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Thursday, 3 November 2016

One Indian Girl by Chetan Bhagat - My Review

1. Background. My attempt to write a review of  Mr. Chetan Bhagat's latest effort is a purely personal effort to examine his work as a reader with an open mind. A few days ago, I read Revolution 2020, which kindled certain old memories in the initial chapters. but towards the end, the plot became very abrupt in the treatment of its three main protagonists. With this backdrop. I must admit that I was looking for something similar with every new chapter unravelling- given the common notion of repetitiveness that the author is often accused of.

2. Source. I read the book offline after downloading it on my Kindle Unlimited Edition priced INR 0.00. Despite the forty two chapters,given the thin volume, I managed to finish it in one sitting. The prologue and epilogue was missing this time.

3. The Main Protagonist. Radhika Mehta, a middle class Punjabi girl who has a brilliant academic background that helps her get a Vice President appointment at Goldman Sachs at a young age. Like many other previous protagonists, Radhika is also battling her inner demons and societal prejudices prevalent in the middle class milieu. But this one has a supportive father for a change.

4. The Significant Others.

 Debashish Sen, based in Newyork, is the Left leaning, anti Capitalist pseudo philosophical young man with whom the main protagonist has her first serious relationship. I cringed at the unnecessary detail that the writer went into describing their sexual intimacy- a sheer attempt to titillate, I dare say. The manner in which Radhika was ready to sacrifice her own professional success just to satisfy her man's  ego was understandable. However the brazen similarity with the plot of Revolution 2020 wherein Radhika is buying roses, an engagement ring at Tiffany's  and then visiting Debashish without prior intimation, only to find him with someone else was a pure letdown. Maybe the writer did not find a better expression to reflect the immaturity of his young protagonists.

Neel Gupta, based in Hong Kong, is Radhika's Boss'es boss. As a married, middle aged and highly successful banker, here is a man who actually helps her to mature as an individual, commensurate with her professional rise. But only till the time his own inner demons don't get better of him. The intimacy is handled much better here, thankfully.

Brajesh Gulati, the Facebook employee based in San Francisco is that balancing thread that has been common to each of Mr. Chetan Bhagat's works. In many ways, I feel that this characterisation is a reflection of the writer's self image- an attempt to shape his own existence to be what he wants to rather than what he actually is. The writer leaves Radhika's  'Relationship Status' with Brajesh open ended this time.

5. My Assessment

I somehow felt that in shaping his characters, the writer attempts to  define the various aspects of one single personality. Thereafter he makes them grow with each new relationship to achieve one ideal personality. Seen from this perspective, the characters are an image of the various aspects of the same personality.

6. My Recommendation. Let me be clear that the writer does not attempt to create literary gems. Having said that, the manner in which Mr. Bhagat connects to his readers is the only reason why I ever read his books and would continue doing so. I felt the connect, so would you. just don't be prejudiced or judgemental and read it with an open mind. 

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