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Monday, January 25, 2021

Bibliophiles may know many authors, authors whom they love, hate, and criticize. Still, if one author is known by mostly every youngster of India irrespective of them having read his books or not, it is Chetan Bhagat. Bhagat is an author who took off his writing career with astonishing success and reached a point where he only received trolls and nothing more for any of his books. What is the reason behind the trolls for an author who was received well once? Why Chetan Bhagat’s novels suck? Let’s discuss it in this article.

 


Chetan’s Two States and a few of his initial releases were well received. But, as his releases' curve went up, the turn of like for him went down among the readers. I don’t want to associate my dislike with his novels to trolls and controversial tweets he posts; let me simply stick to his writings.

 

After a few movie adaptions, his books sounded more like a screenplay than a novel. If you had grown watching those sparkly Bollywood movies, you would absolutely guess the next move in his book. Isn’t that a fact about worrying?

 

The market he has gained is mostly from his first few books that were genuinely good. Perhaps the audience that Bhagat targets is not a community of literary intellects but the people who are starting their book journey. With simple English (which certainly is questioned by his trollers), his novels manage to find a comfortable place on their bookshelves.

 

Hailing from IIT and IIM, choosing a writing career over fancy jobs, he came out as a rebel, which most of us wanted to be, but then came the realization and then the trolls. However, Chetan knows the knack of making a bestseller out of anything or nothing when most Indian authors struggle to even get their book out for publishing.

 

Chetan's books will have few common points: the protagonist hailing from a top university, being a failure, falls for the most beautiful girl on the campus, and manages to win her love. This is the bottom line on which he adds salt and pepper to create a best seller. The books that came out of a genuine passionate author who wanted to change are gone for good. Now, it's only commercial hits that can either be made into a Bollywood movie or a bestseller for no reason.

 

Chetan’s books have the most problematic issues with describing women and their parts. He tries to bring love and romance into his stories, but he only creates erotic scenes. Books of Indian authors like Preeti Shenoy, Anita Desai, Vikram Seth, and many more don’t have lewd scenes, yet they are well received. 

 

His book the Two States was genuinely accepted by a wide range of readers, unlike his recent work The Girl in Room 105. In the Two States, both cultures were described in their diversity, and mutual beliefs was a page-turner. Though few scenes were dramatic and had questionable descriptions, I loved how the story grew and ended. It was a simple story that can make a decent read.

 

In Revolution 2020, which again only objectified women, not all the story parts can be neglected. It showed the dark side of the politics that exist and how it turns to be a black hole from which we can never come back once we fall into it. This story of a young boy opting to build his future out of the fortune he found unexpectedly reflects the common man’s conscience. None of us wants to take the wrong path, but some circumstance provokes us to take one, yet we stay the same loyal person we are. We try to amend our mistakes in every way possible. Revolution 2020 correctly portrayed this.


His book One Indian Girl, which was supposed to be breaking the stereotypes of being a girl, did its work for some point. Radhika, the protagonist of the story, is a single, high paid, insecure girl who keeps falling for the wrong guys and almost marrying a guy chosen by her parents. The fact that how high you go, women are to face the insecurities resulting from what she had been taught to believe all their life is an undeniable fact. Though the story was a bit too much served on a plate, it did convey the message. Again, however, it was a novel made to be a movie. 

 

His recent novel, The Girl in Room 105, is trying to show its readers the issue of Kashmir and its citizens. The problems they face every day to lead an everyday life are the fight they have to endure to save their children from becoming a terrorist. But these issues were not stressed enough to be left in the hearts of the reader. It is carried away in the story. The problem is that Bhagat's novels tend to talk about more significant issues only to have them addressed more but left hanging. Besides being categorized as the “unlove story,” this book is the same as his other works.

 

This is how his books reduced from being beautiful to decent to be nothing more than an ordinary story with predictable twists.


He has an influential tone among the readers, not to deny it, but his works fail to carry any such messages. It is not until you start reading books of much more worth, you understand this fact. A person who begins with Chetan Bhagat expands his/her reading to authors like Khaled Hosseini, John Green, and other beautiful authors who leave a mark on the issue they are trying to address without disturbing the story. It tells how much he lacks creativity. The issues Chetan tries to address are often lost in the flow of his story.


On reading his books, you don’t get that heart-clenching feel. It feels more like an incident happening around you while you are walking past it. He is nowhere closer to creating a classic novel that can be reached, read, and repeated. 


I don’t really believe that the complete popularity he gained is due to the IIT brand he holds; no literary enthusiasts would choose a book for the IIT tag. Not all his books would become a bestseller for that reason. The popularity he gained is partly because of his few good books and mostly because of the trolls he faces.


Despite the trolls, there should be some reason for his books to make the top-selling categories every time. He gives his stories in a lite, easy English which anyone can read. Chetan holds this pride of turning most youngsters of his era to books, I cannot statistically prove if that is true, but I have seen many people whose first, and some of their only read, is Chetan Bhagat’s novels.

 

However, his readers are being looked down on for just reading his books. Carrying Chetan Bhagat’s book is a stigma among readers; people who read his books are tagged for poor English and mitigated intellect, and these are baseless criticisms. An author can be criticized for his works but stigmatizing him and his readers are not healthy.

 

On reading a book, you expect to understand each and every word in it. When the author uses one or two words of local languages to give you the gist of the protagonist’s nature, you can always look them up, but the same will turn to be annoying when you have a whole sentence to look up, and yet you are not sure about the correct meaning. Chetan Bhagat’s novel has a lot of dialogues conversed in the local language. These are irritating at few points.


He could do with the fame he had got and become more careful with the tweets and voices he makes. Good or bad, Chetan is seen as an influence to many youngsters, and he has to hold responsible for his actions. He could talk more sense in his books, which will reach several young people all along with the nation instead of creating books-to-be-Bollywood-movies. He is responsible for bringing change in the next generation's mindset, choosing the most powerful medium, and being popular in it, he can make one. Still, he keeps himself stuck in the whirlpool of Indian stigmas and keeps his readers stuck with him.


Chetan’s books completely suck, and it will change only if he chooses to bring back the excellent stories he once weaved and thinks of improvising his standards.

 


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