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 !!!..






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31 comments:

Sorcerer said...

I thought it was about Telgana issue..2 states..

just kiddin..
nice review..

"A must read for parents who log on daily at bharathmatrimony.com" -NEWyork times

vimmuuu said...

That idiot wrote all that about Chennai ????????? and about M.S. Subhalakshmi ??? Grrrrr....I hate that b@#$#$d !!!!

I thought the story was very similar to Abhiyum Naanum; hope they dont make this into a movie. And if they do, they better stay away from mocking tamilians !!!

Anonymous said...

oh god.i wonder why does anyone buy chetan bhagat's books?its hard to believe that this is the guy from iit and iim.chetan accept it,u cant write.its more than pathetic.not just the tamil issue.but the whole book.he is almost an youth icon yet aal his books are filled with profanities,prejudices,and pre-marital sex.just a direct insult to english literature.

jokes freak said...

I only read his first book. Thats was good. Because he wrote about harsh things about IIT... still i don't want to read anymore.

Bedazzled said...

Sorcerer.. oh,no telengana in my blog.. i stay away from serious stuff.. somtimes i digress but mostly its light reading..i googled up some reviews for the book ..and most are good !!surprising !

Vimmu..yup!!.. exaggeration is nice ,but it shouldnt be excessive to hurt sentiments of any group of people !..abhiyum naanum was so boring!!

Anon.. would have loved it if u had commented with u r name. I am ok with everything in the book except prejudices.Maybe,a lot of youngsters relate to him!. I wouldnt exactly call him insult to english literature..he himself claims that he is no shakespeare..

JF.. i think i enjoyed the 1st book too..the rest have been horrible

Renu said...

After three mistakes..I stopped buying him..these dialogues dont look like from a hero in love:)

Aaarti said...

he shd have stopped with 5point someone.... i read one night at the call center and gave up on his books....

Gosh... am glad i dint venture out once more to reading Chetan Bhagat...

Smita said...

I have read it & found it an average read!!!

As far as other things are concerned (which u have mentioned in the review) I wouldn't comment on it!!!! Not that I agree with him or anything like that but because I felt he had done equal bashing for Punjabi's as well. But that's my personal opinion :-)

Chill Lady!!! It is just a book!!! and the stpry of his life :)

Bedazzled said...

Renu.. yeah,i heard 3 mistakes was really bad !
Arti.. i should give up too !

Smita..i beg to differ.. nowhere does his punjabi bashing even half equvalent to the other bashing.. it's more like chiding a favourite pet... it can be anybody's story but if there are racist remarks,then irrespective of whose story it is ,it is wrong. 3 other people read this book when i started and all three felt the same way.. which is not to say that what i am saying is right,it is to say that there is a possibility that people might have been irritated reading this book.. and that is something you cant ignore,if you are a best selling author !..:-)

Karthik said...

Totally agree. Whatever made you pick that book! :P
After committing the three mistakes of my life (reading his first three books, I mean), I stayed away from this disaster. Thank heavens, I didn't commit any crime by reading this. :P
There were two books in the bookshop: CB's latest and Tom Knox's 'The Genesis Secret.' I picked up the latter paying about 300 bucks rather than 95. Guess what, I'm a happy guy now! :)
Nice blog. Awesome review. Cheerios! :)

Dhanya said...

Ahem. I am reading it right now. It's a light read to be taken lightly. I didn't like the way he talked about Tamilians considering the Punjabis didnt get bashed half as much ;) And I always find the premarital sex part in his books a lil unwanted. Those incidents seem like as if he wanted premarital sex to be in his books no matter what and just forced into the story.

Angel's Flight said...

Dude this is really bad...any case have not read him yet.....and no plans soon either....so u will have to detail how the book really is :)

Bedazzled said...

KArtik.. welcome here.i guess i wanted some light reading as i already had a pile up of heavy reading. I haven't read the genesis secret .but i am guessing it should be good as i like conspiracy & Dan Brown type novels..Good to know that u like my blog. Hoping to see u here more often.

Dhanya..i know babe!,but that rascal(!!) didnt give me a choice and i kept getting angry..i keep forgetting that he is just a populist author who wants to sell more books and movie rights!.

Shalini.. how was the india trip ? do read him.. it takes all types of jokers to make a world anyways!! ;-).. actually the plot is nice.. still if u insist,well i will oblige :-)

Smita said...

Hmmm I wonder if the story was written from his Wife's point of view then things would have been the other way round na?

Bouncing-Bubble said...

the quotes from the bk are ofcourse in bad taste. there's a very thin line separating writer's liberty from what could be termed as hilarious. I've read only One night at call ctr from CB. Not to my liking at all this author.

Bouncing-Bubble said...

ant the comment abt MS's vocal is outrageous.

Bedazzled said...

smits..very true ! but that would be in bad taste too ;-) ..

BB.. somehow,the book's been getting rave reviews and the author is launching the book in Chennai next week!! not many people are reacting to the book the way i did.. but in my friend & family circle,people are outraged.I guess u shud read the book and tell me !!

chennairamblings said...

I actually stopped reading Chetan Bhagat after One Night @ the Call Centre.
And yes, I did read some rave reviews of this book and theu still did not convince me to get it.
After reading your review (or rather a piece in which you tear the book to shreds :) ), I am glad I did not.
However, I am afraid that what he has written does seem to be the common perceptions of Chennai and Tamilians in most places in India, common but erroneous. It really drives me mad at times to have to discuss this with prejuidiced people who keep getting shocked when I tell them we do eat something other than Sambar here.

Bedazzled said...

Chennairamblings.. i heard that was a really bad book. I just erad his first one which was ok. Then i saw one night at call centre movie and that was horrible !!!.. i guess u r rite about the common perception abt tamilians or madrasis.the book is populist bullshit and i am very sure that i am not going to watch 3 idiots either !!

shaan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
shaan said...

Check this - Rajkumar Hirani exposes Chetan Bhagat

shaan said...

Let him have a taste of Tamil comedy too - Idiot No1.

Anonymous said...

As a neutral (non-Tamilian and a non-Punjabi) the book was an interesting read considering the subject was one which can be related to by any Indian guy or girl. However, I do agree that he has taken his Tamilian bashing to a higher level than necessary and it does seem ridiculous rather than funny at many stages of the book. Even though he has made it clear in the acknowledgment section that he has no prejudices against the Tamilian community in general, at some places it certainly looks like that he could have done away with some of the lines you mentioned in your initial post. Not considering the faux pas he has committed, I would say you could read it once.

Rahul

Bedazzled said...

Shaan.. lol,good video !! and the Raju Hirani video was a Strike 3 !! thanks !.. heard that the book launch of 2 states was a roaring success in Chennai .. only suhasini mani ratnam stood up and panned him !

Anonymous.. i wonder why you chose to leave your comment as anonymous ..well,your tolerance for this book stems from teh fact that u r a neutral party.. i cant separate my tamil-ness from me !! .. so ,i cant look at teh book with same tolerance.. that said some of my tam friends have loved it to bits ..like u said , ive read it once .. dont think i can stomach it another time !

An Enigmatic said...

I dint have a blogger id so just posted my comment as anonymous (apart from the fact that I left my name in the end, so wasn't entirely anonymous :-) )

Yeah I understand that you can't separate your Tamil-ness from yourself, but I have to agree with those who like(and even loved) the book that there are some moments which make you laugh and there are certain incidents where one can relate to them completely..!!!

Bedazzled said...

An enigmatic ..lol ..there must be like a zillion Rahuls in India..so technically till i can trace it back to one person,it is anonymous !:-) Rahul is the quintessential north Indian gen-X name !! There must be 20-30 million Rahuls !!

An Enigmatic said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
An Enigmatic said...

Aah here it goes... comes down to my name again..!! I am cornered now... no way out... :-)

Bedazzled said...

he he !! .. start writing something now.. u r blog has no posts !!

An Enigmatic said...

As soon as I get free time..!!

Rayna M. Iyer said...

Agree with you cent percent (and that uttered in the heavy Tam accent that my first boss had). My feelings when I read the book were not too different from yours http://coffeeringseverywhere.blogspot.com/2009/11/two-states-not-story-of-my-marriage.html, but I guess I was less emotional in my reaction to the book, because I knew better than to expect much more.

Chetan Bhagat writes for people who do not otherwise read, and they love his books. Guess we should just stay away from them. Once bitten, and all that....