I bought 2 States by Chetan Bhagat on instinct. It looked good sitting in the shelves of Liberty Books and I just picked it up. It is a fiction which describes the story of love marriage. Love marriages are not very common in India and Pakistan as we still believe in arranged marriages. Its actually a very complicated affair; boy meets girl, they fall in love, boy has to love her parents, girl has to love boy’s parents, girl’s parents and boy’s parents have to love each other, if the girl and the boy want to get married. If anyone out of the above is not in love with the other, the whole equation becomes imbalanced to the point of falling apart and love takes a back seat. So Chetan Bhagat tells this story in a very amusing and fun filled way.
Krish, a Punjabi happens to be a graduate from a high ranking university. Ananya, a Brahmin Tamilian is a class fellow and the most sought after new comer in their college. She is the prettiest girl in the university with many paramours. They become friends, then study partners and finally fall in love with Ananya moving in to his apartment for love-study sessions. After spending two years together both get good jobs, with Krish opting to work in Ananya’s city to make things work for his marriage with Ananya. The boy really finds it difficult to get along with his family and gradually they scheme to win over Anaya’s mother, father and brother. Which he ultimately does.
Next step, Krish moves back to his city and now its Ananya’s turn to make things work with Krish’s parents where she miserably fails. Krish’s father is a very very difficult man to get along with. Krish’s mother though she loves Krish but hates Ananya and she finds it impossible to make up with her. To make matters worse Krish is not at talking terms with his father, in fact they seem to have deep hatred towards each other. The whole thing falls apart, Krish tries to make things work but is quite unsuccessful, because of his mother’s repulsive attitude towards Ananya and her parents. Finally, Krish’s father does the surprise move and things change for the better.
I loved the book because it shows the way Punjabis hate Tamilians (Madrasi) and vice versa, which is true for any other community. Speaking of our very own Pakistan, a Punjabi will find it difficult to get married in a Pashtun, Sindhi or Balochi family and like wise for all of them. The cultural and language differences coupled with lack of education and understanding and respect for others being primary reasons.
The book is written in a funny style and quite a number of times made me laugh out loud, LOL! Well how to you rate a book as a good book? IMHO if it makes you laugh, cry, happy, brings and change in you, makes you think or in anyway leaves a small dent in your puny little mind, then it’s a good book. And 2 States by Chetan Anand is definitely a good book. I would recommend it young people who are finding it difficult to make their parents agree on the BIG issue.