2 States - Review

I finished reading Chetan Bhagat's 2 States on Friday night,and am mightily impressed after reading it.

Whether it was the 'Tam-Brahm' thing or the narrative, I do not know, but this one is much much better than his three novels put together. When I first read FPS, I did not have a very high opinion about the book, or about its author. But then I felt my opinion was justfied, after seeing the performance of his other two books, which, according to me, fell, way short of expectations.

The story is pretty much simple. The author picks up from where he left in Five Point Someone. Obviously the professor refuses to give his girl in marriage to the hero, after which, he prepares for CAT and gives IIM a try, and gets IIMA. Here he meets this Tamizh Brahmin Girl, Ananya Swaminathan, the cynosure of all eyes, who eats chicken and drinks beer. He falls for her the first time he sees her, but pretends as if he is not. Ananya tests him and finds him to be in safe zone, who could be just friends with a girl. Krish reluctantly agrees, but finally falls for her. So does she. They both get placed. Ananya gets Chennai, and the other gets Delhi. At the Graduation ceremony there is a face-off between Krish's mom and Ananya's parents. This complicates the situation even more. Krish gets the job at Chennai, as he had planned for, and he lands at Chennai.

This is followed by a Hilarious turn of events, where Krish gets screwed at office and later makes up for it. Krish tries very hard to impress Ananya's parents, and finally wins their love and respect and the girl too. Now the scene shifts to Ananya's travails in Delhi. As the Tam-Brahm tries to get adjusted to Punjabi customs and traditions, and the face-off's with her would-be mother-in-law, a point comes when Ananya and Krish fall out. And throw in the already prevailing cold war between the parents, the situation gets out of control. Krish's father, with whom he hardly talked, and gave scanty respect for the past 20 years, comes to his son's rescue and the marriage takes place in Chennai, in South Indian style.
All's well that Ends well.

Negative 1:- The book is pretty much lopsided towards the Punjabi's.
Negative 2:- Too much stereo-typing about Tamizh Folks. (More on this later)

The auto drivers swear words need not have been published. No Tamilian will like to see words like 'Poo** Oom****' attributed to them. Nor would they like 'Poo** Mav***' ... It is the same like saying, 'Maa Ch**', 'Bahan Ch**', 'La*** ka B***' ... I am sure any self respecting North Indian will take offence to it... Some censorship could have taken place.. Don't tell me, the person who wrote this book, didn't know the meaning of the words... I expect the Editor and proof-reader to check this kind of stuff... Atleast they could have **** the words... Sigh..!!!!

The book has lots of dialogues which stand out as gems,and then there are generalisations... Here are some of my favorite lines in the book

If there is nothing as attractive as a pretty girl, there's nothing as repulsive as a cocky chick.

Pretty Girls, behave best, when you ignore them.

Tamilians love to irritate non-Tamil speakers by speaking only in Tamil in front of them. This isthe only silent rebellion in their otherwise repressed docile personality.

Then this exchange between them.

Nirdosh - Nicotine free cigarettes, I read out the title.
'Who the fuck wants that? I feel like a real smoke', she said. I gave her a dirty look.
'What ? Am I not allowed to use F words? Or is it that I expressed a desire to smoke ?'
'What are you trying to prove?'
'Nothing. I want you to consider the possibility that women are intelligent human beings. And intelligent people, don't like to be told what to wear or do, especially when they are adults. Does that make sense to you ?'
'Don't be over smart,' I said.
'Don't partronise me,'she said.

'Shipra, see this, a gori Madrasin'

There are some generalisations to which I do not agree. But inspite of all the digs that he takes at Tamilians (Me being a South Indian and a Tam-Brahm at that), I do not mind it at all. I feel that this particular stereotyping is good for us (Tamizhans). Atleast it helps us realise, that we have stood the test of time.

Excellent read, if you do not have any preconceived notions about Chetan Bhagat's books. (Note:- I do !!) This is definitely one of Chetan's better creations.

P.S:- Just one Question to Chetan Bhagat. How come all your main characters, get the chance to 'make love' so much early in their relationships and that too in all the odd places ?? :)

FPS :- They do it in the Professor's house.
ONC :- They do it in the Car.
TML :- They do it in the Terrace.

2S :- They do it in IIM-A Dorm ... :)

Lucky Guy(s) ???

P.P.S:- A scanned copy is doing the rounds on the Internet. Check it out, in case you haven't heard of it yet. :P

Saturday, November 21, 2009 by Hari
Categories: , , | 4 comments

Comments (4)

  1. I am afraid, I am not going to like it if it has too much stereotyping!

    "Just one Question to Chetan Bhagat. How come all your main characters, get the chance to 'make love' so much early in their relationships and that too in all the odd places ?? :)" - that helps his readership :)

  2. Its a fun read da... Am sure, it will hardly take you about 3 hours to read it completely. So have a go at it...
    And as for the making love part.. the last time I read his profile, I thought it said, he wanted to 'focus on youth and national development based issues', not soft porn.. :) :P :P

  3. I kinda liked the book..But i don't think its that easy for parents to overcome some Prejudices.....so the way the parents capitulate is kinda unbelievable..

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