Chetan Bhagat: Is such a smart writer that I will not be shocked or surprised if someday “Madhur Bhandarkar” picks up this one to make a movie on corruption going on in our Education System. More than that what shocked me totally was the use of the names of so many institutes as well as the organizations like AICTE whose name he has used in the book – so far I haven’t heard or read anywhere that they objected to what he had to say about them in his book. If this is a work of fiction even then too – it’s simply WOW to see all those real time names in the story and the way author point’s fingers and calls them corrupt. As all his other works – this one too is definitely totally filmy – with so much going on all over at breakneck speed that it’s hard to tell if it’s a book or a movie going on (visually in readers mind). No doubt, one has to agree with what he says (at least most of it) about the education system in our part of the world – how exactly everyone is just making money and nothing else in the name of education, which end of the day is hardly of any use. As the book says – there will be a Revolution by 2020 and people will finally wake up to make a change in the system. I seriously hope it happens as how long one can just sit in the living room having a cup of coffee and say “This system just sucks and nothing can be done”.
The Book: Again, I will call it an amazing book and a fantastic story on top of that, of a handful of interwoven characters in the name of Love, Corruption and Ambition. Superb story of three school time friends mainly, Gopal the narrator who belongs to a very poor family – wants to become an engineer just because his dad wishes him to be. It’s heartening to see the way his father not only spends all his life’s savings in making him an engineer buy also takes up a loan and the way his own brother ditches him for property. Gopal’s best friend Raghav who is not only intelligent but also belongs to a rich family and becomes an engineer by default whereas he desires to do something else. He wants to clean the society of corruption even if that means losing everything that he had in the quest – still he never gives up. And then we have a love triangle with Aarti in between (these two) who belongs to a very affluent family who wants to become an Airhostess but his family won’t allow her to go out of Varanasi where all these things are happening. Daughter of an IAS officer (DM) whose Grand Father was the Ex CM of the state. And then we have another character – MLA Shukla – who is the face of all the corrupt people especially political figures we come across in our daily life. What happens with all these characters is the story with so many twists and turns that the villain becomes the hero by the time it ends or is it the other way round?
Exactly like all his previous works even this one too is narrated by one of his characters (Gopal) – he actually meets the Author and narrates him his life story and we read it as a flash back. Chetan Bhagat is totally filmy – no doubt about that, he is big time inspired by our movies and hence writes in a way that I guess it becomes easier for the makers to adapt his stories into a movie. But it’s totally commendable the way he captures so much in one book that too in totally convincing way – as it happens in real life. Also, it is fantastic the way he uses various cities as characters in his narrative i.e. Varanasi in this one as one of the oldest cities of the country and whose people have now modern aspirations or Kota as the educational capital of India where almost everybody is related to the business of providing coaching one way or the other. How we humans manipulate and use other humans to the most of our advantage is shown in the story in the most amazing way, yet every villain has a positive side too. All in all it makes up for a fantastic read – no doubt on that and I hope someone like Madhur Bhandarkar – makes it into a movie one day. Let’s see if that happens anytime sooner. Till then I will be waiting for his next book which I guess will be out in Oct’ 14.