I was fortunate to get hold of the book on the day of its release: for my fiancée informed me of the upcoming novel and I could not but be amused at the rapidity with which Chetan Bhagat is churning them out. True to his spirit, he has kept the youth in mind in the story.
The story begins with a guy and a girl meeting at the IIMA mess, and falling in love away from it. There is nothing new about it, but an “ek duje ke liye” happens. She happens to be a Tam Bramhin of Chennai while he, a Dilliwalla Punjabi by nature. Cultures clash, parents clash and in the nick of time things get settled, with both sides ending amicably.
The plot isn’t innovative, but the treatment is. The story reaches out to anybody who has been in or out of the dot com reign. The writing uses a lot of similes that make the novel outright funny. There is a strong sense of sarcasm at both the cultures and the author vividly points out the differences between them. There are issues that the youth find irrelevant but are matters of life and death for the older generation. The north Indian snobbery, the South Indian docility, the obsession with fair skin and the like have been treated very well.
As with the author’s older novels, not a lot of research has gone into the book. I hadn’t expected a Dan Brown kind anyway. It has been written with what the author has seen and felt in his life. The stories of IITD and IIMA appear to arrive from his own experiences. It makes the reader wonder if this is an autobiography. There are parts that are dramatic, but all of them have relevance in today’s world. Even a son’s relationship with his parents has been handled quite well.
Chetan Bhagat may not be a literary genius, but he knows how to entertain. No wonder that his earlier books have been best sellers (adding to the fact that they were priced right at 95 INR). I would surely recommend 2 states to everyone!