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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The StoryTeller-Chetan Bhagat

It was back in 2004 when an investment banker tried to test his luck and take a dip into the vast sea of creative writing.In a country where one first become an engineer and then decide what to do next in life,he had never imagined his past expereince would come out to be so handy for him and set him on a journey to become India's most profilic English language novelist.Yes I am talking about India's very own Chetan Bhagat.
Mr.Bhagat debuted with Five Point Someone: What not to do at IIT! in 2004.The book was loosely based on his experience as an Engineering student and with India producing nearly 10 lakhs engineer everywhere,it was an instant success and sold over 700,000 copies.Mr.Bhagat himself being an alumni of IIT-D was easily able to connect himself with the students and many were able to relate it with their life.With the success of his very first book,Chetan Bhagat marked his arrival on the big stage.In 2005,Mr.Bhagat came out with his second novel One Night @ the Call Center and like its predecessor, it met with largely positive reviews. In 2008 he published his third book,The 3 Mistakes of My Life,though critics were not too impressed with the book,but like his previous two novels,this one was to a best-seller.With three national best-sellers already in his kitty,Chetan Bhagat was a big name in India now and he even came to more limelight when his second novel One Night @ the Call Center was adapted into a bollywood movie Hello.Though the movie was an below average hit,but what it did was to pave a way for Bhagat into Bollywood.His fourth book 2 States: The Story of My Marriage came out in 2009 and was said to be based largely on his life and it was first of Chetan Bhagat novel after quiting his job as an investment banker. 2 states was followed by Revolution 2020: Love, Corruption, Ambition in 2011,What Young India Wants(a failed attempt in Non-fiction) in 2012 and more recently the highly publicised Half Girlfriend in October 2014.
After 10 years from his very 1st release in 2004,Chetan’s books have remained bestsellers and four out his seven novels have been already adapted into successful Bollywood films and the others are in process of being adapted as well.The New York Times called him the ‘the biggest selling English language novelist in India’s history. Time magazine named him amongst the ‘100 most influential people in the world’ and Fast Company, USA, listed him as one of the world’s ‘100 most creative people in business’.Chetan even writes columns for leading English and Hindi newspapers.But keeping everything aside,the main question that arises is that in a country which is blessed to have the likes of Amitav Ghosh,Vikram Seth,Arundhati Roy,Naipaul and with such strong Literary background,how come a man with such aaverage literary skill make such impact.Basically the success of Mr.Chetan bhagat can be summarised with few points-
1.The ease in his writing i.e. use of simple words and plain english.Anyone with moderate english skill who had tried his hand in reading God of Small things or related stuff will definitely know that,one needs to have a dictionary by his/her side from the very first page.
2.With all that Chetan knows to write is about College,Love,Sex,Friendship and all other stuff that can be easily adapted into a Bollywood flick,he easily tends to connect with the youth of the country.As every every young blood has or is going through the situation to an extent.
3.Unlike many established writer,Mr.Bhagat ceases to end his story within 300 pages and thus matching the frequency of the impatience generation of the country and moreover his book are very affordable in terms of pricing when compared to others.

Personally I am not a Bhagat fan but it will unfare if I say I didn't enjoy reading Five point someone and 2 states,rest I felt were more or less written to made into a flick.Chetan bhagat with his repeatetive and compact style of writing has limited the literary development of his reader,who now don't try or want to look beyond him.Like SRK who everytime manages to pull off a lover boy image,Chetan Bhagat too manages to pull his novel projecting IIT's and IIM's.Any attempt to write beyond his comfort leads to a big disappointment and What Young India wants is a big example of a failed.Like every coin has two sides, similarly no matter how one rate Chetan Bhagat,but one cannot neglect the fact the he is fully responsible for making many youth fall in love with books and take up reading as a hobby.

Lastly I wanna conclude by saying that hate him or love him,but Chetan bhagat has become a juggernaut of Indian writing industry and there's no stopping this guy.