Tuesday, October 13, 2009


'2 States’ the latest from the latest youth icon, Chetan Bhagat, is about a Punjabi Munda by name of Krish wanting to marry Ananya, a Madrasi, er..Tamilian – a TamBrahm to be precise, with whom he falls in love while doing his management course at IIM-A. As the pretty lass finds her charms begetting several testosterone-charged proposals, Krish walks away with the south Indian delicacy.

Soon love-notes and sweet-nothings scribbled on pieces of paper travel desk-to-desk, hand-by-hand to each other and the campus witnesses the fondness grow into deep love. Before you know it, the course draws to a close and it is time to grab those elite well-paid jobs during the campus placements, while also ensuring that they live together in the same city too. Now that the boy loves girl and girl loves boy, you would think it’s a done deal. Far from it – what about the boy’s family – would she love the girl? And would the girl’s family love the boy? Would the fair-skinned, brawny, non-veg-eating North Indian extended family do a bhaangda-shaangda with the dark-skinned, brainy, conservative, vegetarian South Indian family?

Chetan Bhagat’s book takes the readers through an amazing story of the efforts these lovers put in to win the hearts of the families so that they would like to see a smile on each and everyone’s face on the day of their marriage. The task seems to be daunting, considering the different cultures and traditions being followed by each of their respective states, besides difficult inter-personal relationships within their families. But Krish and Ananya have ruled out eloping and leaving behind unhappy families, so they set on their task.

The book is LOL-loaded with great ROFL moments even at times when the protagonists, the lovers that is go through their travails, which is really amazing. It is easy to identify with many of the situations described in the book, yet the manner in which the story is told stands out for its simple narrative and humorous pitch. The perceived notions the people of the 2 states have about each other come through in several incidents.

By far the best humorous and entertaining book from an Indian author, that I have read so far. The story of boy-meets-girl-they-fall-in-love must’ve been told a thousand times, this one stands out with the freshness - and a cause – that of seeing beyond narrow boundaries. A must read – don’t miss it! On a scale of 1-5, I would rate it 4.

PS: Chetan Bhagat while answering questions at the book launch at Oberoi Mall, Goregaon, mentioned that though the book is based on his own experiences, when he married Anusha, his real life was not as dramatic as the story in the book.

The Book- 2 States
Author: Chetan Bhagat
Publisher: Rupa & Co.
Price: Rs. 95/-