Not Bad, Mr. Bhagat!


I liked 'Five Point Someone'. Finally I thought an Indian author who can write about simple things well. The next two were extremely disappointing. 'One night at a call centre' was good. Until the "God calling" part just tore the story apart. The next one, '3 mistakes of my life', with the back drop of cricket, forced me to think if this one was worse or the call centre thing. I had vowed never to go back to his writing. But when half of my friends insisted on me reading it, I gave it a shot. Its a real short book which I could finish in a day or two so I thought even if it sucked, I wouldn't have wasted much time on it.

Its not a bad book. Its not great either. But definitely much better than his last two. '2 States' is about his marriage to a South Indian girl. He is a Punjabi btw. So how they fall in love ends within the first 2 chapters. Next comes how he tries to win her parents, and how she wins over his. Its really cute how love triumphs and they get married. I guess the joy of marrying the one you love is a totally different feeling altogether.

The difference between South Indians and North Indians has been on for ages. Its really hard to get over it, but there seems to be a bridge coming along now. For North Indians, South Indians will always remain 'Madrasi's' and for South Indians, they always remain 'Northies' irrespective of whether they come from Kashmir, Tripura, Rajasthan or Maharashtra. Each one thinks they are better and nothing can be done about that. How 2 different cultures meet, blend and culminate into a marriage is what the book is about. Its a very good attempt. So any South Indian, who is married to or is in a relationship with a North Indian, better read this book. You may see yourself in it.

Irrespective of the happy ending, the books rings a LOUD warning bell. The way the Punjabi parents treat a Tamilian girl and how her parents treat the punjabi guy is kinda scary. They put up with it, manage to impress the others' parents and get married. This is a typical filmy scene and kind of surprises you that such things can happen in real life. And considering that this book is about his marriage, we know that such things can happen. I seriously don't believe in caste, creed or culture. If I love the guy, I'll surely marry him. I wouldn't care if he's a Malayali or if he's from any other part of the country or the world. For me its love that matters and I'm sure my parents wont have any issue with the guy I bring as long as they are convinced that he will keep their little daughter happy.

The book captures all aspects about 2 families meeting, their opinions and most importantly their differences. Instead of pointing fingers, making fun of the others' culture, they just need to respect each others culture and know that their kids have made their choice and they need to support it. The entire scene where the guy's dad (who is hated by his son), calls up the girls family to sort out things secretly was a scene out of a movie. The book could have done without this though. But if this was indeed what happened, then cheers! I'm happy for you, and your dad.

All in all its a good book. Surely worth a read!

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