Saturday, December 19, 2009

Two States

I did it! I came out of my shell,with an inching reluctance,took a look around and decided to crawl back in.Earlier this year, I had resolved to look beyond the lure of classic literature(when it comes to classic literature I am the proverbial moth that hovers around a flame).I've read non fiction,contemporary fiction,books on evolution,theoretical physics,self help and endless rhetoric. I miss the comfort of my familiar niche.I miss the lilt of the words and the archaic obsolescence of the writing.This feeling is reinforced by a recent reading of 'Two States' by Chetan Bhagat.

Chetan Bhagat is something of a poster boy for self confessed 'unsophisticated' writing.He is as colloquial as the 'big fat Indian novel' is allegorical.'Two States' is the saga of a couple who meet at business school,fall in love and nearly end up being star crossed lovers as they are from very different communities.The stereotypes are easily recognizable and the writing makes it almost possible to play the various Indian accents in your head.At times the book assumes the pace of three hour long Bollywood film.At some point I began to wonder if the lovers were going to burst into song and run around trees.

Bhagat has often been hailed as simplicity's answer to the 'great Indian novel'.Bhagat's style is unassuming and annoyingly simple.Unlike R K Narayan,whose style is unequivocally Indian in a quirky but lovable way,Chetan Bhagat's writing ends up being dry and predictable.If I want to hear the juicy account of a star crossed marriage,I needn't look beyond the ever prevalent and ubiquitous neighbourhood gossip.

As an afterthought;I should try Vikram Seth.

6 comments:

kitoo said...

dear good lord, poor chetan if he reads this he will prob kill you. what were you expecting from a chetan bhagat novel? its not a anna karina or madam bovary

La Diva! said...

I expect something a little less cliche.

Gammafunction said...

well isn't it time Chetan Bhagat stops assuming that Indians possess the IQ levels of infants?I believe all bad writing comes from reading trash.I prescribe only about ten pages of Dostovesky to cure CB.amen.

La Diva! said...

Finally someone understands!

kitoo said...

dostovesky is a league apart and definitely will cure the chetan blues.

Suhas said...

I'm no fan of Bhagat myself, but given the makeup of his core audience, it's understandable why the writing and content in his books are the way they are. I'm guessing he reaches out to the occasional reader (or non-reader, if you will), who is looking for something undemanding to fill up his spare time, and who would ordinarily prefer a mindless masala flick or an evening out with friends to reading a book.