2 States (Book Review)

In recent times I saw many people walking around with the book 2 States by Chetan Bhagat. Then some people were telling how he has writtes about Madrasis (read Tamilians). (Anybody from South India for a North Indian is a Madrasi) I never heard about the other state. Finally I decided to get a copy of my own and started reading.
The story is set in about 9 – 10years ago which is almost a generation has passed since then. He has spent lot of time in writing on Madrasis that I find it to be an one sided view. The other state is Punjab. Two of many other states in India where people would not complain no matter what you write or show in movies about them. Chetan Bhagat also seems to be like the directors in film industry where male dominated movies sell.
There is definitely quite a bit of masala which is an important ingredient just like Indian movies. Quite a lot of facts. I do agree on lot of points mentioned in the book atleast with respect to Madrasis. Certain things are true even today though lot many other things have changed a lot in due course of time. I would have been happy if we had mentioned this in the book for both the states.
One thing I like much is his style of writing which is very simple and not difficult words that you need a dictionary along. And he knows the subject to touch upon to get an audience.
One thing which I hate about this book is as such North Indians have a pre-defined opinion about South India (Madrasi) now this would cement it and plaster it. Their opinion would not change nor would their impression. And people in South will think that its only money power in North India, which is also not true except at power house. Even today I know many North Indians who are afraid to come down South.
Many people do not see a book as just a book.
Having read his previous novels, I would expected something better from the author. He could have written about richness of Punjabi culture. There is not much about it. Though Punjabi, the story centers around Delhi.
For Tamilians though he mentions about bharatanatyam, carnatic music, the other texts surrounding this bring down the rich culture.

6 thoughts on “2 States (Book Review)

  1. Hi satish,

    I was very impressed reading ur blogs about all your travels.
    Man i really love your pics.

    Hey can i ask u somwthing what do u do for living man?

    After passing out of my Engineering college I thought I will be earning and seeing places but the only places I am seeing right now is my office cubicle and another project deadline breathing down my throat?

    Eagerly waiting your reply ………

    Man u Rock

  2. Hi Satish,

    Though I agree with many points with you, but yes would want to differ with some. The book indeed talks about the 2 cultures in 2 different ways, well it mostly talks about the practical side of it, according to me. But the book also talks about shedding the unwanted burden from ur minds which I felt was quite an interesting point which was nicely blended with the story.

    As you have already written, the story plot is of a decade ago. If many north indians were still in this perception, today, bangalore’s population would not be so high with them!!

    Anyways it was nice reading your blog!! way to go!!

    • Yes, opinions do differ. Only when there is a difference there can be a discussion.
      And yes we need to talk about the transition of “HE’ factor…

  3. Hi Sathish,
    I am reading this book and I think it is very captivating(150 pages in 2 nights – a personal record for me!). I do think Chetan is a very masala-ish author and his movie adaptations will be box office hits and funny. 2 states has been sitting in my home library for 5 months and I finally decided to give it a try 2 nights back. It is funny, cynical and plays extrememly well on stereotypes which I think is very amusing.

    I would disagree with you when you say “a book is not a book for everyone’;. I would not be worried about that because there are idiots who are out there who just won’t change irrespective of how much ever you would convince them their thought is quite the contrary to reality.

    I do feel the same enthusiams as I did while reading my first book of his “one night@ …” but my hopes went down once it became too dramatic. I hope this bookm of his is not like that.

    I think he is a good author whom I would recommend for a funndy light read. But I like Aaravind Adiga’s “the white tiger” the most. It was simply superb and cynical to the core.

    Hope you are doing well…any new adventures?

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