Saturday, 14 April 2012

2 States-The story of my marriage by Chetan Bhagat-Book Review

Ratings: ******* (7/10)
Recommended age group: 13-27 years
Recommended to: Indians esp Tamil Brahmins and Punjabis, interested about India
Author: Chetan Bhagat
Genre: Drama/Fiction 

Well, hi! This is my first review here and before I start my “wise words” an apology for the nub feel you may get while reading. 


So this is the second book by Chetan Bhagat I read and a certain amount of hype surrounded this book- and it did not disappoint. To begin with the plot is not complex and doesn’t require any high level of thinking or necessity to read pages again. Its about a couple who meet in IIM-A and wish to get married. Well simple enough if their parents were not conservative members of two very distinct castes- a tambrahm from Mylapore, Chennai and a hard’kaur’ Punjabi.  Hence begins the 260-page-long narrative of them trying to woo their future in-laws. Sounds like one of those thousand odd bollywood plots right? I began with a similar mindset and a loop of Amitabh Bachhan running in slo-mo trying to dive into the train where a southern lass sat in anxiety. 

Pleasantly enough I was wrong and though the drama content did remain high it was frequently dotted with clean sarcasm and takes on Punjabis and Tamilians alike. Being a tambrahm by birth and having stayed in Haryana(okay, take a map, its NOT that off  from Punjab- culturally and geographically) I could ravish the insane familiarity of one and the stark reality of the other and left me in peals of laughter especially in the scenes involving the communities respective marriage ways.

While the content remained relatively fresh and captivating, the language and the dialogues were a bit of a dampener.  This clearly wasn’t a work of a native English speaker much less that of an Oxford scholar. The dialogues were highly colloquial and none were articulate enough to be quotable or powerful enough to stay in our heads in the exact way as some books (read: Harry Potter) did. Another point worthy unworthy of mention is the frequent usage of the word ‘OK’. The rather bugging capitals mar a smooth read and substituting with ‘okay’ ain’t that hard is it?  Besides this, the imagery is also rather flat and I couldn’t create a single strong image of any of the leading characters as their descriptions ranged from negligible to non-existent. Perhaps this can be accounted due to the author’s inexperience.

Enough with the bashing as the book proved to be entertaining read and carried a definitive message. Priced at Rs.95 one can’t really complain. 

The final roundup
All I can say is that the book has a heart and a head. It is largely successful in reaching out to the people whom the author had in his mind while writing the novel. It gives voice to the restrained youth, its modern longings, their conservative culture and the challenges faced while bridging the difference in opinions. It’s a partial life story of the writer and a fine example by a fine Indian. Kudos! :D

Shukriya/ Nandri,

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