Confession: 36 hours before this moment – I had never read a line written by Chetan Bhagat and really assumed he was over rated. My opinion (unfortunately) was mostly based on my own friend’s opinions / ratings /reviews of the guy and I never took a pain of picking up any of his books exactly for the same reason. But it had to change as wifey picked up a copy of “2 States” last week which she targeted to read before the movie released and I announced right while paying for it to the Flipkart “Cash on Delivery” guy that – this 180/- is definitely gone in vain. How freaking wrong I was – as she went on an official picnic this Saturday and I had nothing much to do – hence took a break from movies and picked up this little book with a plan of reading a couple of chapters before trashing it. I guess a couple of you know my reading habit too that it’s a record that I have never kept a book down once picked up and this was one heck of a read anyways – seriously, I skipped lunch on Saturday (ate thepla), almost skipped evening beer with friends and woke up on Sunday morning at 9 am (that’s a record – unless I am driving) and finished it before wifey came back home and declared “Chetan Bhagat, is a freaking awesome writer, with so much Indian blood, I love him big time and he is a damn great inspiration for any budding writers in our part of the world”. She is stunned and shocked to know that now I am looking forward to watch the movie on Friday morning (First day first show) with or without her. Imagine – the book is THAT amazing, totally loved the narrative / characters / story / twists / turns and almost every other thing about it. If you haven’t read it – I must say – you’ve got to read it ASAP and I bet – you will not be able to put it down and take a break while reading it.
The book and the story: As the top of the cover itself says “2 States – The story of my marriage” – you can imagine what it’s all about. I still have no idea about him and his life yet but but I can tell you one thing about him after reading this book that I guess this is his own life story and I am sure Chetan Bhagat is one hopelessly romantic guy, who is madly in love with his wife – so much so that he just can’t stop bragging about her and this book is nothing but the same story told in a typical filmy way but it’s simply amazing. People who have read the book especially the guys and those who love their wives big time will totally understand what I mean here. It’s a simple story of a Punjabi IITian as well as an IIMian who falls for a Tamilian girl while they complete their Post Graduation from IIM Ahmedabad. Story starts from Ahmedabad (Post Graduation) and falling in love, Moves to Delhi, from there it goes to Chennai (Jobs) and reaches its conclusion (Almost) in Goa. Now I have lived almost a decade in Delhi, have visited Ahmedabad on short trips n number of times, Chennai I worked for almost 3 months and Goa as per me is a must go destination once a year. And I must tell you this – the locations used in the story are all real and you will be able to visualize almost all of them if you know where they are happening – while reading the whole 270 pages – it was totally unbelievable experience as my mind kept visualizing Arjun Kapoor as the guy (Krish) and Alia Bhatt as his beautiful girl friend (Ananya) plus been there done that backgrounds. Almost everybody comes with his own bag and baggage in life and so are the leads of the book – they have their own set of ups and downs – problems and solutions, happy moments and heartbreaks too. But the situations as well as characters are so life like that it isn’t hard to imagine and connect them with your own life. This almost is the first book of my life which indeed made me laugh out loud (Actually), made my eyes go moist, gave me a lump in throat, made me sit straight and read fast as to what happens next, shocked me towards the ending and finally made me smile from ear to ear with tears in my eyes. That and I seriously mean THAT never happened earlier EVER. Krish is from a typical up north Punjabi family, his father is a retired army officer who gives a rat’s ass about his family whereas Ananya is from a typical orthodox Tamil Brahman family. How they meet, what they go through and how they finally achieve the balance with their respective families and even extended families with professional commitments is the whole story all about.
Conclusion: Lesson learned – never judge a book by its cover and never make an opinion about a writer or a person without knowing / reading any of his or her works. And hereby I certify Chetan Bhagat, an awesomely amazing writer whose flow is just impossible to beat. Yeah! I have no issues in agreeing that he is a little filmy but what’s wrong in that? Aren’t we all? There is no denying that his earlier as well as this one too – are blockbuster hit books plus two of the movies made on his books were too equally great movies. More than that – he is seriously an inspiration for people like us – who keep writing one page reviews here, there and everywhere with a hope in heart that someday – we too will write our own story. Hats off to him and his style of writing, it’s as smooth as a chilled pitcher of draught beer which is hard to resist and can only be gulped down in a single sitting. I have the rest of his three books in my book rack and there is no denying that my pen drive (Full of movies) will take some more rest while I pick em all up one by one and read them back to back. Looking forward to the movie (2 States) big time now – I am sure he would have surely taken care that they pick up the best of the book while converting it into the movie and will do total justice with all the characters – I am seriously dying to see a lot of them onscreen and hope big time that their casting department does picks up the right people for the job although wifey differs about “Kai Po Che” that they indeed changed a lot as well as ending too, dunno – going to read it next, after I finish “Five point someone” and “A night at a call center first”.