A well-woven tale of love

Title: 2 states – The story of my marriage

Author: Chetan Bhagat

Krish confesses to Ananya that he wants to be a writer who tells stories that are fun, but bring about change too; and sure enough Chetan (on whose life this book is also based on) has done the same till now with his witty tales which has made India read like never before. Having followers who mostly fall under the first time reader cadre, Chetan uses the curiosity factor of the common man who will die to read any tiny gossip column on celebrities, to openly share his life, treading on a path which dangerously borders cliché and boredom to pull off another successful book solely based on the lines he uses which mysteriously makes us engaged even though we get the main story and some of the sub plots (like how his father is going to be his saviour and so on) and also what message (yes! we have a message here!!) he is going to tell us, at the beginning itself.

From the teaser to the prologue which vehemently tells this is all about how two communities faces difficulties to understand each other and when you start to realize half way through, that it is going to end like this and as the fan inside you feels sad as to why resort to cliché for preaching people that we should unite as a nation to great extent, that Krish himself makes fun of the line that they need to make love only for the sake of uniting the nation, he springs up a surprise when Ananya father says, “it’s not about communities. It’s about the kind of people we want to be with”.

Staying true to the disclaimers in his acknowledgment, Chetan shares with us a detailed study on Madrasi (as used in the book), from their affinity to The Hindu even in a marriage hall with the remark – they loved knowledge irrespective of whether they ever used it; to the tough notes in “minsara kanna” song of ‘Padayappa’; to discussing the freedom and aura of woman in south from north Indian point of view in a harsh way with reference to Sridevi and Jayalalitha and he uses the funniest situations to establish his characters, like how Ananya, while tearing a piece of chicken leg, explains to Krish about the cultural values of her community and of Krish’s as he tells to leave the price tags on the gifts.

Harish S., SVCE

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The best thing about a Chetan Bhagat book is that after you read it, you feel you can that write a book too. Maybe its his down to earth style of writing, maybe its his exclusion of mouth filling long words or just maybe its his attempt to reach the young Indians – but his books never fail to strike a chord with the reader. His latest book – ‘2 states the story of my marriage’ is no different.

Starting off at psychoanalyst’s office in Chennai, Bhagat (Krish Malhotra – Punjabi boy from IIT Delhi) takes you on a journey to IIMA, Delhi, Chennai, Goa a few times over. In the first chapter when the author describes the two years spent at IIMA with Ananya Swaminathan (TamBrahm and the hottest girl in campus) – the book takes you back to ‘Five Point Someone’ (what not to do at IIT – his first book) with its liberal description of institute life, snobbish professors, terrible hostel food, restaurants near campus, the chicken, the beer, the workload, the study sessions, the placements and of course, the sex too.

Soon however the story turns into something more serious – the essence of the story – How to convince a Punjabi family and a south Indian tam Bram family to like each other? (or at least not kill each other)

From taking a job in Chennai to taking tuitions for Ananya’s brother, the author leaves no stone unturned to get the girl’s side to like him. Once convinced, it’s now Ananya’s turn to become the ideal Punjabi bahu and please his not so small family.

Do they succeed? Why do they even take all the effort? Wouldn’t eloping be easier? What would they children be –from which state? – These questions and a few others are answered convincingly well as you read through the book. TamBrahms and Punjabis take no offence at the often rude and racist comments (read the Acknowledgements).

More personal perhaps than any of his other books — Chetan’s reveals himself, his dreams, his struggles and his aspirations to become a writer. Well I don’t know about the others but he surely has accomplished the ‘writer’ part. And rather well too.

NITHYA RAMACHANDRAN, Ist year , Bsc Electronic Media, MOP Vaishnav College For Women

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Everywhere two people get married , but in india two families get married. And that’s 2 states in a line , which chetan Bhagat , proudly dedicates to his in-laws . The story revolves around Ananya a Tamilian and Krish a Punjabi who fall in love with each other. However , their parents don’t agree to this marriage. Hilarity is ensured as they try to make their families like each other so that they can get married.

Chetan Bhagats amazing humor and rib tickling sarcasm is what keeps the book going. The usual plot is treated very differently in the book. The author has taken up a subject he is very comfortable with and has played around! The way he describes a south indian family, especially the father who is always seen around with The Hindu newspaper is hilarious! The contrasts between two cultures is clearly portrayed in the book starting from our dress sense, colour to the food we eat and the way we eat it. Especially places like when Krish says that even during a funeral a Punjabi place is not as quiet as a Tamilian’s house, is appreciable !

Apart from the humor, the fact that “Love is universal” has been emphasised in the book very clearly. The way Ananya and Krish try to overcome all their problems to make their love work is heart warming and charming. When I read the book it hits me how we sometimes forget that we are all indians and go around making Sardarji and madrasi jokes!!

Character portrayal is another plus of the book. Especially Ananya’s character as a Tamil Iyer girl who lives life by her own terms is fantastic.

There are only two drawbacks in the book. Krish’s father and his magical transformation is a little soap opera kind . And the climax is so expected that the fight between Krish and ananya in the end seems like a drag!

Two states Is definitely a light read, but a book that will stay in your hearts for ever. It’s a must read which I am sure everyone will enjoy!

NANDHITHA HARIHARAN, Std XI, Chettinad Vidyashram

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2 States is different from the other Chetan Bhagat books in several ways. For one, it is typical film material because it revolves around the theme of inter-caste marriages, something which has fascinated our filmmakers for centuries. Secondly, it is quite predictable from beginning to end, in the sense that the basic plot does not involve much suspense, so it’s basically the incidents that grab your attention. Nevertheless, unputdownable would be the apt word to describe the book (ok… ok… that’s not grammatically correct… but get the message). With his witty observations, and tons of humour the Chetan Bhagat sensation strikes again. Yeah …and not to mention the feeling of déjà vu you get in each and every page. From his description of Indian marriages and social stigmas to the behaviour of auto drivers, everything is something which the common man (from Tamil Nadu and Punjab at least) can relate to. Ok, now to move on to the story.

Two young graduates from IIM Ahmedabad fall in love and want to get married. They struggle a lot to gain acceptance from their families, and in the course are literally juggled between Chennai and Delhi. Finally both families realize that human goodness rises above all cultural differences, and give in. An ordinary plot right?? But what sets the author apart is his lucid style. Without roping in too many characters, and not even once drifting away from the main narrative, he does an excellent job in conveying his message. All I can say is, looking forward to number five, or should I say number four. Now don’t get me wrong. There was Five point someone, then One night @the call centre, The 3 mistakes of my life and now 2 states, so next is number four, right?

SOWMYA KUMAR, II Year, B.E. Electronics and Communication Engineering, SSN College of Engineering

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Chetan Bhagat known for his youthful yet message -oriented novels, comes up with his latest creation ‘2 states –the story of my marriage’. The story is about how the two protagonists one from North India and the Other from South India love each other and get married with the permission of their parents. They face many hurdles first within themselves, then with both their parents and with their relatives.

The epilogue of the novel creates enough suspense to draw the reader to read the entire story that is seriously delighting although the sarcasm about a particular regional community gets overboard at times.

The characterization of both the protagonists namely Krish and Ananya have been very tactfully characterized by the author to keep the novel going at a jolly good pace. Although the novel brings out certain serious issues on love and region bias, it is all coated with a layer of humour making the reader laugh at the sarcasm.

With already three novels to his credit, with ‘2 states…’ adding to it, Chetan Bhagat lives up to the readers’ expectations and delivers a delight as always.

GEETHA BHARATHI K., Ist Year, M.A Journalism and Mass Communication, SRM University

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To spin a yarn for the fourth successful time is a talent. That’s exactly what Chetan bhagat has done. His latest installment is named 2 states. The book deals with the differences existing in the present Indian society with regards to regional matrimony. The hero of the book, Mr.Krish is a haryana boy settled in Delhi who desperately tries to marry a South-Indian girl called Ananya from Tamil Nadu, whom he meets in his IIM-A college days. The story basically revolves around the various difficulties, the pair faces in order to achieve a cross-lingual/culture marriage with a complete approval from either of the families.

The book is a sure success, yet again his ability to make people relate to the environment which he magically conjures for his readers, keeps them enthralled with the book. A rare and noticeable ability of this upcoming writer is his readership has grown exponentially over the period of 4 books. But a sad note is that his quality as such hasn’t grown. In terms of content and style the author need to put in more literature into his books. People cannot tolerate his newspaper-article style of writing in a novel. If a close look is taken into his books galore it’s clear that none of his other books have gained popularity as much as his first book and now with this fourth book having a link to the first book, it appears as a safe hand method to try his old recipe to get his readers back. But he has to evolve over his style and get to mainstream story telling.

For his books to be remembered for ever and to remain as a favorite author for this age colloquial English is to be avoided. not to mention the swear words usage(nobody is against it, but then considering the fact that his readership is dominated by youth, he needn’t end up a propagator of these words). As a genuine critique who wishes him to become a ever-favorite author, I personally feel he has to come out his tried and tested style of 5point some one and release a simple but more subtle novel with less of colloquialism mixed with his beautiful art of story telling.

BHARADWAJ V., Areva T&D India, Systems-Engg.- CRP, Noida

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The nation wide bestseller is back with his fourth book, 2 states: story of my marriage. This book is a sequel to his first book ‘Five point someone’. The book is the story of how IIMA couple, Krish and Ananya (Punjabi and Tamilian respectively) persuade their parents to give approval for them to marry. Since, I was a little disappointed with his previous book, ‘3 mistakes of my life’, I was expecting more from Mr.Bhagat and fortunately I enjoyed reading this book. Mr. Bhagat through this book humorously brings out some of the serious issues that hang in the air of various communities across our country, like a Tamil Brahmin is considered as someone from the purest clan in the purest form, prejudice (maybe even chauvinism in the extreme limit) over each other’s native place, issues over the cuisine, rituals in marriage, their attire .etc.

Mr. Bhagat should be appreciated for bringing out the humor in all the situations possible like the incident wherein Krish is being given a ‘lungi’ by Ananya’s father as nightclothes and Krish using a belt to make the ‘lungi’ stay on his waist. Mr.Bhagat also brings out the striking differences between the people of Tamilnadu and Punjab like the Chennai city waking up so early, students having early morning tuitions, more focus in academics, restrictions over the nightclubs functioning after the midnight, couple in a beach drawing attention of police (since commissioner’s office being opposite to the beach) etc. Mr.Bhagat also takes a dig at how we Indians call ourselves as Punjabi or Tamilian.etc before calling ourselves Indians and how when the boy and girl hail from different communities becomes the vital reason to disapprove their marriage. This book is a must read for every Indian (especially a Punjabi and Tamilian in this case!!) and am sure Mr.Bhagat will bring a change in many people’s perspective of thinking, after all the boy/girl want to marry only a human and not an alien from Jupiter.

NIVEDITA RAJ, I Year, Department of Bank Management, Ethiraj College For Women

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