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BOOK REVIEW

BY CHANDNI WADHWA ROLL NO.50 F.Y.B.M.M. NAME OF THE BOOK:- 2 STATES-THE STORY OF MY MARRIAGE AUTHOR:- CHETAN BHAGAT PRICE:- Rs.95/PUBLISHER:- RUPA & CO. Chetan Bhagat has been hailed as the most popular, influential and biggest selling Indian author in English language. With his previously released three books being widely read across the country, his fourth release 2 States, is another masterpiece from this young novelist. 2 States-The Story Of My Marriage was released by Bhagat on 8th October,2009 after he quit his job as an investment banker. It is a story about a couple coming from two different states of India, who face hardships in convincing their parents for approval of their marriage. The novel is a work of fiction but is said to be inspired from the real story of the author and his wife Anusha, who are from Delhi and Tamil Nadu, respectively. 2 States: The Plot The plot is a basic one-girl meets boy, they fall in love, etc. But by the end of the above description, this couple- Ananya & Krish- almost fell out of love trying to get their respective families to like each other. So you have a fun loving Punjabi boy from Delhi fall in love with a South Indian girl,who is a Tamil Brahmin from Chennai. More like a marriage of Paranthas and idlis ,panner and coconut! The initial pages of the book are set up in IIM-Ahmedabad. Krish and Ananya meet in the canteen for the first time and eventually over a few days of combined study, fall in love. Later it moves to South where Krish takes a job at Citibank Chennai, Ananyas hometown and pays visits to her house to warm up her parents and brother. In my opinion, this section is the most interesting section of the story. It is expertly narrated and the author has managed to successfully balance the most hilarious and emotional moments of the story. The story then continues where Ananya makes a short trip to Delhi, Krishs hometown to meet his mother, who is very much against South Indian girls. Now, the biggest hurdle is when they have to convince their parents. But can a Punjabi and a Tamilian speak to eachother without any conflict? That is the twist in the story and can make many emotional readers shed tears. Does that mean the story does not have a Happy Ending? Well, being dedicated to an Indian audience,it should certainly have a happy ending. But what happens next and how the story shapes up is for the readers to find out. I am not going to reveal everything here as I do not want to be the suspense spoiler.

2 States: The Theme Chetan Bhagat has always tried saying something through his books and in 2 States, under the camouflage of a sweet love story almost Bollywoodish, he hits hard at Indians over their austere attitude to cross-cultural, inter-state love marriages. However Bhagat's dig at racism though sarcastic and direct is humorous and witty Marble flooring is to a Punjabi what a foreign degree is to a Tamilian. The age old antipathy between North and South Indians is dealt with such delight that readers will often find themselves laughing away uncontrollably. Having to face cultural differences is common in India with couples in love and as a youth icon, Bhagat truly delivers as his characters are totally identifiable. 2 States: Symbolism Chetan Bhagat has some affinity with numbers! All his books till date have a number in them.Also his characters have names of Hindu gods and religious undertones at some place. In 2 States, Bhagat shows his religiousness through the Aurobindo Ashram episode with Guruji in Pondicherry. 2 States: The Writing Style A striking observation that I have made about Bhagats writing style is that he does not write like a typical literary, he writes like an M.B.A. He does not publish a book because he has a story to tell, instead he writes according to what the masses would like to read. He always chooses topics which are the talk of the town at that particular time. His target audience is the YOUTH. He focuses on striking a chord with the youth of India and chooses subjects which they can connect to and primarily, what can actually SELL in the market. For example, at the time when IIT and IIM were considered the best educational options for every youngster, he released his first book Five Point Someone. Then when the call centres were booming in the industrial market, he released One Night at a Call Centre. Since cricket has always been a trending topic in India, he published The Three Mistakes Of My Life. This time, he chose to write a love story and what could better than choosing a North Indian boy and a South Indian girl as the protagonists! After all, the Indian Readers Market is mainly divided into North and South India. Therefore, he wrote his fourth book-2 States. 2 States is written in lucid prose and linear narratives. Bhagats animated and passionate story telling comes through everywhere whether it is his delightfully familiar descriptions of an Indian city with its usual elements like autos, packed public buses, hassled traffic cops and tiny shops that sold groceries or conflicting emotions between the land of paranthas and paneer and the land of idlis and dosas.. His humour is at its best in exposing the stuck-up attitude of Indians regarding their own culture through Krish and Ananya's folks. 2 States: Highlights of the book The humour is situational as well as slapdash and does manage to make the reader play a smile all along. The pace of the story, which picks up from Bhagats earlier bestseller makes 2 States a no-put-downer. Surprisingly, it touches an emotional chord near the end as an alienated father and son overcome their reservations. In fact, all facets of a relationship have been shortly dealt with: father-son, motherdaughter-, father-in-law-son-in-law, boss-protg. 2 States: the story of my marriage is a formula book; it works wonders with the average Indian reader. Its got emotions, romance, friendship, music, betrayal, exploitation, Indian families on the verge of break-up and then re-uniting, elaborate

weddings, tearful mothers, nosy relatives, spirituality, office politics, just-for-laugh lines and a predictable ending. All in all,it is a romantic comedy that keeps you hooked right from the word go and takes you to a thrilling climax. I would suggest everyone to read this book for its fresh approach to love and marriage, and not as a literary piece.