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Tag: Chetan Bhagat

Book Review – Half Girlfriend


Chetan Bhagat (CB) is back with his first fiction title in 3 years since Revolution 2020 which came out in 2011. CB has always had a knack for numbers in all his titles and this one is no different. After Five Point Someone, One Night @ the Call Center, 3 Mistakes of My Life, 2 States, Revolution 2020, he’s come up with a somewhat uniquely titled – “Half Girlfriend”. Does it work? Let’s check it out.

The blurb goes like this –

Once upon a time, there was a Bihari boy called Madhav. He fell in love with a girl called Riya. Madhav didn’t speak English well. Riya did. Madhav wanted a relationship. Riya didn’t. Riya just wanted friendship. Madhav didn’t. Riya suggested a compromise. She agreed to be his half girlfriend.

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Movie Review – Kai Po Che


Directed by Abhishek Kapoor and starring Sushant Singh Rajput, Rajkumar Yadav, Amit Sadh and Amrita Puri in lead roles, Kai Po Che is the movie adaptation of Chetan Bhagat’s novel – “The 3 mistakes of my life”. It has been in the news all through its making and even after the release it has been highly talked about. Does it live upto the expectations? Let’s check it out.

Ishaan (Sushant), Omi (Amit) and Govind (Rajkumar) plan to setup a cricket equipment shop and training center in Ahmedabad. Each of them has a different reason for setting it. Ishaan wants to nurture and provide the best facilities to talented cricketers like Ali (Digvijay Deshmukh). Govind just wants to make money while Omi wants to be with this friends. The rest of story deals with how the lives of all three change across many years through the Gujarat earthquake as well as the Godhra riots.

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Double Century of Blog Posts: 200 Not Out

1.22 lakh + hits

Indiblogger Rank – 81

Google PR – 3

Followers – 900+

Initially when I began blogging, everyone used to tell me that you need to ensure you have more followers, more commenters, more readers, more RTs on Twitter, more likes and what not. Even these days there are many who keep writing blog posts just to make some easy money and improve the above mentioned statistics without worrying about content and quality. But today, as I write my 200th blog post, I believe that all these things are secondary.

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The dark world of contemporary Indian publishers!

So you think you have what it takes to be the next Amitav Ghosh, Rohinton Mistry, Anita Desai? You think you can put your ideas into words? You dream of becoming a writing sensation? You cannot think of anything else other than writing? Stories, ideas, opinions keep sprouting up in your mind even when you are busy in your work? Then this is the post for all you guys!

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Blog-o-meter: 2011 in review

My blog – o – meter for 2011 by the WordPress team!

Crunchy numbers

The Louvre Museum has 8.5 million visitors per year. This blog was viewed about 74,000 times in 2011. If it were an exhibit at the Louvre Museum, it would take about 3 days for that many people to see it.

In 2011, there were 75 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 188 posts. There were 96 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 13mb. That’s about 2 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was November 24th with 2,305 views. The most popular post that day was Kolaveri di – A song which has brought the nation together! .

Book Reviewing – An honourable activity or a commercial sham?

Reviewing anything creative whether its a book, movie, restaurant, art etc. is not as easy a task as it sounds. One can always hear people speak about the pain, energy and time they have spend on making a movie or writing a book or even readying a work of art. And once they finish, they look for people to review the same. Obviously you would want famous bloggers, columnists, writers to review your work so that more and more people get to know what you have achieved. But then there is a catch to it. You would always want people to talk good things about you, wouldn’t you? So how far can you go to ensure that?

Since I love writing more of book reviews in particular, this particular post deals with book reviews. Over the last two years, I have written quite a few book reviews. My book choices traverse different genres from thrillers to documentarys to the usual college rom – coms. But none of my reviews have become as famous as the recent one on Chetan Bhagat’s “Revolution 2020”

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Book Review – Revolution 2020

Revolution 2020 is Chetan Bhagat’s fifth book after four successive best sellers. With over 5 lakh pre – orders you could be forgiven for thinking that his latest offering was keenly awaited by his fans after a 2 year drought with his “2 States: The Story of My Marriage” releasing way back in 2009. With a title like “Revolution 2020” and Love.Corruption.Ambition as its tagline / slogan, you expect something different from Chetan Bhagat this time. So does this book succeed? Let’s see!

Gopal is a relatively poor fellow whose barely making ends meet. He’s no stranger to struggles in life whether it is tackling the entrance exams of IITs and NITs or finding his ambition in life. He feels that only money can get you happiness. Raghav on the other hand is ready to mount a revolution against everything corrupt and wrong happening in the society. He believes that someone has to stand up against the system. Aarti is a happy go lucky girl who every guy would dream of having as his soul mate.

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Rs 100 Indian novels – Cheap quality or birth of new “Chetan Bhagat’s”

Source: LiveMint

Recently I came across an article on Live Mint about how every Tom, Dick and Harry in India has become an author or is trying to become one.

This made me analyse as to why everyone is trying to become an author. And also what is the implication of that for our country in terms of English speaking, writing and reading.

There is a so called proliferation of every author proclaiming himself to be the new “Chetan Bhagat“. Now isn’t that a bit unfair on him? Unfair because despite selling thousands of copies and being regarded as the most famous Indian authors in history in terms of copies sold, he has already copped a lot of criticism from critics and a large number of people alike for the absence of literary delight, simple language and lack of so called “style’ in his stories.

So what is really happening these days in the field of writing?

As pointed out by Karan Bajaj of “Keep of the Grass” and “Johnny Gone Down” fame in his recommendations for getting a book published in India has given a list of publishers one can use for publishing his / her book. HarperCollins, WestLand, Penguin, Rupa and Co are some of the big publishing houses in the country who have publish his books as well as Chetan Bhagat’s and some other famous ones.

And then there are some new publishing houses like Indialog and Shrishti Publications which publish many different kinds of novels from first – time authors (according to some they publish almost anything). Some of the books they have published include “LOVE: An Unusual Romance… and the Mumbai Rain”, “Nothing For You My Dear: Still i Love You….!”, “Patyala Down De Throat: A sweet melody from pegs to riches” etc.

I don’t have anything against any of the writers. But was really interested to study the differences between the first timers and the ones who are established. So what’s the different between the books published by the publishing houses handling famous authors compared to those handling first timers. Two of the biggest differences are in the grammar and the English usage. The books for the first timers are for a mass reader probably one who may / may not be that good in English and doesn’t give that much importance to grammar and things like that. And then the books by Harper, Penguin etc. are also for a much more mature audience and do make you think a bit more than say a “I will love you till I find someone better”. One more problem is the fact that most of the books published by first timers are similar stories as I have always said before having a ‘guy + girl + sex + flirting + college times‘ and nothing new to offer.

Apart from all this there is also another peculiar problem of every book being a bestseller in India. Now as pointed out by Karan Bajaj, in India today if a book sells more than 5000 copies it is regarded as a best seller. Though that is a pretty sad state of affairs it shows that the tagging of a book as a NATIONAL BESTSELLER is being used more as a marketing / advertising tool than anything else.

Two sides of the coin?

Yes I agree that the fact that everyone is writing books currently has degraded the profession of writing as well as English vocabulary and grammar to a great extent. Truth be told! More than 90% of Indian authors what youngsters read today is of the CRAP variety.

But then, if we analyze the reasons why so many Indian authors have come to the fore, the biggest reason is to be popular. In our country be it through Big Boss, KBC, Master Chef, Indian Idol, Cricket through anything everyone wants his / her share of fame and why not. If Chetan Bhagat can do it, why can’t I? And therefore people who know a smattering of English or can read and write a bit are moving to writing stories. And one can’t really fault them. Because such stories are read, more and more of them are published. Only God knows how many are sold. But for sure there is a market.

Final Verdict – Both books of first timers many of whom are grammatically incorrect and books that are much more mature and stylish in their narrative will always coexist. Though yes, the problem may come when people start thinking that good grammar and vocabulary aren’t very important for a novel!

Movie Review – 3 Idiots

At the outset I would like to make one thing clear to the readers – I am a hard core fan of Chetan Bhagat…So those of you who wouldn’t like to hear any negativity against anyone who has maligned him in the last few days or months or whatever please stop here itself!!!

First of all I would like to thank Mr Chetan Bhagat for giving us a novel called “Five Point Someone (FPS)” which everyone in the present generation would surely identify with! Chetan,  You made India read like never before and I sincerely salute you for that!

What a start to the 2010!  Watched 3 Idiots (an adaptation of FPS) on 1st at E-Square finally. This is one movie which cannot be described in mere words or any special kinds of adjectives. Words like amazing, fantastic, stupendous, marvelous, too good and whatever fall short in telling us how good the movie really is. This isn’t merely a movie but an experience one would remember a long time after one has left the hall.

This movie is a journey, a journey of three friends, of what all they go through the four years at college be it love, ragging, fights, fun, drinking, flunking exams, taking the teachers cases everything. Though the movie has been changed from the book at many places, but the underlying theme remains the same.

Three students – Aamir Khan as Ranchoddass Shyamaldas Chanchad (Rancho), Sharman Joshi as Raju Rastogi and Madhavan as Farhan Qureishi embark on a journey of life. The film starts of with Farhan Querishi stopping an Air India plane by faking a heart attack because he wants to meet Rancho and Sharman going with him in just a shirt and no pants. The movie thus moves on with constantly moving between the present and a flashback of them as students at the Imperial Engineering College (ICE) – based on the present day IITs.

So many scenes and incidents like the speech scene, the ‘Joy Lobo’ character, the ‘Chatur Ramalingam (an award worthy performance by Omi Vaidya)’ character and his amazing speech (My god that scene is probably the funniest scene I have ever scene in Hindi cinema srsly!!! I laughed my guts much that I almost ended up crying:P), the Viru Sahastrabudhhe aka Virus (another award worthy performance by Boman Irani) character, the scenes where Aamir Khan criticizes learning by rote, encourages learning something new by talking about “PreRajulization” and FarhanNitrate, how students are forced to take extreme measures such as suicide because of marks and the parents expectations, the heart – warming camaraderie and bond of friendship between Farhan, Rancho and Raju (Moh, Arun, Giri – It really reminded me of you guys…U ROCK!!!) and many more has given this movie a cult status.

The most amazing thing about this movie is the fact that even though it is about three college going students, the way it has depicted all the human emotions – be it love, hate, fun, sadness everything in such a beautiful way is what has touched a chord with the audience of this nation. From the word go, it promises entertainment and never does it stray from its path. What strikes a chord with me along with thousands of others across the nation is the fact that it talks about why the education system in this nation is in a mess today despite us having millions of great brains, good colleges, good teachers and whatever. The problem lies in the fact that learning by rote is encouraged with least importance given to understanding concepts. There is no link between the academia and the industry. Students end up mugging one night before the exam and vomiting the next day in the paper and forget everything the following day (I am in the same boat…After doing B.Tech Biotechnology, I really wonder whether I really know anything…cuz application of our technical knowledge in the practical world wasn’t ever taught). The way Aamir Khan explains this with the “PreRajulization” and “FarhanNitrate” concept is a treat to watch. The way the parents force their children to become engineers or doctors when they are born has been shown really well in the movie as it still happens even today. The students are put under so much pressure and stress that they end up taking their lives. While in VIT, over 4 years I had heard of many suicides. So I can only imagine what percentage of students in IITs would end their lives in such a way. Some of the famous phrases include “All izz Well” and “Kabil bano, success jhak maar ke peeche aa jayegi. Kareena is really good in the small role which she has in the movie. Her scene where she talks about the names of the different Gujarat food items is hilarious.

One of the greatest things I loved in this movie as well as the book was the friendship between the three. The way they make cunning plans to irritate teachers, care for each other so much so that they dared to go to Virus’s office just to get the question paper for Raju so that he could pass to support his family, their jokes, their discussion on stupid issues, their talk about the education system all in all their amazing camaraderie reminds me of my times at VIT. Though Giri, Moh, Arun and me were never like them in terms of doing daring stuff like this. But our friendship was something which surely defined my 4 years there. And this more than reminded me of them. YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST SRSLY!!! (I hope none of my other friends would take this in a wrong way cuz all you guys are sweet…Thanks soooo much…just dat this movie reminded me of them…)

The film’s soundtrack is composed by Shantanu Moitra with lyrics penned by Swanand Kirkire. The picturization of all the songs along with their placement in the movie is really good. My personal favourites are Behti Hawa, Give me Some Sunshine and Jaane Denge with Behti Hawa being the best. I used to love Behti Hawa even before watching the movie because the lyrics and the way Shantanu and Shaan sang, it really reminded me of my days at VIT. After watching the movie and the amazing picturization, I love it even more. The cinematography is brilliant to say the least. The stunning locales of Himachal and Ladakh have been spectacularly shown on the celluloid.

The recent credit controversy has brought a lot of unwanted or wanted publicity for the movie depending on how one looks at it. The supposed agreement between Chetan Bhagat and Vidhu Vinod Chopra was that in the rolling credits, his name would appear as “Based on a novel by Chetan Bhagat”. The problem arose when Chetan Bhagat found that the makers were claiming that the story is original which wasn’t right as many facts are based on the book. He was shocked to hear that. He wrote 3-4 blogs over the last 4 days over this issue on his website which attracted a plethora of comments over this whole issue. The main fact which I too don’t agree with is that how can the makers claim that the movie is just about 2-5% based on the book. Though I cant claim that the movie is 2% or 90% based on the book, the underlying theme that is the story of the three friends, the ragging incident, the main protagonist wanting to change the education system and him falling in love with the director’s daughter, the ragging theme, Raju’s family being poor, them studying at an engineering college and not a medical college or arts college and many more scenes are all based on the book. So it’s really difficult for me to comprehend as to how the makers of the movie can claim it to be an original story. This just resembles a plain case of intellectual property violation

Here I have put a comment on the Chetan Blog by a person named Prodigal Nemo who is somewhat of an IP expert

ProdigalNemo says:

January 2, 2010 at 1:52 pm

In UNITED STATES “Copyright confers the following constitutional “exclusive Right” of “Authors” to their works includes the rights “to do and to authorize any of the following”:
(1) reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords, as when a novelist authorizes a publisher to reproduce a book or composers authorize recordings of their musical compositions;
(2) create derivative works, such as a screenplay based on a preexisting magazine story;
(3) distribute copies of the work to the public, as when a software manufacturer authorizes a wholesaler to market floppy diskettes containing a copyrighted program;
(4) perform the work publicly, as when a playwright or songwriter authorizes a production of a play or the broadcast of a song;
(5) display the work publicly, as when a magazine authorizes displays of its copyrighted images on multiple computer screens;
(6) in the case of sound recordings, perform the work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.” [COPYRIGHT LAW: A Practitioner’s Guide;Release No. 8, September 2006; by Bruce P. Keller & Jeffrey P. Cunard]

Therefore based on point number (2) above, at MAX, they can produce derivative work such as adapted screenplay. However, in this case what they have done is (a) ‘coppied’ 70-80% of Chetan’s work from the book (which is fine if they wanted to adapt it to screenplay); (b) Write a ‘fresh’ story copying 70-80% from Chetan’s book which is credited to Abhijat Joshi and Rajkumar Hirani (this is grave crime);and (c) ‘creating a original screenplay’ based on point (b) which is credited to Abhijat Joshi and Vidhi Vinod Chopra (this is ‘crime de la crime’).

As as result, Chetan was not given his due credit as an original story writer, which they should have. At max Abhijat Joshi, Raju Hirani and Vidhu Vinod Chopra could have been credited with ‘co-story writers’ (provided Chetan agrees to this too) and for ‘adapted screenplay’.

I m commenting on this in my capacity as I’m Intellectual Property professional.

Kudos to you Chetan. I read your book in Jan 2006 and it was so interesting that I read it in one go.


And what the hell does bloody VIDHU VINOD CHOPRA think of himself??????? What the hell did he try to prove by shouting at the media person the other day?? This just shows his monstrous crappy behavior..Abhijit Joshi is I agree a good scriptwriter but how the hell can they call it is his original story???? Mr Aamir Khan has told Vidhu Chopra and Hirani to file a case against Bhagat for making false statements. How can he talk about this when he hasn’t even read the book? He’s seriously making a fool of himself by making such mindless, baseless and senseless statements.


Indians are not fools. People may think that Chetan needs money and fame and is publicity hungry and what not. But tell me one thing, what does a guy who already is the greatest English language author in the history of the nation in terms of the number of books sold, writes columns in newspapers, is moving to movie script writing want in terms of publicity. I seriously don’t understand. Millions have read FPS and the truth is out that a lot of the movie is based on it and that’s it.

In the end I would like to say, in Taran Adarsh’s words “Do yourself and your family a favour – Go for 3 idiots!! It’s emotional, it’s entertaining, it’s enlightening. The film has tremendous youth appeal and feel-good factor”. It ranks up there as one of the bestest movies I have seen since I was born.

Rating – 5 / 5 (Yes it deserves that every bit!!)

Chetan Bhagat – The biggest selling English – language novelist in India’s history

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!!!

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