The book has a simple premise and it is written on the back cover of the book and more or less forms the whole story. For those who haven’t read that:
Boy loves girl. Girl loves boy.
They get married.
In India, there are a few more steps:
Boy loves Girl. Girl loves Boy.
Girl’s family has to love boy. Boy’s family has to love girl.
Girl’s Family has to love Boy’s Family. Boy’s family has to love girl’s family.
Girl and Boy still love each other. They get married.
Target Audience of the book:
If you are
- In a mood to chuckle at a few of your regionalistic co-citizens
- In a mood to mock at the tortures one has to endure when he/she opts for an “approved love marriage”
- Want to watch a Bollywood song and dance movie, an SRK rom-com,
- Or simply put, if Kuch Kuch Hota Hai or DDLJ or similar films feature in your favorite movie list….
Wait no further; shell out 95 Rupees and read on. You will fall in love with it. For the rest of the world, which does not fit into any of the above four categories, and that includes my humble self, it’s a nice time pass read. Nothing out of the blue and Chetan Bhagat is no Harper Lee, no Ayn Rand or Tolkien. He’s not trying to make people think differently. He’s plainly presenting a story with a lot of sarcasm. No harm in reading one such book, once in a while :)
2 States lies in a genre somewhere between modern love and humor. And rightly so, the author sticks to these two very specifically and almost on every single page of the book there will be some witty one liner or incident that will make the reader chuckle a little. Almost on every page. The fun element is very high. On the whole, it’s a mockery of India’s 2 favorite stereotypes : Punjabis & Tamilians and a story of what happens when love blossoms between a Punjabi guy & a Tamilian girl. A generous 40% of the book is based on making fun of Tamilans, another generous 40% on Punjabis and 20% on sentiments, love, national unity & etc. When it comes to content, it feels more like the screenplay of a Karan Johar movie than a book. It simply has no narration, no detail as to where the people are and what they are doing. The first half of the book, is far better than the second half. There is too much of chamchagiri and gyaan in the second half.There is a very very very, rather extremely high chance of this being made into a movie… no cult type movie but a typical popcorn masala Ranbir Kapoor, Deepika Padukone types.
The story just revolves around these 2 love birds. There are a few supporting characters here and there, like the stereotype silent father of the girl, the over sensitive mother of the boy, the nosy aunts and the neighbours who have no other business apart from gossip, the studious brother, the incompetent boss and so on. No one worth mentioning, even the protagonists are not unique in any way.. IIT IIM yes, but the characters of these two are cliche. The flow of the story is as predictable as any of Ekta Kapoor’s serials or even worse. There at least you have some background music, dhoomdhaam. Some of the parts of the book are simply ridiculous, like a 25 year guy saying “Dad, I Love you” and “Mom, I love You” type dialogs which are nothing short of silly. And then some Guru coming and cleansing his mind is so impossible to believe. There is no point discussing the story or fear of story being revealed because Chetan Bhagat has written the whole story on the back cover of the book and there is nothing apart from that in the book.
Serious book readers, who want to READ a book & not watch a movie – STAY OFF. Rest of the world, those who do have a few hours to kill, want to have a laugh at Tamilians and Punjabis or want to have fun. Read it. I am a self-declared fan of P. G. Wodehouse and Ayn Rand, one who loves convoluted plots and mystery or heavy gyaan or speeches on individuality and found this a useless read. I did laugh, so did not mind :D. Heard from a lot of people that they liked it…It won’t kill you :D