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Thursday, November 26, 2009

CHETAN BHAGAT: 'A Tech mind, that writes...'


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 CHETAN BHAGAT
 
Chetan Bhagat(Hindi:चेतन भगत), (born 22 April 1974) is an Indian English language author who studied in IIT and Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad. He is seen more as a youth icon than just an author. He is the author of four bestsellers Five Point Someone - What not to do at IIT , One Night @ the Call Center, The Three Mistakes of My Life and recently released 2 States - The Story Of My Marriage. He has also written the script of Hello, the Bollywood movie based on One Night @ the Call Center. His latest book 2 States - The Story Of My Marriage released on 8 October, 2009. The book is based on the relationship between the protagonist, his wife and their families, who are from different states in India. His style in writing applies for all ages.

Writing career

Chetan has explored India in different ways in all the four books. Highlighting various aspects of the country. He has followed a pattern with his books by naming the protagonists after Lord Krishna Hari, Shyam, Govind and now Krishna.[1] Also he has used a number in the titles of each of his book.(eg. 'five' in the first, 'one' in the second, 'three' in the third and 'two' in his latest book.)
Although commercial success has been his mate from the start, critics has rated him poor. Bhagat firmly describes himself as being in the entertainment business rather than the literary one. But a comparison with Karan Johar and Ekta Kapoor (both sell hugely but lack critical cred) draws blood. ‘‘First of all, my product is in English, and it’s not regressive,’’ he says. He adds, ‘‘So what if I write for the masses? So did Shakespeare. He was probably the Ekta Kapoor of his time.’’ Yet, he has, as a columnist with Dhainik Bhaskar & The Times Of India, has written some political eye-openers, which has made an impact even in the Parliament.

Novels

1. Five Point Someone - What not to do at IIT was his first book. It's a story of three IIT Delhi students- Hari, Ryan and Alok who come from three different backgrounds. The book is about their years in IIT Delhi and how they cope with the pressures of studies, family pressure and love and friendship. Highly acclaimed by both critics and readers, the book got Chetan Bhagat, a good reputation as a realistic fiction writer. It was
adapted into a play by the theatre group "Madras Players". This book now being adapted into a movie called The Three Idiots which stars some of the biggest names in Indian film industry like Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor and R Madhavan..[2] though Chetan Bhagat has stated that he was not involved in the scriptwriting in any way.[3].[4] It is directed by Rajkumar Hirani, starring Aamir Khan, R. Madhavan, Sharman Joshi, Kareena Kapoor, and Boman Irani in pivotal roles. It is slated for a release on December 25, 2009.[5][6]
2. One Night @ the Call Center, was released in India in October 2005 and continues to be a bestseller as of January 2008. It is his second book about six people who work at a Call Center and about a night when they receive a call from God. Noted Bollywood film director Rohan Sippy bought the rights from the author Chetan Bhagat, but later Sippy let the rights pass on to director Atul Agnihotri, brother-in-law of Salman Khan. The movie version of the novel is titled as Hello starring Salman Khan, Sohail Khan, Arbaaz Khan, Amrita Arora, Esha Koppikar, Gul Panag, Sharman Joshi. Chetan worked directly on the script of the movie, moulding it to fit the silver screen. However, the film was a big box-office failure.
3. The 3 Mistakes of My Life is Chetan's third book, about cricket, religious politics and rebellious love. About how 3 friends get caught in a tangle to earn some money and fame, and how they sort it out. The book was published in May 2008 and had an initial print-run of 200,000.[7] The novel follows the story of three friends and is based in the city of Ahmedabad in western India. making him the best selling English Novelist in India's history. Farhan Akhtar's Excel Entertainment have bought the rights for making a movie based on this, and it will be directed by Abhishek Kapoor of Rock On! fame.

2 States - The Story Of My Marriage, Chetan Bhagat's most recent book
4. 2 States - The Story Of My Marriage, is about how love marriages work in India and is again typical of him in the first person. It is like his first book Five Point Someone expected to be inspired by his own life.[8] The publishers Rupa & Co. have ordered an unprecedented two hundred tonnes of paper for the first print of this highly expected book.

Writing style

His writing style is largely similar in all the three novels, till date. However, it is seen that the seriousness of the novels gradually went on increasing. Each novel has the basic character set. The Protagonist is a very normal kind of boy whom any Indian teenager can easily relate to. He is moderate in terms of thoughts and views and is not to assertive. However the agnostic stance of the Lead character in Three mistake is an exception. Besides, a special importance to sex is given in each of his books. The friends of the Protagonist are also of very common nature. The girls in the novels are shown in virtual bondage by their respective families. Yet even the girls can be easily compared to an average Indian girl. Thus, the novel has no weird characters and is really set in a typical Indian setting. The characters are all typical neighbourhood characters and this is what makes the novels a success. Chetan is known to give a numerical or a number to all of his book titles to date(5,1,3,2).When asked about this Chetan replied 'I'm a banker,i can't get numbers out of my head."

As a columnist

He wanted to write beyond the novels and take on youth based issues, something he has done since he left the bank. He has an op-ed column in Dainik Bhaskar, one of the biggest Hindi newspapers and Hindustan Times, a leading English daily.[9] He brings out important issues and his takes on what will make a progressive Indian nation. He says "The main purpose of the books and films is to entertain, but the columns allow me to give my views on how the nation should be run." He also does several events/talks across the country – with the aim to motivate and inspire youngsters in smaller towns.
Some of his columns have been discussed about, in the Parliament too. Even these articles are written in plain English so that it could get mass readership. He is an educated individual who believes he can take part in the country's progress with the help of his talents. His efforts are paying off too. He also visits many Educational Institutions often & inspires the students with his speeches. His speech 'Spark' in Pune has been really famous and was translated and published in different newspapers. The speech was given at the inauguration of a college year and is meant for the youth. It tells the youth to take life lightly yet to work it out well.

Personal life

Chetan Bhagat was born in New Delhi and studied in the Army public school. He has done his B.Tech in Mechanical Engineering from the prestigious IIT Delhi and then did his MBA from Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad. He in fact received the prestigious award of "The Best Outgoing Student" in IIM-A. He worked as an Investment Banker with Deutsche bank for eleven years in Hong Kong and moved back to Mumbai with his wife Anusha in 2008. Later he gave up his job to devote his entire time to his writings. He is married to Anusha who is a Tamilian, who was his classmate in IIM. Anusha works for a UBS,she is currently the COO of UBS. The couple have twins Ishaan and Shyam. He is health conscious and practices yoga.[10]

Awards

  • Society Young Achiever's award in 2004.
  • Publisher’s recognition award in 2005.[11]

Bibliography

Film Adaptations

Filmography

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