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Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Wannabe Chetan Bhagat? Why not consider your own name?

Blogadda's Tangy Tuesday Pick

What do I feel about Chetan Bhagat books?

I don't love his books, but I do not dislike them as-well. I know it takes hell lot of effort to write a story and convert that into a book. I am trying to write one non-fiction and must admit that I am very-very bad at it. Have only written 10 pages in more than a year. Thus, there is no piece of writing i can ever dislike - forget hate.
I agree that most of his books roam around similar concept and might be targeted to a certain set of audience. So what? All writers do the same. I started reading Nicholas Sparks and fell in love with his romantics till I ended up predicting one of his stories right from beginning. That does not mean i do not like him any more. I still love his stories - so what if all make 2 people fall in love over overnight and have mouth watering love making scenes, his love letters still make me go week into my knees.
Even everyone does not like Shakespeare or Charles Dickens. To be frank, not everyone can understand their writing, forget liking it. 
In short, I personally feel neutral towards Chetan Bhagat books and have enjoyed reading them. He does not come in my favourites but i have no reasons to not call him a writer.

Why did I read Chetan Bhagat books?

Five Point someone - The book was lying on the bed of one of girls in my PG. I asked her how is it and she said 'awesome". I borrowed it and could immediately relate to most of the instances specified being an engineering student. To be honest, i have some non-engineer friends and they can not relate to it in any sense.

One Night at Call Centre - The book came just after i finished above. Was a hit in market and i again had it free of cost via my PG. I was almost clueless about my views on the book. It was bit funny - i was smiling at almost all twists.

Three Mistakes of my life - I absolutely have no idea about why i picked this book. May be because i again saw it with my Chetan Bhagat fan PG mate. I hated the way violence and blood shedding is written in this book. Otherwise, it was ok.

2 States - Having read three of his books, i was fascinated by his real life experiences. Who in the world would not like to read/hear true love stories. Whenever we have a love marriage around us, we are curious to know the details especially if it was opposed by parents initially. All famous love stories lie on same plot - Couple trying to unite while everyone else around them pulls them away (Romeo-Juliet, Laina-Majnu, Heer-Ranjha... too much, ok - kayamay se kayamat tak, Raja Hindustani, Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham, Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge, Maine Pyar Kiya, Veer-Zara, Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam, Jodha Akbar...).

Never now I may end up reading others as-well.

What makes Chetan Bhagat so popular?

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Without any personal comments, I find below five points as an answer to this:
1. Marketing - "jo dikhta hai wo bikta hai' (that which is seen is sold). Chetan bhagat has used his learning from nation's top institute to the best use of it.
2. Candy-floss Romance - unexpected love stories and jaw dripping sexual fantasies (Professor's daughter (his own house and shirt), Friend's sis (rooftop during tuition timings), Somebody's girlfriend) 
3. The Language - While his writing skills have varied views and has been criticized very badly in many forums, there is no denying that irrespective of flaws etc., it's damn easy. Even a kid can read and understand every word of it.
4. Plot/Setting - Dream colleges/institutes(IIT, IIM), riots, forbidden fruit (best friend's sister) etc..
5.Social Status - PM Modi stands up and adjusts the mike for a lady or beats drums on his foreign trip and it becomes headline of next day's newspaper. Similarly, a famous writer writes a column on current topic of discussion or his the new film on his book kicks off, it will make a news. we have a short memory span and our little brain needs regular reminders. Chetan Bhagat makes sure people remember him regularly. The good thing is he does this positively. Not everyone can keep everyone happy - He just put his thoughts in media and accepts all criticism - positive and negative.

What do the other lesser known talented Indian writers need to do to get the same recognition?

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It's a million dollar question which sadly has no specific answer, at-least i have not been able to find one. If the writer is really talented, he/she doesn't need a 5 pointer.
1. Get into IIT and then IIM.
2. Have the guts to write that story and market it so well.
3. Don't have a love story? Don't worry - not everyone gets the most popular in college. Run your imagination - Create a plot to either make readers LOL or make them turn their eyes red in tears.
4. Get those newspaper/magazine columns selected and printed
5. Be yourself!!!

This post is written in response to Indispire topic - 'What makes Chetan Bhagat so popular? What do the other lesser known talented Indian writers need to do to get the same recognition?'

Do you like Chetan Bhagat writing? What do you think it takes for a writer to get famous? Write your thoughts in comments section.


  1. I could never finish any of Chetan Bhagat's books I tried. I still admire Dostoevsky and such stuff, you see. That's my problem, of course. But I do think that Bhagat should not be set up as a standard for anyone. Better to find your own style and story.

    1. Agreed Tom, One need to find their own story and writing style.

  2. Nice Post. Completely agree to the 2nd point - (Candy-floss Romance)

  3. Chetan Bhagat is a very ordinary writer, but his stars are extraordinary!!

    1. Yes Usha... We must also remember god helps those who help themselves... same goes to stars...

  4. OH BOY. Now I have to get into IIT or IIM. Would a National Law School degree be enough too?
    Like Usha Menon said, his stars are extraordinary

    1. He he...
      Yeah stars have played their part, but we cannot ignore the manner he has utilized them to capture the market...

  5. That was a wonderful analysis of how Chetan Bhagat got where he is and how we can also hope to get there. I too have reservations about Chetan's literary skills and even though he is a "marketeer" I doubt he is so cunning as to use all his guile to sell his stories. I also think you have missed out one major point in success - LUCK. He is one lucky fellow and may God bless him.

    1. Luck is the factor most successful people have in addition to their capabilities of-course. Yes, Although being an ordinary writer, his mind has taken him miles.

  6. very nicely written..thanks for sharing this beautiful quote

  7. was selected for Tangy Tuesday Pick: