‘When I started reading it – even though our life had its quota of dramatic situations and characters, especially with me the drama queen being a part of it -the book seemed so far from reality.’
There is Fiction, then there is Drama and then there is Bollywood…well 2 States is definitely not the former 2…being Bollywood end to end. At time you think it is a script written for a movie and by chance printed as a book.
Long back when I read Chetan’s 5 point Someone, I liked it, as in it was a fresh perspective touching the educated youth of today; it wasn’t a movie stuff but definitely a piece of my life or those around me. Then came One Night at the Call Centre. It was ok, not so real especially the God part.
But then came 3 Mistakes of My Life and it was a complete disappointment with shallow characters having no purpose in life except cricket; I understand the craze of cricket but I still don’t treat it as a life and death matter, and that is what Chetan was trying to capitalize on. I think the film Kai Poche (based on ‘3 mistakes of my life’) has done a better job.
Now the 4th Book, 2 States, is actually so typical, there have been 100s of movies made already. The situations and characters are most predictable and shallow. Well I was very excited to read it because my marriage has the same elements, if not the story. I am a Punjabi girl married to a Tamil Brahmin Boy.
We also faced oppositions, threats, long distances, break ups, emotional blackmails and cultural gaps etc. So when my husband read it he vouched that I should read it and I would find similarity between them and us.
But when I started reading it, even though our life had its quota of dramatic situations and characters especially with me the drama queen being a part of it, the book seemed so far from reality. The characters are so unlike what they stand for:
1. The boy Krish broke up with his first girlfriend for no reason, except the deal he had with the girl’s professor father. Now how shallow is that, he broke up one relation for no reason and now he is all out to make his second relationship successful even though when it is more tedious than the first one. Probably the first one was just puppy love.
2. The girl Ananya seemed to be just a pretty face with loads of attitude and no substance. She had no clue why she was with the guy. Not for a single moment I felt that they both loved each other.
3. The Girl’s parents were strict and were totally against the marriage. But they allowed the Boy to come every day to their place to teach the younger brother because the guy was an IITian. Now which parents feel that the girl and the boy would separate and forget each other like this.
4. The guy wanted to be a writer from Day 1 but what he does is a silly corporate job, and also obtains IIT and IIM degrees and a great job in a big bank by speaking the well-practiced management statements in the Job interviews.
He is just idling in his jobs and easily manages to blackmail his boss, easy transfers and placements in jobs, with quality time and events to manage the whole drama to impress the girl’s parents. This theme has emerged for the first time in Chetan’s books, probably only after he has quit to do full time writing. But Citi does show as a lousy employer, with lousy people who either don’t work just like Krish or who don’t let others work just like Krish’s boss Bala.
5. Most of all the South and North cultural clashes, where Ananya seemed to be an exception as she was fair (unlike other South-Indian girls) and Krish seemed intelligent being an IIT – IIM pass out despite being a Punjabi. The cheap remarks on both the cultures are not something you want to judge it with. They seemed shallow and quiet lowly in presentation.
Anyway, overall a below average Book and a waste of Time. Don’t indulge in it, if you want to, then watch its movie adaptation.
Read the movie review of 2 States: 2 States Review: Melodramatic Love
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