>Well, well, well… I read my first Chetan Bhagat book. To be very honest, I was biased against him since the very beginning. But, while reading the book, even more. And, to add the spices, was the super credit controversy regarding 3 Idiots which blew my mind off. But, I can assure you that this review of the book is not at all biased. It is completely a fair one. To those who have read the book, it would make sense. To the others, may be not much.
Well, the name, ‘2 States’ was a reason I picked up reading this book first (apart from the dominant reason that someone had recommended it to me) because, as known to many around me, I am a firm supporter of love marriages and even inter-caste marriages because I believe that everyone has a right to choose who they want to marry and choose their life partner, beyond the invisible boundaries set because of caste, religion, language, nationality, state, etc. So, I was rather optimistic to read the book as I had the opinions of someone who probably has the same ideology as mine.
2 States… The story of Ananya and Krish. The story of a couple who first met as classmates in IIM-A, the most-renowned B-school in India. So, they both were of the cream of India. Welcome to their world…
It isn’t an easy thing to convince your parents about your choices and that’s evident in every house. Any how, this story is much about the problems they faced and the way they tackled them together.
In the very beginning, the author describes the way they first met, the early feelings he had for her, heir study sessions, the lectures, the trauma Ananya, a university topper in Economics, faced when she realized that economics here had more to do with mathematics, and how she felt that it would be a blotch on her personality if she took help. And how she hated guys who proposed her every now and then, even those who weren’t friends, and how she had developed a hatred against IITians for being such.
And, our hero’s application of the old, simple strategy-avoid and obtain. I wonder how it works always. All I felt (till now) about the book was goody-goody.
The first setback I had with this book, the way Krish told her about his feelings for her, an explanation to why he had been avoiding her, “I have to avoid looking at your face as much as possible because when I look at your face, all I want to do is kiss you.” Which guy says that to the girl he loves? If you say this to a girl, then what I can infer from this is, that you are just interested to make the girl yours, prove to the world that even you can have someone so beautiful (Ananya was the most beautiful girl of the batch, not just for Krish, but, for everyone) as your girlfriend. Right, just to shed the tag of ‘just-friends’ and become the ‘happy-go-lucky couple’. If that’s all he wants, wouldn’t he dump her for the girl who was a Miss Universe.
And then, Krish proves me right. Because, all that he talks about in the whole Ahmedabad act is, the physical parts of a relationship like making love with her, having a live-in relationship in the hostel, kissing each other, staring at each other and passing chits in between lectures. Wow. Has love lost the emotional touch?
It isn’t long and they are all set for their interviews via campus placements. They are placed in the jobs they wished to have. Krish in CitiBank, the company which paid for times than any other, and Ananya, in marketting of HLL. In the meanwhile, Ananya is proposed by Krish for marriage, and she says yes.
As the convocation comes close, they plan out how they want their parents’ first meeting to be nice and expect them to like each other. However, it doesn’t happen like that.
Then the real story begins. The time they were in their respective cities and wrote letters and talked on phone rarely. When both of them had to meet prospects from their community for marriage forcefully through emotional blackmail most of the time. All that was on Krish’s mind in the meanwhile was lust and the physical interaction! Disgusting.
Then Krish moves to Chennai for his CitiBank job, convinces Ananya’s family that he’s the right guy through a series of events and functions, they agree to give Ananya’s hand to her. Krish moves back as he’s overdosed of Chennai (in six months) and arranges to get Ananya to Delhi for a week to convince his mother (he thinks convincing his father is unimportant). Operation Delhi succeeds. But, a greater task remains. Both the families have to love each other.
For this, a Goa vacation is planned where things go wrong and that’s when the strings break. Even after colluding, the mission fails and they break-up.
The real drama unfolds. Krish gets over-involved in his work to avoid thoughts about Ananya. He calls, but, they go unanswered. He is disturbed. One night his father asks him for help and he agrees as he’s tired to even fight with him. I don’t think he would miss this opportunity to fight if he was well. And, his father goes to Chennai on a day trip and manages to convince Ananya’s parents for the marriage.
They have a nice wedding in Chennai according to Tamil customs and the story has a cute ending.
Although, it wasn’t very interesting, the language of the book purely suggests that a thesaurus was referred to again and again. Also, a few phrases are placed in the wrong place just to enhance the literary value of the novel. Anyday, I would prefer reading the Twilight Saga again over this book which portrays love without the emotions it is most famous for. It’s sad that this book portrays Indians to the world as people who are divided on the basis of states. I don’t think India is so ignorant of cultures imbibed within it. The children are shown to have stringent opinions about their elders. I believe, this book, breaches the Indian pledge of secularism.
Even then, for those who haven’t read it and don’t trust this review, go ahead and know for yourself.