequel to ZP1 and a first book on life inside the Indian IT industry.

      So, check out what Pankaj, Motu and Priya are up to along with a host of other new lovable characters.

      Find below a bit on ZP2.

      Life is fun only till it is simple…And, the ambition of being the biggest software company in the world is not simple. Zero Percentile 2.0 tells the story of a torn-between-two-friends, Priya; a struggling-with-HIV, Nitin, his struggle to not fall in love; a doting father and technologist – Arjun; Diyaa, Arjun’s brilliant daughter with special needs; San, his love for The Babe, the biggest software product in the country, and Jaanvee, the financial whizkid; and the two best friends Motu and Pankaj.
      A story of greed, love, friendship, conspiracy, an attempt to murder and a hostile takeover bid which ends in a pulsating climax after seven days of bitter fight for control.

      The book came out in the first week of December.


  28. Hello Neeraj i had studied in Russia/CIS and passed out in 96 from Tula.I landed at Mos on 19th Sep 90 and you looks like landed same month.currently i am at Delhi working for company so while reading your book i lost my self in memories of our life at Russia.It exactly the way you reflected your life at Rus..So what’s your contact details.

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