Finally Chetan Bhagat came close to what he had created with FPS!
Yes, 2 States is a much better book when compared to Bhagat’s previous attempts post FPS. The book has a certain element of suspense, adventure, twists and fun. Light reading as ever, Bhagat’s style was written all over it.
The characters are identifiable to common man and situations, in most cases, very likely to happen in reality. Krish, our hero is an IIM A pass out and his heroine Ananya is an intelligent ‘Tamilian’ not a Madrasi also his batch mate at IIM A. The best part about this book was the way Bhagat describes the cultural disparities between a Punjabi and a Tamilian family. Their reactions are so typical and for someone who has seen both Punjabis and Tamilians from close quarters can identify with and enjoy thoroughly.
The story’s end is predictable, but the way things come about and the reactions of various characters is what makes the book fun – the typical loud Punjabis vis-a-vis the quiet Tamilians. I always felt that marrying someone from a different state wouldn’t go down easily with parents and this trauma is very well described in the book. Parents are never ready to accept someone who is from a different community and especially someone whom the child chooses. It is but understandable from their end, but makes it tough for the children. A certain degree of ‘arranged marriage’ stuff needs to be there in the marriage for them to feel good. Moreover, in India, it is not two individuals marrying, it is their families and a match of their status in the society. So the book talks about all this and more in a nice manner. I felt that the physical relation between the couple, prior to the marriage, has become common, but my parents’ generation would not be ready to accept it.
I always felt that one could enjoy a book much more when one can readily identify with it and that is what Bhagat is so good at. No wonder his books sell like hot cakes. So pick your copy or download it and breeze through it – a fun read.
PS: One thing for sure that all the North Indians ought to realise is that there are four main states in the South of India and not all south Indians are ‘Madrasis’ and the language they speak is not ‘Madrasi’. It can be Telugu, Tamil, Kanada or Malyalam, at the least. (This message comes out partially in the book and I wanted to emphasize this for the Northies.)