After One Night @ the Call Center and The 3 Mistakes Of My Life, Chetan Bhagat has come out with a new novel – 2 States. This latest book from Chetan Bhagat is about the love saga of two individuals from different geographical states in India! As the name suggests, it is not about 2 States in India –Tamil Nadu and Delhi but about the diverse state of mind of people hailing from the 2 States also!
Written with an easy to read prose style, the plot is about two individuals Ananya Swaminathan, a Tamil Brahmin from Chennai, and Krish from Delhi who meets at IIM Ahmadabad. They start off as friends and against the backdrop of practical thinking agree to keep their friendship to the confines of academics. But their focused joint study sessions gradually meander from the world of academics into the irresistible domain of love and romance. And for two years they go around happily but as all good things must come to an end, so also does this hunky-dory love story. This is where the story actually begins.
What follows is a series of endeavors undertaken from both Krish and Ananya in bridging the gap of differences, mainly cultural between their families to make their relationship gain acceptance. In the process, Chetan Bhagat brings out the subtleties that exist in the lifestyle and outlook towards the life of people from different states. The effect is accentuated further when the reader views these idiosyncrasies from the eyes of the character of another state.
So, Krish finds life in a track of its own in Chennai where people tend to be conservative, love Carnatic music, and go to bed early apart from having a penchant for South Indian food. Well, if this is one side to the coin, then the other side to the coin is also well showcased. And that is about Delhi where people have an air of haughtiness and an unseen halo of wealth and ego which surfaces at every possible occasion without a miss. A gaudy display is best seen at a get-together or marriage and the book vividly brings it out! Apart from this, there is the great emphasis laid on what one looks like, and perhaps ‘All that glitters is gold’! The gorge in the mindsets is well showcased through the characters in the book. The characters are well constructed though maybe not in the detail but the incidents in the plot do make up for it.
While Ananya has her conservative family to convince, Krish has a task even tougher than Ananya as he has an emotional mother and irate father with whom he shares a non-functional fractured relationship.
Whether the endeavors of the two love birds meet an all happy ending is something I leave the reader to figure out. But what the reader would get in the course of reading 2 States are a series of some hilarious moments and instances that bring out the idiosyncrasies and dogma practiced by the 2 States. Also, there would be instances that would draw the thoughts of the reader to the notion of being an Indian before a South Indian or a North Indian. In a world, where borders are getting dissolved slowly with technology and development, such a thought carries a lot of weight.
And in a country like India which has many India’s in it, the magnitude of such a thought gets magnified! So, enjoy reading this latest novel from Chetan Bhagat and hope you love it and don’t forget to leave your thoughts about the 2 States novel.