March 8, 2015 by freakychakra
It had been some time since I had read, and it definitely seemed like infinity when I had last completed a book. Lately I had been struggling with books. They were once what they are actually supposed to be – friend, philosopher, guide, traveller, teacher. However I don’t know what bought about the alienation in me — time, laziness or what?
Nevertheless, like any normal bloke, 2015 seemed to be a good opportunity to erase the past and start afresh again with iron steel resolve and having learnt from my incomplete success stories in the recent past, I settled for an easy read.
The setting for the reading was thus:
Time – Morning 0600 hours
Climate – 8 Degree Celcius
Place – Nearly empty compartment of the train.
So why is the setting important? Because you really cannot humanely expect from a Bengali to be awake on a cold winter morning train journey and that too on books. And that is where Chetan Bhagat kicks in. As the train started covering the distances on a chilly foggy morning, I started devouring his latest offering in the form of the lovestory of Madhav and Riya.
Essentially the book is about a non english speaking boy from Bihar who also happens to be from the oldest royal family of India (but the royalty is now gone) and about Riya, a sophisticated rich ambivert Marwari Delhi girl who bond over basketball in St. Stephen’s college and the ensuing love story that follows it.
There is nothing novel about the story. It comes across as a mixture of Five Point Someone and Two States. Yet! It engrossed me to the core. The story was riveting and the dialogues warm enough to beat the chill that I was encountering in the near empty train compartment. There are about three points in the story where you think the story has ended and you do feel sad for it, and like a true Bollywood story, Chetan adds in the twist and continues from there. He introduces himself too as a character and a pretty important character to be honest. Giving out any other information would be akin to giving away the story honestly.
Based out of Delhi, Durmaon and New York, the pace of the book is pretty good and gets into an adrenalin overdose after the last twist. As a reader, you actually push yourself to read at your fastest possible speed, hoping to see the much deserved ending.
The thing is, in a world where the reality is pretty ugly and dark, I turn to fiction to be blinded for some time. It is my escape to a world of hope, even though it is make believe. And hence I hate books with sad endings. That is where Chetan Bhagat wins me over. His books maybe spanked around as a chick literature or literature for the dumb, but the fact is that for majority of the folks, he does manage to nest a smile at the end of the book and hence I continue reading his books.
For me, this book is a perfect love story and provides me just every possible thrill that I expected from his novel. From the myriad emotions that any couple can exhibit to confusions to chases — it has just everything.
Maybe what can summarize this book is the fact that when I opened up the pages it was a dark, chilly morning of Nashik and by the time I read the last word, the warmth of the maximum city Mumbai had poured in through the air. 3 hours — not bad !!!