Tuesday, November 10, 2009

2 States - The story of my marriage: Chetan Bhagat

Sometimes, I think Chetan Bhagat is writing specially for the generation that I belong to. His debut novel “Five Point Someone” came at a time when I was in the last leg of my engineering and that too in Mechanical Engineering. So, the novel was and still is very close to my heart. Then came “One Night @ Call Center” and “Three Mistakes of My Life” that were again very precisely timed to match the movements in my life. And now, when I’m pursuing my MBA, Chetan has come up with this new novel “2 States” about an IIMA passout who finds his love for life during MBA.

The story of the novel spins around the lives of a Punjabi boy Krish Malhotra and a Tamil girl Ananya Swaminathan. As was written in their Nakshatram, they met over the dining table in IIM-A and fell into love with each other, just because the Punjabi honcho couldn’t stay “just friends” any more. Subsequently, they had made to each other’s beds pretty fast and often during the course of the MBA. But again, as the legend has it, their parents had to disagree with this decision of their children. The refusal was partly due to North India – South India clash and partly due to the generational egos of parents when children select life partners for themselves. And then, it takes the Citibank Relationship Manager, Mr Malhotra and HLL Marketing Manager, Ms Swaminathan, quite a while to bring the two families together.

Chetan has spun the novel nicely around this story and maintained the seriousness of the North India-South India issue along with the fun of reading his novel. The description of intimacies by Chetan Bhagat has been as unmatched as ever before. And some anecdotes like “we don’t use spoons to measure alcohol” made me laugh at the conversation between a Punjabi boyfriend and his prospective Tamilian father-in-law. The description of Punjabi lifestyle and their way of looking at the Tamilians and vice-versa has been interestingly funny. Just like his previous novels, this one is also full of youth and unrealistic idealism at certain points, but that fits in perfectly well. Some twists here and there make it an irresistible read.

On a serious note, there’s one particular incident that left an impression on my mind from the novel. There is a conversation between Krish and a Guruji in Pondicherry’s Aurobindo Asharam where Guruji guides him that forgiving someone doesn’t make him/her right. All it does is to make the forgiver feel lighter and happier.

All-in-all, I found 2 States an interesting novel, worth spending some time to get yourself relaxed.

Arun Sharma

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