Sunday, December 13, 2009

Connubial Journey of 2 States goes haywire!!!

He is an idol to many wannabe desi writers; he is the one who advocates the mantra “live your Dreams and Passion” to the tee; he has made us to believe that best selling fictional books could be churned out through youthful exuberance without any prior degree in the concerned field. The Man is none other than Chetan Bhagat who stormed into this not-so-familiar territory with his all time best book “Five Point Some One” (will be called 5PS hereafter) and followed that up with couple of more viz "One night @ Call Center" (will be called 1N@CC hereafter) and "Three Mistakes of my life". He is back with his new novel which he claims to be “the Story of his own Marriage”. After two previous lackluster novels, the sheen has been going blurred off the Chetan’s otherwise ‘bright plate of success’ and its there to be seen if he is more than one-time wonder. So here comes my analysis which I call my version of diagnosis for the now-Full time Writer Chetan Bhagat’s new novel- "2 States".

The essence of the story has all the Indian-ness feeling in it as cross-cultural marriages has been and still is big deal in Indian society. As a reader, one is very much interested to know how Chetan manages to maintain interest in this otherwise stale concept; whether he overcomes the predictability factor or becomes its victim. Sadly, 2States, with its clichéd story line, kick starts on the wrong foot and ends on the flat note. I am sure all of us have a story or two of inter-caste love-marriages and few of them might be better than the Chetan’s adaptation of the same. FRIENDSHIP has always been the crux of Chetan’s story-telling with embellished “love-tadka” that makes it even spicier. Contrarily,here Love forms the nub of 2States but somehow the Punjabi-Tamilian love saga fails to connect to the readers. In spite of having some Chetan-special punches in 2States, it becomes a ho-hum read as those were hugely outnumbered by few zero-thrill instances, very less wow-moments and almost nil edge-of-the-seat twists-n-turns that make any novel lovable. Being a Punjabi-based-in-South India myself, I could very much relate to the situations, but to say the least, other than few tickles here and there the sequences were far from stimulating. The ‘Super-Climax’ has always been bone of contention for Chetan as he always looks perplexed in wrapping the story for a decent and awe-struck ending. The Good news here is that he did’nt had to face any such quandary; but the Bad news is the climax was always predictable. The writer’s job in such a situation is to make the journey from Prologue to Epilogue a scintillating joy-ride but in 2States all the way through it was just a matter of delaying the ultimate-inevitable.

Prior to this, the stories by Chetan has inspired the Bolly-makers to visualize a movie on it. If, 'HELLO' was a point-by-point adaptation of 1N@CC then upcoming ‘3Idiots’ is loosely inspired by 5PS. But my gut feeling sends a strong message saying nobody would dare to do so this time around, as there are zillions of movies already made based on the inter-caste conjugal encounters showcasing the protagonists’ attempts to win heart of their kins.

Harjeet’s Verdict: I don’t know whether it is a meek coincidence or a genuine attempt, but the title of all the Chetan’s novels’ starts with a numeral. Considering the same as the rating for the books, 5PS still hangs on to the top spot with 5 Rating points and this latest book would boast of only 2 rating points (out of 5). Its very hard to emulate your best work or even come closer to it, but since Chetan Bhagat is now a full time writer, we love to expect an unexpected from the pro. Borrowing your own phrase from the book: 2 states is a complete "Illa something... Something Illa".


Pabitra Mohan said...

I read it some days ago, the story is kind of ghisa pita, but I really enjoyed reading it.

neha said...

Though i liked the Novel,I can say that ur Verdict is the best part in ur review as always!!!!!

RUPAK_REWA said...

"Acha hai!!" ..(in NANA Patekar ishtyle :-) }

sumedha said...

I have not yet read it and now there is no zeal to do so..But I enjoyed reading ur article.Well done!And keep penning more..we will be waiting.