Autor: Chetan Bhagat
Publisher: Rupa & Co.
Finally Chetan Bhagat’s long awaited novel Two States hit the stores yesterday. I believe Chetan Bhagat is one of the people who has brought reading as a hobby in India for our generation a new life, by writing about the people from the common Indian middle class in situations which anyone could have relate to. And yet he has produced a story which weaves a thread around common character in situations.
This time in his new book he touches a cause of the regional and inter-community biases too and does it very subtly in the background, making a very juicy story all across it. The interesting pick about all his previous novels had been they had an unusual story line 3 IITian’s stealing a question paper and call center employees’ having tryst with god and a entrepreneur trying to commit suicide. But this book is entirely different, the last thing it has is a fresh plot. It’s an age old plot about a Delhi guy falling in love with Tamil girl and their struggle to be together. This story has been told again and again zillion times in cinema, short stories and novel too.
However, to be fair to the writer still the way the story has been told is fresh and the book keeps you entertained by the jibes at the clichés and community cliques about the Punjabis of Delhi and the Iyers of Chennai. The book has fair amount of lighter moments and it does keeps you engrossed in the story line. The shock values and the contrasting descriptions of cultural differences don’t take you by surprise but don’t leave you without a smile either.
The book however claims to be inspired by writer’s own experience on his path to marital bliss, but however he urges the book to be treated as fiction which is a contrast. Another peculiar thing about the book is it references five point someone at a lot of places in a way that the protagonist seems to be Hari from the old book while in this book he is named as Krish which was a bit weird.
Getting in the details of the book, it is written well, and is evenly paced not to leave you bored and not going so fast that you might lost in the plot and characters. The author has done a good job in outlining individuals in the story and ensuring the important characters get enough plot space and the sidelines disappear along with the course. However, I personally felt the character of the protagonist’s father could have had more details some had bumpy description and surprises. Also the spirituality angle which gives the protagonist the direction and future course doesn’t gets appropriate importance, specially given the fact it was a defining incident and could have been more elaborated and be used for bringing in more content.
However, the book is a full masala read with all family drama turned funny. With some really nice situational and induced humor however there were no catchphrases or one-liners which might stick to you even as a jibe. However his satire on the back page on how the love marriages happen in India, was solely appropriate and relevant. Overall this book is a decent read not as fresh as five point someone but stil I would find it a better read than the other of his two books. He has managed to keep the readers attention and interest, though the curiosity angle was not as strong primarily because of the family setup.
All in all you cannot call this book is a must read, but definitely this one is readable and has quite an amount of masala in it for the reader without any gyaan/depth or insights in it except for may be “How to woo your South Indian girlfriend’s family”.
Trying to gauge it on a scale of 5 I would say this would be a 2.5. I would conclude by saying this one is a Read in leisure only for pleasure.