2 States – A Review

Autor: Chetan Bhagat
Publisher: Rupa & Co.
Price: 95/-

2 States - Chetan bhagat

2 States - Chetan bhagat

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.

24 comments on “2 States – A Review”

  1. Poonam Reply

    You are a very generous reviewer. 🙂 And I like your alternate title, it would sell better in our How-to, self help book crazy Indian audience.

    While reviewing, I too forgot about the spiritual angle. But then that is also quite a in desi thing. 🙂 True, he doesn’t dwell much on it. Also, there was this shrink session to show hw close to breakdown he was. If it was meant to evoke some more emotional brownie points, it didn’t do so. 🙁

    Yet I agree its one time, masala read. 🙂 Read for pleasure, amen!

    • Prats Reply

      @Poonam: Well not generous but at the price he is offering is a good time pass read and I really appreciate the price points he keeps his book. Really I don’t expect some enlightening content from Chetan Bhagat and my feel is even the reader audience doesn’t expects so. So I try and keep the author’s profile and past works in my mind while I give a review.

  2. Akanksha Reply

    I saw the bok at crossowrd today…:)Was quite impressed by the cover. But didnt get it coz i knew I would start reading right away!

    So, I am going to buy it just before I start my journey, towards Home:) (Although I already have a few books to take along )

    • Prats Reply

      @Akansha: It would actually make a good read for the journey full on time pass masala read. Enjoy and let me know how you found it?

  3. Vivek Reply

    I found Five Point Someone truly unputdownable but Chetan Bhagats all other works have failed to impress me and I am not sure whether I would really want to read 2 States.

    • Prats Reply

      @Vivek: I loved 5 point someone, hated the rest but this one is just okay better than the 3 mistakes and one night at the CC but not as good as five point someone

  4. Sri Reply

    //How to woo your South Indian girlfriend’s family”.//

    haha sounds like a plan, I loved 5 point someone, and I was hoping this would be good. isnt it crazy when authors write so much about facts and real life yet they say its fictional(dan brown for example) . I too think its weird of him to take things from 5 point someone yet mention the character name as different. he migh as well put it as hari and it would have become a nice sequel.

    Would give it a shot after i finish the ones on my table, Thanks for the review bro
    Sri

  5. Smita Reply

    As I read your review I realized how very similar our views are on this one!!! 😀

    You know I got it for 75/- bucks 😀 Thanks to the 20% discount I get on every books 🙂 and if you see it that ways total Paisa Vasool hai and is written for masses.

    Like you even I appreciate CB with the way he has revolutionized the Indian reading market! I know people who aren’t fond of reading have read all CB books. In fact I remember discouraging someone and I got an answer, for 95 Rs it is OK!!! 🙂

    As far as book is concerned, I guess I have said enough in my review 🙂

    • Prats Reply

      @Smita: I was thinking the same thing while reading your review. Where and how do u get this discount? I get it only at my company store and had to buy the book at full price as I got it on a holiday.

      You know and I totally agree about Value for Money aspect of CB. I mean at 95/- bucks you cant get more value than five point someone and I am so scared how much trash can bollywood can bring to a supposedly decent book… So keeping my fingers crossed for 3 idiots and just for comparison sake I will have to pay 180 bucks to watch the movie about a book which I read years back and bough for 95. 🙂

      • Smita Reply

        Well there is a book store in my city which gives us 20% disc and my Company store gives me 15% disc both the stores have this offer running all year good na?? 🙂

        I believe 3 Idiots would be good because
        a) Script hasn’t been written by CB
        b) with Raju Hirani & Amir khan in the project I expect good things 🙂

        I am more worried about what will come out of 3 mistakes, the book in itself was trash 😀

        • Prats Reply

          @Smita: Wow lucky you, I am so jealous my company store gives me a 20% but they are pathetic where collection is concerned 🙁

          Oh I dont think they should try make the story on 3 Mistakes at all its a inherent disaster in itself. I agree to you point about Amir & Raju Hirani but still keeping my fingers crossed if they can recreate the nostalgia of sitting on the Insti roof sipping Vodka with Pink Floyd playing.

    • Prats Reply

      @Aarti: Thanks for stopping by my blog. I read your comment on Simta’s blog and I am sure your won’t loose much by skipping this one 🙂

  6. Ankit Reply

    @prats

    Frankly, none of the Chetan Bhagat’s books except 5 point someone invoked any excitement that a good book should.

    Infact, the 3 mistakes of my life was an apt title.The book was actually his third mistake:D

    As for the value for money part, u forgot to factor in the time.Gosh, i sound like a Art Of Living guy.But, seriously the guy needs to evolve his writing.

    BTW have been (reading) ‘Losing My Virginity’ by Richard Branson.An awesome read and a true value for money for 300 bucks:D

    • Prats Reply

      @Ankit: I can understand what you are saying but then there is a set of readers which would read for fun and as generally as I put it he writes masala/gossip. Which is no value adding, easy to read & comprehend and fast paced. I mean in a similar ways there are days when you don’t mind watching a David Dhawan movie.
      You know I won’t mind reading his books on a journey or sometimes when I am not in a state of mind where I can concentrate 100% and extract the content out of a book.

      To be fair to Chetan Bhagat, I think he has done very well. One he made reading an acceptable culture amongst the masses. Secondly, I believe he visions himself as a Bollywood script writer or sth and I think he is doing well till now.

  7. tushar Reply

    I am always a fan of Chetan Bhagat. His writing is such a irresitable work that I read five point someone in just two and half hours. Of course he is not like Tharoor, Roy or adiga class but he is a kind of writer who makes you think about yourself and your hidden desire of course in a movie style. I love specially his diction. he says a lot of abstracts of our life in a very local language but thats life. Life is not only about role models or good things. the bare fact is that we live in world where we do a lot of things which we dont want to reveal. “Two states” is the real picture of our society. we want to be called as educated, sophisticated but we forgot the basic theory of life …..love , love others, love society.
    Hats off BHAGAT….may be this time some good film maker take your story and make a movie with the real “soul” of this story.

    • Prats Reply

      @Tushar: I agree with you, for five point someone and may be two states as well but the other two books are big fail by all standards.

  8. Munish Gupta Reply

    the book was interesting initially but then went downhill. Though I liked his theme of a United India but his presentation style was very filmy.

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