Revolution 2020 Screenplay-Action!

"Revolution 2020" Chetan Bhagat

“Revolution 2020” by Chetan Bhagat

If Karan Johar (An Indian film maker) went to MIT , wound up in investment banking, and wrote screenplays instead, he would be called- Chetan Bhagat. I was hoping that Mr.Bhagat’s latest book would offer a rebuttal to the sinking feeling at the pit of my stomach every time I read one of his follow-ups to “Five Point Someone” but fortunately or unfortunately, it simply cemented it.

Reading his last  fiction effort “Revolution 2020” was exactly that-An effort.

Whaaa....!!??

Whaaa….!!??

The book starts out with a typical teenage crush. It shows some promise in the beginning with an interesting series of character descriptions and then, ten pages in, the shit hits the fan. You are basically crippled by the inability to look away from the car crash that is this piece of “literature”. The book winds down with a horrifying climax involving a lover boy who sacrifices his heart’s desire for his ladylove’s best interests. If the author’s aim in writing all the books since “Five Point Someone” was hinting towards a career change into Bollywood, he has succeeded stupendously with this one. Since there is so little to write about this inexplicably low quality screenplay, let us take a quick tour of all his books.

"Two States" Chetan Bhagat

“Two States” by  Chetan Bhagat

I read “ Two States” with great gusto, mainly out of curiosity, given that my love life followed a similar route. As much as I guffawed at the highly dramatized version of things in Mr.Bhagat’s book, I had to appreciate the sheer showmanship in his writing. He feels the pulse of the Indian audience,as it was 20 years ago and encourages them to think that all weddings are supposed to be glittery extravaganzas and that all major issues are related to religion.You are invariably left wishing for someone to deliver a “Coup de grace” and end your suffering.

"Five Point Someone" by Chetan Bhagat

“Five Point Someone”                      Chetan Bhagat

In an effort to figure out if his writing had always been such a train wreck, I read “Five Point Someone” once more. The book that millions of readers, myself included, loved so much. And I loved it again. There is no doubt that the book is brilliant. The characters were beautifully described, the writing was fresh, the idea was down to earth and struck a truthful chord. Each of the later novels leaves me with a renewed appreciation for the first book. The effortless flow, and the story telling panache, is something he has never been able to replicate. The book was like a comet- a bright shining moment, and the others are like the tail, leaving a trail of debris in their wake.

"The three mistakes of my life" by Chetan Bhagat

“The three mistakes of my life”             Chetan Bhagat

The best way to describe “The Three Mistakes of my Life” is likening it to Congress propaganda against Narendra Modi. Religious riots are an unfortunate side effect of a secular democracy. They should be dealt with swiftly, efficiently, and not used to churn out poorly written embarrassments to the Indian literary community. Funnily enough, Mr.Bhagat doesn’t seem to recognize the irony in the correlation between this title and the dismal failure of his last three books.

All in all, maybe Mr.Bhagat should think of permanently and honestly declaring that all he wants to do is join the Bollywood bandwagon. It is an insult to not just the literary world, but to the common educated man, when a movie is recycled into a book and vice versa repeatedly, until one day, they all run out of options.

"What Young India Wants" by Chetan Bhagat

“What Young India Wants”                 Chetan Bhagat

As one of the representatives of the Indian youth, I will definitely not be reading his narcissistic compilation of talks “What young India wants” since the man clearly has no idea what the hell he is talking about. It is impossible to expect a man with writing so shallow, to have thoughts profound enough to feel the energy and potential of the Indian youth.Despite his efforts to sound like this generation’s Swami Vivekananda, all he is, is a frog in a well. He lacks global perspective, churns out mediocre fare, and is simply a disappointment from start to finish. He should take writing lessons from Amish(Author of the series : “The Immortals of Meluha”), who comes from a similar background educationally and career-wise , and is the pride of the modern Indian literary community.He will no doubt, be able to enunciate to Mr.Bhagat what it is to truly inspire the Indian youth, and impart much needed lessons in humility while he is at it.

"One night at the call centre" Chetan Bhagat

“One night @ the call centre”        Chetan Bhagat

In a leap of faith, hoping for an end to Mr.Bhagat’s attempts at being the face of modern Indian literature, I will be saying a little prayer to the “God” at the end of “One night at the call centre”.

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Categories: Counting sheep from my pillow | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

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13 thoughts on “Revolution 2020 Screenplay-Action!

  1. Anonymous

    nice divya 🙂 unfortunately I read all his books too… nothing like five point someone..

  2. Judgmental cynic

    I have neither read enough literary books nor have I read all of his, but in my opinion his books have always been masala genre and not real art. Five point someone is interesting, maybe because everything there is not out of his imagination 😛

    I agree with you that his writing is shallow and he “clearly has no idea what the hell he is talking about” but I am not sure if he “since “Five Point Someone” was hinting towards a career change into Bollywood”.
    I feel from the beginning his books were aimed at Bollywood. After all Five Point Someone did “inspire” the biggest commercial hit movie of that year, 3 idiots.

    Either way, the man is very popular in India and IS making a lot of money. Earlier I saw him on TV, giving his view on different social issues and now I even see him endorsing shaadi.com.

    Though, I will give him some credit! His books were read by a lot of people who probably never read anything other than what was there in their curriculum. Hopefully they will read other authors before claiming reading as their hobby 🙂

    • Thanks for the detailed discussion! I agree that he has birthed a very successful money making scheme. I also agree with your observation that a lot of people in India have probably read out of curriculum books for the first time because of his popularity. Like you, I’m hoping they’ll come across some form of criticism like this, and broaden their horizons to include better authors!

  3. Viraja

    Nice Divya. I too have read all his books except the last. I endorse your views on each one of his books. Five Point Something–Was something! The rest– especially -One Night @the Call Centre- made me wonder if it was written by the same person!! That our film makers still want to make films based on his novels, is a mystery to me!

  4. akhil

    Nice work. Liked it. good one 😀
    I too have had the same views while reading his books.
    The main reason why his books are so famous is that, people could or students could relate the incidents to their own lives a bit more easily.
    I personally liked “Five point someone” and “Two states”, the rest I just read out of curiosity.
    His books are definitely looked upon by Bollywood too, 3idiots,kai po che and who knows what’s yet to come.

    • Thanks Akhil 🙂 If you are looking for better fare, I highly recommend “The Immortals of Meluha”. It is an extremely well written book, with a very interesting and realistic take on Indian mythology.

  5. Nayanika

    I really like Chetan Bhagat mainly for the way he describes people’s personalities and mannerisms,where you go”Oh my god, so many people do that!”.For example,in ‘One night at the call center’ when he says people like Esha hardly eat but still go around asking for treats.Or when he says Ganesh was just one of the thousands working in Microsoft but to his parents he was Mr. Bill Gates himself. It’s very close to the real world and frankly has given me many laughs.Maybe his writing style is not eloquent or descriptive enough but his books have got plenty of story to them to make you read them in one shot. And oh,they are quite light on the pocket too!:) (My favourite book of his is 2 states btw!)

    • Nayanika, Thank you for taking the time to express your views! I don’t deny the fact that Mr.Bhagat’s books appeal to a large population, and are certainly entertaining to a multitude of age groups. My criticism of his writing is my personal opinion and may or may not represent how others feel. However, I do appreciate your defense of his writing. A book should be able to make the reader feel good, and I’m glad his books do that for you!

  6. Nayanika

    And yes,I am a bookworm being a big fan of authors like Khaled Hosseini and Dan Brown;I dont just read Chetan Bhagat!

  7. this one is my first book of chetan bhagat. It grips me right from start of the book and engage throughout the book. If you ever in love , while reading this you will certainly remember your days and would sympathies with Gopal ( if you able relate to him).
    Although ending is quite filmy, throughout the book characters has been placed very well and plot has been interesting , although its character of Raghav should have been explored more.

    It was a good read worth a try.

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