Chetan Bhagat is like one of us. He completed his engineering from IIT Delhi and MBA from IIM – A and then worked in Deutsche Bank for eleven years before delving into writing (Now there are so many of us who maybe having the same educational qualifications as well as dreams of working in the top banks and other companies of the world). But somewhere down the line he realised that this was not giving him the creative satisfaction he so badly wanted and becoming more of a dull and dreary job.
His first book “Five Point Someone – What not to do at IIT” was rejected by nine publishers. As he once said at an orientation program for MBA students at Symbiosis, Pune, this incident made him so disappointed that he was ready to quit once and for all. But he refused to buckle down. This simple story of three friends – Hari, Ryan and Alok and their years in IIT Delhi and how they cope with the pressures of studies, family pressure and love and friendship made the nation read like never before (Probably at par with the Harry Potter series). It catapulted him to instant stardom. This book was followed by One Night @ the Call Center, Three Mistakes of my Life and 2 States – The Story of my marriage.
The best thing about his books is the fact that all his characters are ones which today’s generation can associate with – whether its Hari in Five point someone, Vroom in One night at the Call center or Krish and Ananya in 2 States – The story of my marriage. Critics have always lambasted him for “n” number of reasons like having no literary value in his works, his characters being one dimensional and similar in all his books as well as ridiculous things like encouraging sex before marriage. CRITICS BE DAMNED!!!!. Personally I think all these critics like crap stuff which the general public normally hates. They pass such comments because none of them have it in them to even write few lines of a novel.
Bhagat has never advocated the fact that he meant to be a literary genius. His main aim was, has and I am sure will always be to entertain all audiences alike. I feel that his greatest success lies in the simplicity of all his characters though I think “Three Mistakes of My Life” was much more serious than any of his works which is why he recently said that after this book he was feeling very heavy and wanted to get back to something “light-hearted” as that has always been his forte. As far as promoting sex in his books is concerned, one thing I would like to point out to the critics is that today’s generations isn’t that dumb. They are exposed to Television, print media (Newspapers, magazines etc) as well as Internet which are much bigger promoters of sex and nudity than a plain simple novel. Don’t the novels of Sidney Sheldon, Nicholas Sparks and who all have a bit of sex in them? This is what we call hypocrisy wherein such self – proclaimed moralists of our country would be watching porn, nudity and sex but would surely comment on others because they can’t bear to see their success.
Bhagat has become much more than a writer today. He’s evolved into a youth icon having been conferred the Society Young Achiever’s Award – 2004 as well as the Publisher’s Recognition Award 2005 and also been called to present speeches at the HT Leadership Summit as well as Symbiosis, Pune. His articles on politics, economics, social and a host of other issues in Dainik Bhaskar, Times of India and Hindustan Times which have created a flutter even in the Parliament also have a dedicated base of followers.
I would like to end by quoting few lines from his speech at the HT Leadership Summit in 2008
“I am no leader. At best, I am a dreamer with perseverance to make dreams come true. As I have made my own dreams come true already, I am tempted to think we can make my country’s dreams come true. And that is why I am here.”
So guys what are you waiting for?? Chetan Bhagat has shown us that all of us are capable of achieving what he has achieved. All we need is the perseverance to make our dreams come true!!!