Saturday, August 17, 2013

#BookReview--> 2 States: The Story of My Marriage by Chetan Bhagat



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.

 2 Statesis the story of Krish and Ananya who are from two different states of India, "stupidly in love" and want to get married not by eloping but with their parent's consent. Everything looks easy except
Ananya is from a conservative Tamil family and Krish is from a typical Punjabi family. There are fireworks from the first time that their families meet and it looks like Krish and Ananya's love story is doomed from the start.

Can they convince their families that they are made for each other?

Can a Punjabi and Tamil family forget their differences of culture, values and behavior to come together as  one family?
As its said "it is easy to fight and rebel, but it is much harder to convince", can they make their love story into a love marriage?

Chetan Bhagat is one author you cannot ignore. I am not a big fan of his but I do respect that fact that he revolutionized the literary market and lured back the younger generation in India which had started to drift away from reading books. He gave people simple day to day events with uncomplicated everyday dialogues that anyone could understand. His books follow the Hindi-film style settings with every masala present to entertain you.

According to me, 2 Statesis his best work so far and though we cannot term it a literary classic, it is a fitting leisure read that we enjoy while traveling or lazing on a couch. The dialogues are simple and though I sometimes felt them wanting in their construction and their clarity still they achieve their purpose. The musings of Krish are funny like

'She'll never date you, it is a rasgulla down the drain' or
'OK buddy, pretty girl goes her way, rasgulla-less loser goes another.'

 and also give an insight into the thought process of boys like

'Why should any guy want to be only friends with a girl? It’s like agreeing to be near a chocolate cake and never eat it. It’s like sitting in a racing car but not driving it.'


The characterization is noteworthy. The characters are sketched in a comic light like

'... Ankur and Aditya, both IITians who had already proposed to her without  considering the embarrassment of being rejected and then sitting next to the rejection for the whole year.' or Kanyashree 'who took notes like a diligent court transcripter' , 'wrote so hard I could feel the seismic vibrations from her pen's nib.' or Ananya who had  'perfect features, with her eye, nose, lips, and ears the right size and in right places. '

I thoroughly enjoyed the contrasts that Chetan Bhagat draws between his dysfunctional Punjabi family and Ananya's strict Tamil family.

All in all a quick and light read. A one time read in my opinion. Definitely not a book you will keep in your classics bookshelf and a misfit for the company of serious readers.

I give 2 Statesa 4 out of 5 simply because it entertained me and that's what a good book should do.

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