Why the heck is Chetan Bagat a bestseller!

The past few hours, I have been awake, I have finished off Chetan Bagat’s lastest supposed to be bestseller – The Two States. I am pretty much amused that I have taken over one and half years to complete half of my PG Wodehouse collections, may be of the same size or a little bigger each, whereas I am finishing the almost same sized Indian Novel in hardly a day’s quarter. As I try to analyse why Chetans novels are so famous across India, I was pretty much amused with myself as to why I am so slow in progressing along the PGW books! Anyone in London’s biblio circle would definitely pay me a price to read them. Am I progressing slowly because they are of senseless British humour? (Sorry here, as I have just read a book with half of Punjabi humour), or slow because the fonts are slightly smaller, or because its of a foreign author, or a book of the bygone eras… and so on and so forth! However for once, for none of my essays for analysing arguments nor for any B School case studies, thought I would pick this one up. Why are Chetan Bagat’s novels a mega hit in India?

Chetan’s novel has graduated from Indian teens, students to working professionals. Although it has encompassed all aspects of their lives, his books have even covered the cultural sensitivity and ethnicity in India. Mostly his books have captured the active imagination of every youngster who reads it and probably imagines him or her to be in that situation as most of the people of the age group would go through similar stories. Of all his books, The Three Mistakes of my life, was slow and bad. I admit, I fell asleep and reading it was one of my life’s several mistakes.

Many argue, his books are in Bollywood filmy style. I disagree with that. It mostly is a piece of combination of the mazes of Indian culture. His first book was entirely based in an IIT and the happenings in an IIT! Indians dream to get into any institute with the Indian Institute/School of * tag. That made the masses who dream to read the book. It was well written and to some extent covered the life of IITians as desired by a non-IITian. It also mused over the teen life crises of an average Indian and well comparable to most of our lives. In the recent times, it was a great success by an Indian author and hats off to him for getting people back to reading books and taking time off the idiot box (at that time TV was still a box).

The next book One Night at a Call Center was just average according to my views. It largely concentrated on the sector providing employment to most of the youth of nowadays the BPO’s. Decently portrayed, the dreams of individuals, their aim to achieve them, coming out of their middle class blues, love, lust all the Indian audience wanted was just perfect. But a bit over-bored (No, I am not making a spelling mistake for overboard here), for me. The book was made into a movie and was a disaster in the box office, proving that his movies are not of Bollywood ishtyle.

The third book, took a direct dig at the situation in Gujrath at that time, it was the most boring of the three, portrayed on the life of a guy who desires to be the next Anil Ambani starting a cricket gear shop. Nice idea may be an inspiration to some, but has portrayed a negative image on Gujrath due to the riots. Just a decent book, probably signaling that Bagath was moving down south, from Delhi to Gujrath and next further down.

Yesterday, I got a copy of the Two States. Well I presume as my previous paragraph hinted, Bagat had moved south and way south to Chennai! The book has direct references to the North South divide in India, but in the end, portrays in a much better fashion that we are united however divided we are across our 30 odd states (I remember there were 26 or 27 when I studied, have lost touch now). The book again starts of with a dream of everyone joining India’s most prestigious management institute, the IIMA. Then on moves along the IIM dorms, portraying the love that got North and South together. Further down, it proves that anyone can survive in Chennai, which I still doubt and even covers the protagonist of the story working for Citibank, a dream of every MBA, to work in the finance sector. No matter what, it also proves that people do MBA without plans and re-emphasises the cultural difference and thoughts across India. At the, end the couple have a happy ending and Punjab shakes hands with TamilNadu. To me its the best book of the four and may inspire more and more cross state weddings in India.

This again is not Bollywood style. This is what happens in India. The book re-defines modern careers and the aspect with which people choose their careers. Bollywood never does that or its unnoticed in most cases. The book has references to Madrasis, Black people, Dosa, Idli all over, well I think some things never change. Time for people to identify themselves as Indians. However at a time, when the whole of the country is fighting over languages, the book is most welcome, hope the hero was a Marathi and probably the story would have ended up uniting two states which have fought the most over their language!

As I head back to my other books, I mark this book as a must read for most of you as its good and for some moment may take you out of your Plasmas or LCDs. But please note, I still detest working in Chennai or Madras, not because of the people, language, culture or anything.  But because of the weather!

The Sacrifice

I was planning to write a review for Kurbaan movie here. Bur after going through the movie, I decided not to! However to give you a feel, I will post an amazing link provided by Ravikiran! Thanks for this Ravi!

Kurbaan Review: http://ow.ly/164eK3

I sacrifice this post for bearing three hours in the theater!

The LoL’ish World

Nowadays, I am confused with the very language I am used for professional communiation. The LoL culture is a contribution for it. Never in my schooldays or your school days as well, were we ever taught the acronym LoL.

Young people to the almost dying are now prone to using LoL word! Confused, today I decided to search out what exactly this stands for. The only acronyms I knew was Lots of Love and Laughing out Loud! Now its confusing if the fairer sex uses the acronym as I do not know what is the exact expansion they have fired at me ;). Of course, for others I presume its always the latter!

Look at the other definitions:

Loyal Orange Lodge – Imagine if this is used again in some conext! What does that mean, you are invited to….. belch!!! Come on I dunno the context.

List of Lists’ List of Links – If my manager replies LoL, I definitely will presume that its going to be some list of an unknown list he is referring to!

Little old Lady – Aah… you have got it wrong, I am a bold young man! I know you are a dumbass sitting in front of an intelligent terminal who does not/ cannot see who is chatting at the other end.

If I am allowed to go back to the bollywood and if some cute girl is typing across, may be it stands for ‘Laila o Laila!’.

As I still leave this writing in a confused mind, I hope people pining on my IM, explain what they use their abbrevations henceforth saving some trouble for me and helping me using my active imagination of something else.


A BirthDay in India after two years!

Finally I am celebrating my birthday in India! For two years destiny had ensured that I would complete my mid twenties in a far away country. A day to celebrate as I have some home food and good sweet prepared by mom, even though in a smaller quatity.

May be a coincidence, my most adored comic characters – Calvin and Hobbes were launched on the 18th day of November, Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Three as well! Aah… All geniuses have something in common right? I would prefer to sit laze around and pick a few copies of Bill Watterson’s latest collections unless my mom has pre-booked my only annual appointments with the gods. May I be saved from thy wrath O Lord!

Many thanks to those of you who tried wishing me by calling at the stroke of midnight. Deliberately all my numbers were switched off. I am not a fool to lose my sleep on the day I want to :). Anyway thanks for calling and trying to ping me on my social networking accounts.

Had to update this post! Mickey mouse was born (Had its first broadcast), on this day as well!!!

The Wall is Back…

The past few days, my mail box is a mess with self generated spam from our very own friendly group of ‘like-minded’ people. The raging debate was not on our national language, we have left that to the television channels! It was who is better – “Sachin Tendulkar” or “Rahul Dravid”.

Me and a few other takers for the “pure cricket” still vote “Rahul Dravid” way above anyone. Others play for records, he plays for the team, is what we believe. May be to Raj Thackarays surprise lots of my non-Maharashtrian friends back Sachin! Let me be honest, I have always felt he plays for the records.

He has amassed so many records that it has left the likes of Rahul Dravid and Saurav Ganguly look nowhere inspite of them achieving much more than what he has or contribute more as a ‘team’ than the Mr Cricket of Indian cricket. (with due respects to Mr Mike Hussey, I flick off the Mr Cricket tag).

Today the Mr Perfect of Indian cricket has silenced his critics with a one day like knock of 177* in the first test of SriLanka, that too at a time when India were in shatters at 25-4! Where was Tendulkar, he got out at 4! Definitely Rahul earns a recall back to the ODI team and that too as a prominent player till the end of 2011 world cup. He has ‘more than’ what Tendulkar has left in him, to play for the Indian cricket. I am definitely sure that a mongrel 50+ innings in the next match or session from Tendulkar is going to light the fire in his fans, but beware ‘he is just playing for another record – THE MAXIMUM NUMBER of test 50’s!!! Haha – Hero of the Nation!!!! 🙂 Well, whatever you patrons of my blog think, I just hope Jammy completes his 200 tomorrow, not for any records, but hoping the Indian bowling attack has a decent score to defend.

Aamhi Maraathe!

Sachin, just had to say this in a press conference. Unluckily he said, I am an Indian and attracted the ire of the Shiv Sena Supremo, Balasaheb Thackarey! How unlucky is an Indian to call himself an Indian last and identify himself with the state first. I have never seen such divisions earlier in India. The past two years have been extremely horrific in terms of regionalism and the virus has spread to the backbone of the Indian populace.

Shiva Sena, meanwhile has lost its significance and I persently feel that the units in other parts of India minus Maharashtra, must rename themselves or merge with other like minded outfits. Otherwise, days are not far, when every state would want to speak Marathi!

Its an immature statement by ShivaSena today to ridicule Sachin, who is a brand ambassador for the nation like this. I hope they will be more tolerant in the future and issue an apology before things turn out to be more saucy. In addition to this, continuing with my statements in the previous blog, not even one single person in Karnataka has questioned Dravid of being a non-kannadiga :). Well kudos to the state. Its way ahead of others!

PS: I am not promoting any regionalism here by highligting Kannada. Its just that I am observing too much of regionalism in other states. Minus the current political mayhem, Karnataka seems to be a decent place to live in!

Hindi Hai Hum!

Raj Thackarey and his Maharastra NavNirman Sena, have created a ruckus in the Maharashtra Assembly. All this just over a language. One of the state’s MLA took an oath in Hindi and the MNS MLAs ransacked the entire hall in front of all the Television Cameras.

I think its time for them/ the DMK, which feels you must know tamil to be eternal, to slow down and see why a lot is being stressed on Hindi. Hindi is taught in almost all the states across the country minus TN and Kerala as far as I know. It is tought to make an irrational crowd accept Tamil or Marathi as their National Language or learn it. But given the popularity, history and similarities to many other languages, Hindi is largely spoken and in fact can serve as a Unification Factor across our entire Nation as the Central Government insists.

Karnataka has been a rather peaceful state and more tolerant towards its languages. Even though I am a staunch supporter of Kannada, I am pretty much sure, that across the state no organization would ever or will even think of bashing up non Kannada speaking people like the MNS does. Karnataka also supports some 6-7 dialects that I know of and equally supports those languages to develop as well. What has been insisted is that Kannada and its culture must not be forgotten and organizations like the Karnataka Rakshana Vedike and Co are upto the mark and ensure that the interests for Kannada are well maintained and never turn rogue unless severly provoked. Something that MNS needs to learn from.

Also, what the DMK and MNS must see is the benifit that their citizens are having. I have seen loads of people from TN come to Karnataka and struggle to speak any other language making their survival tough. Whereas people who come from elsewhere easily adjust as the cosmopolitan state has a multilingual person probably at the highest density.

Anyways, the issue over the languages can definitely not be doused for now and is most probably going to reach its peak shortly. I attribute this trouble to those who re-organized the states on a linguistic basis. Most probably, if they had ensured that the current states had a minor spread into each of its neighbors or vice versa, I think the current problem may have not arised at all. We would have had all multicultural and multilingual states. For now, that shall remain a dream and just hope for the good as I go back to bed listening to some French CD’s.