Sunday, October 9, 2011

Revolution 2020

Chetan Bhagat, the superstar of Indian ‘time-pass book’ writing, has always been severely accused for the lack of concern for the language he employs in his book. It is not the language alone; for a long time he has been criticized for stripping the art out of the writing and marketing the content with sex and toilet jokes. Yet, like any superstar, how much ever critics trash him, he sells!

The only possible question that ensues is – ‘how?’ 
Does it really matter – ‘how’? It may matter for people who have tried to emulate him: some successful, some not. But why should we bother about the intricate details of his success story? Yet we do – don’t we? In a society damned by inequalities, if one were to analyze the type of readers/ audience for any art-form here, it would come to the purview that there are two kinds of people out there: one who is enthralled by what is being said – the fresher & other by how it has been said – that’s us. That is why we bother about the intricate details of his success story – with all his clichés how did he click?

To answer that, Chetan depends on the familiarity of the tale – the very tale that had been pushed down the drain as cliché – to spread his opinions/views. One might call him the local author who decrypts the foreign authors for the bereaved bourgeois who never bothered about the basics. But he doesn’t preach philosophy either. Instead, he successfully entwines some common sense and a bit of philosophy/psychology to the readers through his characters that start out as losers.

However, for someone who wants to bring about a revolution within his target audience & India on the whole through the likes of Raghav’s pink coloured newspaper, his forte still lies in romance. The way he chiseled the character of Gopal – who comes off as someone who could write a book on how a girl would react, yet clueless as to how to convince them – is a touch of a master. There are glitches towards the end, as the book unfolds itself to melodrama by the drama king Gopal; not to forget the narcissism that is increasingly eminent in Chetan’s book, with every important character treating him as God and he in return teaching them Gita like Krishna. Yet, for portraying a romance that transcends the boundary of faith & infidelity, it really is a revolution for the target audience.

A part of this article appeared in THE HINDU - NXG

1 comment:

  1. Perfect justice done Harish. I was praying you would't glorify the book, considering what you had tweeted. Thank you for the unbiased review. :)


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