Chetan Bhagat’s first best seller and my second book from him that I finished in flat two days yet again. One week back I had no interest in his writing and now I am totally hooked to the way he had written these books – doesn’t even feels like I am reading an acclaimed writers book (If I may call him that). In general if you ask anybody about the best period of their life – the usual response which I feel is the time that they spent from Junior College (+2) to Graduation, I am sure most of you will agree on this and so does the author. The most insane yet the most cherished days of my life were the same – when we were free birds, no responsibilities, never cared about anything but just had a great time with friends followed by some studies just for the heck of it. I guess our generation had no idea where we were going and what will be the end result of all our education but we indeed did good and landed somewhere as I see most of my friends / classmates almost well settled in whatever they are doing right now. The only difference between “Five Point Someone” and our real life is the background (Read IIT) otherwise its exactly same stuff. Getting ragged on the first day, hooking up with friends, making some best of friends for life, falling in love, getting drunk in hostel (reminds me of my SBI Colony Flat which was usually our adda), finally getting graduated and landing a job too in the end. It was as if my own life was being written but by someone else, a little change here and a little change there and that’s exactly the same reason why we the readers connect with most of his stories so far. I am yet to read three of his other books but now after reading two of his works – I can definitely tell that much.
The Book and the Movie: The book is based on the most important four years in the life of three friends – Hari Kumar (The Narrator), Alok Gupta and Ryan Oberoi. What they do and how they pass out of one of the most prestigious institute of India – it is indeed their own way of telling “What not to do at IIT” as the title suggests, makes up for a hilarious read but also gives you some serious food for thought too. I like the way he starts his stories and later connects all the dots. Slow and subtle progress plus the background coming in parts, like in this one – the reader keeps asking and looking forward to Hari’s background but it comes way too late, connecting the episodes to another of his book. It’s simply outstanding. I guess once I read all of his books – it will start making more sense – dunno if they all are connected in one way or the other. But this one is surely connected with “2 States”. The comparisons are inevitable of course, as who hasn’t seen the movie based on this book but they both are poles apart. You can call it cinematic liberties taken by the makers as they always said that it was “loosely adapted” and “not based on” the book. I found the book to be more of a subtle version and movie to be more dramatic but I guess a movie based on this book wouldn’t have been a commercial hit and definitely not the highest-grossing Bollywood film at least. Since I saw the movie first and read the book later – it had its own impact and was a little difficult to visualize – it will definitely be an awesome read for someone who hasn’t seen the movie. Now I exactly know how and what they do to a book while they convert it into a movie and I guess I am a little heartbroken because I know precisely what to expect from “2 States”. I must say this – if you have ever studied in a college (that I am sure you did) and stayed in a hostel – it’s a must read. It will take you back in time and works like a time travel machine – I had a superb time reading the book and it again made me realize how far we have come from those rocking days of our life that it’s indeed tough even to meet once in couple of years.
If you haven’t read this one or any of his works – trust me – you’ve got to pick it up ASAP and finish it. You are going to love it. Do not miss it at any cost.