2 States: The Story of My Marriage
by Chetan Bhagat
Paperback, 269 pages
Published on: October 1st 2009
Publisher: Rupa and Company
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.
Welcome to 2 States, a story about Krish and Ananya. They are from two different states of India, deeply in love and want to get married. Of course, their parents don’t agree. To convert their love story into a love marriage, the couple have a tough battle in front of them. For it is easy to fight and rebel, but it is much harder to convince. Will they make it? From the author of blockbusters Five Point Someone, One Night @ the Call Center and The 3 Mistakes of My Life, comes another witty tale about inter-community marriages in modern India.
I wouldn't have picked up a Chetan Bhagat book had there not been a renovation going on at my home, and 2 States the only book available. Helpless, and famished to read something for more than two weeks, I squeezed out 2 States from my shelf, where it was as prominent as a pickle in a glass jar, and for some weird reason, seemed easier to take out compared to all the other books lying there.
I am not the greatest fan of Chetan Bhagat. When I read Five Point Someone, I found him okay. And if talk in comparative terms, he was far, far better than any other contemporary Indian Author. But when after FPS, I decided to try One Night @ a Call Centre, I wanted to puke. I decided never to buy another book written by him. Unfortunately, or fortunately, 2 States was already on my bookshelf at that time.
Krish is a former IITian, who has a back story somewhat similar to Hari (was that the name?) from Five Point Someone. Now, doing an MBA at IIMA, he has fallen in love with the most beautiful fresher of IIMA- Ananya. After having had all the intimacy possible in the two years, when the two are placed for a job in Citibank and HLL respectively, they have a bigger problem to deal with. How would they get married? Since every love story has to have a twist, of course we have one here too. Krish is a Punjabi and Ananya is a Tamilian. This conflict, perhaps valid only in India, makes the story work.
Yes, having been a Chetan Bhagat hater for almost a year and a half now, I must hate myself for saying that I liked this book a lot. 2 States was an entirely different attempt by CB as compared to FPS and ON@CC. While ON@CC is the one I won’t like to discuss here as it makes me want to throw up every time I think of it, FPS is the novel that I would remember CB for all times to come as it was the first book I read by him.
FPS did suck a little in the middle at some parts, but 2 States definitely has a nice flow and grips you until the end. I didn’t hate the book at any point. After reading these books, I feel Chetan Bhagat is at his best in 2 States.
The best thing that made me like the book is its humor. The sarcasm used almost never fails. There were some parts of the book, where I couldn’t stop giggling like an idiot. It had me guffawing in a lot of places.
There are not many instances in the book that seem unreal. Even though I still hate him, I’d say that he is one of the few authors who clearly show the real picture of what actually goes around in the India around us. And ofcourse, he touches realistic and sensitive topics. (Unless you remind me of ON@CC!)
You can’t categorise this book out of the typical CB books, though. This too is tailor made for a movie. Probably CB, like Nicholas Sparks now I reckon, writes books only to sell out the rights to movie producers.
Even if you loathe Chetan Bhagat, I’d say you should try this one out. I think it won’t disappoint you much. Mind you, I think is the key word.