For a man who stood up against Mr. Narayana Murthy’s view of IITs churning out students with diminished intellect, God decided to punish me. I realized my folly when I remembered that Mr. Murthy himself was an ex-IITian. I seemed to have committed a sin and God happens to punish every sinner in his own way – yes, even if he’s an IIT-IIM graduate.
Being experienced and having done it all – churn out stories, argue with random people within the 140 character limit, advise strangers even when they haven’t asked for it, write newspaper columns just cos Ms. De writes it – I was confident about my dealings with God when the right time arrived. After-all, I’m the one and only Chetan Bhagat.
So when God appeared in front of me:
God: “So I hear from my secretary that you deserve to be punished, for you’ve committed a sin. A silly one, I’d like to point out.”
Me: “Oh lord, I realize that I did a mistake by arguing with someone of the same blood. Pardon me with minimal punishment, if at all. Please take into consideration that I dedicated the entire climax of my second book to your character.”
God: “Hmmm…no negotiations would suffice for I’ve already decided on your punishment. Your punishment is that you’d turn into your own reader for a day and review your upcoming fifth book – Revolution2020 – and give an honest opinion.”
Me: “Oh no! The book is ready for release. If I had known earlier that this would have happened, I would have written it better!”
God: “ROFL…I know that, but this is my way of a practical punishment. By the way, to make you feel a little better, my secretary is a big fan of your books. Silly girl.”
And here is what I submitted to God as a reader’s review of my own book:
As I finished reading the book, I immediately made note of these 3 pointers I learnt from Chetan Bhagat:
1. Everyone has a story to tell if one is ready to listen, be it on a train or inside a hospital room.
2. While narrating a story, description of the plot/place matters – even if the story seems/remains to be the same.
3. Sex sells.
I felt the book has been written with 70mm celluloid dreams in mind (UTV, today bagged the movie rights of the book!!). Gopal, Aarti and Raghav are the three main characters in the storyline while politician Shukla-ji is another typical character.
Love, Corruption and Ambition seem to be the trinity that cooks up this book.
Gopal is an IITJEE entrance exam failure who is in love with Aarti, while she loves Raghav, an IITJEE rank holder. Gopal struggles enough to find it hard to secure an IITJEE ranking and gives up hope of graduating ever, owing to family and financial issues. Raghav, on the other hand takes up engineering only to graduate before moving towards his love – journalism.
While Gopal and Raghav deal with their lives, Aarti fills the void in the plot by going out on boat rides with best friend Gopal and movie dates with her now boyfriend Raghav. As Raghav graduates as an engineer, Gopal gets along with politician Shukla-ji to take care of the “Corruption” part of the trinity.
As the plot builds, Gopal with political backup goes on to become the director of his own Engineering college – GangaTech – while Raghav faces the ups and downs of being a reporter who takes on corrupt politicians in the name of Revolution! Gopal’s ambition is to own several educational institutes while Raghav’s ambition is to bring about a revolution of a clean & corruption free India by the year 2020. In the meanwhile, Aarti is in a very confused ambition-less situation.
How Gopal lures Aarti under his cosy blanket, only to feel sorry for Raghav and how he forces Aarthi towards Raghav forms a major part of the climax.
As I finished the book, I felt pity for Aarti – for she didn’t deserve the way she was treated. Her character was clean and innocent till about 80% of the book only to be ripped apart in the rest of the book, thus justifying my learning #3. Whether the editor forced such an end to her character or whether Chetan himself did that to her, is something I was left pondering about.
The only plus point about Chetan’s books among the IIT-IIM-Banker-Doctor-Graduate authors of India, is that the usage of English is simple and good…unlike the others who leave behind a lot many grammatical errors and typos, much to irritation of the reader.
My rating: 2/5.
Disclaimer: God forwarded this review to me, for he owed me one! I’m in no way responsible for any direct references to any person, dead or alive, gay or straight, male or female or otherwise.No offense was meant, if felt.