Chetan Bhagat and Harsha Bhogle are perhaps the most publicly well-known alumni of Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. I am proud of them and their achievements, partially because I too am an alumnus of this hallowed institution, but mostly on account of the fact that they have made their mark not in corporate Board Rooms, but in daringly different fields. Both Chetan and Harsha have earned this status by virtue of intelligent positioning in this crowded world and appealing to a very large audience consisting of both the elite and the not-so-elite. Harsha has used the medium of cricket to make himself known as a commentator of repute rubbing shoulders with all the cricketing greats without ever having played for the country. Chetan, on the other hand, has chosen the platform of Indian Writing in English and has been churning out one best seller after another ever since his first attempt Five Point Someone suddenly caused Indian booksellers to ring in cash like never before.
There has been a lot of good Indian writing in English in the last five years or so, but the creators of most of those like Arundhati Roy and Vikram Seth had an intelligent, erudite global audience for their works. In short, they wrote for the classes, not for the masses. Chetan made no such pretensions; his 300 page novels were not meant to be classics, they did not have a vast canvas and were designed for reading at a stretch. But two factors helped Chetan’s unique positioning. One was that the characters consisted of the AAM JANTA with whom the average college going student could immediately relate to and two, the writing style was conversational. A series of incidents, closely mirroring happenings in Bollywood dramas added flesh to it, and a best-seller was created! Bollywood lapped it up with relish and I have just heard that Karan Johar and Ranbir Kapoor are working on his previous creation: 2 STATES.
I picked up Chetan’s latest publication titled REVOLUTION 2020 (with a by-line LOVE.CORRUPTION.AMBITION) and completed it in two sittings. His latest creation has all that one has begun to expect from Chetan Bhagat creations: a little bit of life as a rascal, romance, against the background of corruption in education and some sermonizing for public good. Talking of life as a rascal suddenly reminds me of David Dhawan’s latest disaster titled RASCALS where the two characters portraying the rascals are called Chetan and Bhagat!! The story of an uneducated person striking it big was excellently crafted in Arvind Adiga’s award winning maiden novel THE WHITE TIGER and Chetan takes the same theme, blends it with embellishments like a love triangle, a blasphemous criticism of the functioning of AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education), murky local politics and the power of goons, life in Kota tutorial factories, unholy episodes in holy Varanasi and tops it up with dollops of messages on sacrifice and press as an instrument for bringing out real revolution……
With such a script, can Bollywood be far behind? Who knows, even Praksh Jha may be tempted to redo AARAKSHAN with this story!! I can even visualize some of the dialogues in such a movie which can be translated from some of the lines of this book. Sample this: I switched on the same fan that helped Manoj check out of the entrance exam called Life. Or take this: Big deal, I could take Death. I’m from Varanasi, where the world comes to die! Impressed? Read the book. If not, wait for a movie to be made! Either way, you would have made Chetan Bhagat’s bank account balance bigger!!
October 13, 2011

About The eternally happy Vijay

A cheerful person who loves watching and reviewing movies and indulges in random writings!
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4 Responses to BOOK REVIEW: REVOLUTION 2020

  1. Chengappa says:

    Vijay, good lesson on positioning. keep it up

  2. Rohit Nanda says:

    Must be an enjoyable read Revolution 2020 by Chetan Bhagat. loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and orignal, this book is going in by “to read” list.

  3. Divya says:

    Awesome book it is ………..I like the ay you make a combination of love , corruption and ambition

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