Chetan Bhagat is back and this time not with a bang but with a ripe, matured love story but not unlike The Five Point Someone (FPS), One Night @ Call Centre (ONCC) or 3 Mistakes of My Life (3MML).
is everything what FPS is not and its everything what FPS is about. If FPS was the best engineering campus-story ever 2 SSMM is more of a matured love story. And the funny thing is the story follows the storyline of Shyam of FPS (though his name here is Krish Malhotra). The similarities just start here; it has all that has become staple diet of Mr. Bhagat. An aggressive woman who always makes the first move, a seemingly loser boy (definitely not hero type), love, fun, complication, betrayal, tears and an almost bollywoodish and big-bang climax with odes to the youth of the country!! 2 States has it all in varying degrees and yet it is different.
The story starts with Krish with a psychiatrist going on a confession. The story of Krish is remarkably similar to Shyam’s…..same bad grades at IIT-D, affair with daughter of Professor, a dominating father at home,an ex-army who beats his wife etc….The story starts at the first week of IIM-A where Krish and Anjali meets. Anjali Swaminathan….smart, talented, beautiful tamil Brahman ( I heard they are called tambram…confirmation, anyone??). The first act follows typical Chetan Bhagat path. But it is different from the second act. Now thay have to make their families accept each other. That’s where the fun begins. An ostentatious Punjabi woman who thinks her only son is the best jewel of the whole world and everybody is out to steal him and a quite, orthodox tamil family who believes in knowledge and absolutely hates show-offs……sparks are bound to fly!!!!
The rest of the story is how Krish tries to find acceptance in Anjali’s family and Anjali in Krish’s family. It seems tough?? Well, compared to what to come….it was nothing. Now that have to make sure the families like each other and faced with instant cultural clash and suspicion it’s an improbable task!!
Unlike his other books, this one moves over the whole country and lots of social observation. It also doesn’t have Chetan Bhagat getting the story from someone and then asking him to complete it. It also follows up to his traditional style. FPS was a (I don’t know what genre it was..College romance??college life??coming of age story??...I don’t know), ONCC was a workplace romance story which was going good until that call from god and then that horrible harebrained scheme to dupe thousands of people to save jobs, 3MML was predictable from first page though the concept was good. 2 SSMM is not any of these genres; it has its own place. For the first time he asks questions about out strange social practices without making anyone look guilty. Romance or not, its definitely his first social novel.
I immensely liked this book. It has that same quality that makes you identify yourself with Shyam in FPS. He feels just like you….its almost like you can feel his emotions or what he is thinking and then you sit straight and realized you would have done the same thing in his place!! That’s why FPS was most loved book across the college campuses. 2 SSMM have the same quality that makes you identify with Krish Malhotra, be it his helplessness in fight between his in laws and his mother or his boredom with job or his pain of heartbreak. Chetan Bhagat has definitely reached another level with this novel. Makes you stop and think again about your life and what do you want in life!!!
Then One Night @ the Call Center 6/10