Monday, December 14
2 states .. the story of my disgust !!
To be very honest and fair,i think i don't know what to think of Chetan Bhagat's latest offering 2 states,the story of my marriage.I tried to read the book with an objective mind ,but somehow ended up getting pissed off at regular intervals.
I have never been a Chetan fan and the only reason i bought this book was becos of the price-95 bucks !!!
The plot is very relatable and racy and is all about how 2 people from very different backgrounds (and states) fall in love and strive to get married.So,why didnt it work for me? Let me first tell you what i liked about the book.. The book starts with Krish (the protagonist, a Punjabi) meeting and falling in love with Ananya,a south Indian in the campus of IIM(A).Chetan,an IIM(A) alumnus himself has captured this phase of the story very well.. The 10 pm cheap calls home,crappy hostel food,cooking maggi at night in the hostel,the palpable tension during day 0 of placements.. all these took me on a nostalgic trail.. but there were too many other things that just irritated me to the core!!.There is a heavy tamil-bashing undercurrent..actually,its not an undercurrent.. It's just all over the book.One starts to wonder whether all this is said in jest or whether our author has real deep rooted prejudices,especially since the book has supposedly autobiographical nuances.. After a point,it just gets excessive!!.
Now, i do realise that the success of a book like this would depend on the extreme characterizations of the parents and the 2 sides. Still,several parts of the book leave you with a bad taste in the mouth..Sample some of the statements the protagonist and his parents make ..
" These south Indians dont know how to control their daughters.From Hema Malini to Sri Devi,all of them trying to catch punjabi men" says Krish's mother.
" The tamil sense of humour ,if there is any is really an acquired taste."says Krish. Dude,i know more tamilians with a robust sense of humour than you have hair on your head!!
"The house had an eerie silence.A punjabi house is never this silent even when people sleep in the night".says Krish referring to Ananya's tamil household. Again,in bad taste.
"They sounded like long wails,as if someone was slowly strangled". says krish referring to MS Subbulakshmi's song. Now,dude you could get stoned in Chennai for a statement like that.
"We sat on the floor for dinner and ate on a banana leaf". They have gunpowder with sambhar our author describes as " sawdust mixed with chillies"(what Crap!!)!!-Like ,the plate is yet to be discovered in Chennai.A little hard to believe when the family is broad minded enough to send the daughter to IIM(A) and the said daughter has Pink floyd cassette at home. Just grates on your nerves!!.
" The spiral shaped brown coloured snacks resembled fossiled snakes".I am guessing he refers to the murukku. He also calls it bland.I really had half a mind to get myself on a flight and throw the book on the author's face.
"Tamilians love to irritate other non tamils by speaking in tamil in front of them. This is the only silent rebellion in their otherwise repressed docile personality". Says Krish. I am guessing the only repressed personality here is you,Mr.Chetan Bhagat.
The story is actually ok. Just that Chetan got carried away painting a horrible picture of tamilians and chennai.And sorry,i didnt do justice to this review !!
Our man goes on to bitch about relatives saying " These stupid biases and discrimination are the reason our country is so screwed up." despite spouting insults at tamilians throughout the book.
There are mentions of "horrible sambhar smells" &"chennai trainees avoiding eye contact ,especially when it comes to authority" and several other irritating things.. Like there is an instance where Ananya takes him dancing in the afternoon and the disco plays Rajini songs.. how conceited can someone get !!! An auto driver enroute to his place stops in front of a Rajini cut-out to pray.. Now,dude .. this is the max i can take !!!
I could just go on and on about this tasteless book..If this is what "best selling " authors in India can churn out, i am better off reading books by obscure people!!.Every word reeks of commercialism and looks like it's been written to get scripted into a hindi movie.. I will be surprised if the Yash raj stable doesn't grab the rights for this book !!! despicable!! Oh,did i mention that there are digs at Citibank thrown liberally..
Because this is more of a rant than a review, i am not filling you on the story. 3 out of 4 people i know wanted to bash chetan's brain out after reading this book.To think that there are more humorous way of tackling a subject like this makes me wonder about Chetan Bhagat's writing prowess.
I read it till the end to figure out how much Chetan could grate on my nerves and must say that he doesn't miss a beat. I am still seething !!.
PS: Pls read this book and let me know what you think !!!..