When I start reading any book written in the Chetan Bhagat genre, I always maintain a low expectation level. YES that is what I term as the new breed of “writing” by authors passed out of good (or even not so good) colleges; who are intent on inflicting their version of the love story they had on the unsuspecting public in general. Needless to say, I followed the same with R2020 (That’s right… they have a acronym already and widely used in the book itself). I wasn’t disappointed. The book exactly matched the low expectations I had set for it; and in fact was a couple of nanometers above the lowest bar I could set.
Like all of the previous books, this books also begins in the present and ends in the present with the 95% of the 296 pages in past. This is a story about 3 friends Gopal, Raghav and Aarti. And their love triangle.
The story is set in the backdrop of engineering entrance exams in Varanasi. Gopal is poor, Raghav is middle class and Aarti is from a well-off (army! Nothing less) background. Gopal and Ragahv are preparing for engineering entrance exams and Aarti is their classmate.
To cut the story short – Gopal loves Aarti and doesn’t hesitate to tell her so. Aarti loves Gopal as “A friend” (sic!) and probably has a secret crush on Raghav and later confesses it to him. Raghav in turn also begins to love Aarti but has already set his priorities, none of which feature Aarti. Aarti then cheats on Raghav with Gopal. But a self introspection leads Gopal on a guilt trip and he arranges a charade so that Aarti thinks he is cheating on her and goes back to Raghav. Simple… isn’t it?
Add to the ongoing masala of corruption, private players in education and the Coaching Center phenomenon that the nation is already gripped in; and you got yourself a potboiler.
Tons of material has already been written about the pedestrian form of language that Chetan uses, so I won’t delve on it. However, on reading it, I kept on getting the feeling that the book has been written with the ultimate objective of getting someone to bring it to the big screen. So it is more of a screenplay than a work of literature.
- Thankfully, the story was a slightly bit more interesting than some of the other “books” out there.
- Fast paced
- All the ingredients of a pot boiler are there – Love, Sex, Revenge, Corruption (A new one these days)
- Incidentally, some of the dialogues sound well when said in Hindi but turn absolutely ridiculous when translated verbatim to English.
- One thing I really hated was the “Chetan sir, one drink? I can tell people I had a drink with ‘the’ Chetan Bhagat” bit. Talk about narcissism.
- I didn’t like the three characters: Gopal was an insecure miser who always kept on comparing himself to Raghav; Raghav was an insanely naïve writer who wouldn’t take a hint even if it danced naked in the from of his eyes; and Aarti who had the looks but ditched Gopal for Raghav when the former couldn’t clear entrance exams and came back to him when he became the director.
All the grammatical oddities apart, this is a book which I will place as below ‘2 States’ and ‘5 Point’ but above ‘One Night’ and way way way above ‘3 Mistakes’. Incidentally, a series or One, Two, Three, Four and Five.
I will give the book a rating of 3/5. A book you can read for one time but would be better if you borrow it from someone so that if you don’t like it, you don’t feel like having been cheated out of 140 bucks.
Image Courtesy: http://www.chetanbhagat.com/books/revolution-2020/