Best Novels By Chetan Bhagat
Five Point Someone
Five Point Someone: What not to do at IIT! is a 2004 novel written by Chetan Bhagat, an alumnus of Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi and Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad. The book sold more than a million copies worldwide. The book is narrated by Hari, with some small passages by his friends Ryan and Alok, as well as a letter by Hari’s girlfriend Neha Cherian.
It deals with the lives of the three friends, whose elation on making it to one of the best engineering colleges in India is quickly deflated by the rigor and monotony of the academic work. Most of the book deals with the numerous attempts by the trio to cope with and/or beat the system as well as Hari’s fling with Neha who just happens to be the daughter of Prof. Cherian, the domineering head of the Mechanical Engineering Department of their college. While the tone of the novel is humorous, it takes some dark turns every now and then, especially when it comes to the families of the protagonists.
Most of the action, however, takes place inside the campus as the boys, led by the ever creative Ryan, frequently lamenting how the internationally lauded IIT system has stifled their creativity by forcing them to value grades more than anything else. Uninspiring teaching and numerous assignments add to their woes, though the boys do find a sympathizer in Prof. Veera, the new fluid mechanics professor.
- Indo-American Society’s Society Young Achiever’s Award (2004)
- The Publisher’s Recognition Award (2005)
- It was adapted into a play by the theatre company “exam” which took it on a national tour in India in 2010.
One Night @ the Call Center
One Night @ the Call Center is a novel written by Chetan Bhagat and first published in 2005. The novel revolves around a group of six call center employees working at the Connexions call center in Gurgaon, Haryana, India. It takes place during one night, during which all of the leading characters confront some aspect of themselves or their lives they would like to change. The story uses a literal deus ex machina, when the characters receive a phone call from God.he book was the second best-selling novel from the award winning author after Five Point Someone.
The book begins with a frame story which recounts a train journey from Kanpur to Delhi. During the journey, the narrating author meets a beautiful girl. The girl offers to tell the author a story on the condition that he has to make it his second book. After a lot of hesitation, the author agrees. The story was about six people working in a call center. One night they got a phone-call from god within the story, which comprises the bulk of the book, relates the events that happen one night at a call center. Told through the eyes of the protagonist, Shyam, it is a story of almost lost love, thwarted ambitions, absence of family affection, pressures of a patriarchal set up, an insight on the lifestyle of youth of this country and the work environment of a globalized office.
Shyam loves but has lost Priyanka, who is now planning an arranged marriage with another; Vroom loves Esha. Esha wants to be a model, Radhika is in an unhappy marriage with a demanding mother-in-law, and military uncle wants to talk to his grandson; they all hate Bakshi, their cruel and somehow sadist boss. Claimed to be based on a true story, the author chooses Shyam Mehra as the narrator and protagonist, who is one among the six call center employees featured. A phone call from God is one of the salient features in the novel.
In order to cheer themselves up, all the lead characters of the novel decide to go and enjoy at a night club. After enjoying for a while, they leave for office. While returning, they face a life-threatening situation when their Qualis crashes into a construction site hanging over a mesh of iron construction rods. As the rods began to yield slowly, they start to panic. They are unable to call for help as there is no mobile phone network at that place, but Shyam’s mobile phone starts ringing. The phone call is from God, who speaks modern English. He speaks to all of them and gives them suggestions to improve their life, and advises them on how to get their vehicle out of the construction site.
The conversation with God motivates the group to such an extent that they get ready to face their problems with utmost determination and motivation. Meanwhile Vroom and Shyam hatch a plan to throw Bakshi out of the call center and prevent the closing of Connexions call center, whose employees are to be downsized radically. When they emerge from danger, they have clear-cut goals in their mind. On returning to the call center, they carry out their plans with dexterity.
The themes involve the anxieties and insecurities of the rising Indian middle class, including questions about career, inadequacy, marriage, family conflicts in a changing India, and the relationship of the young Indian middle class to both executives and ordinary clients whom they serve in the United States. There is an aspect of self-help in the book as the author invites readers to identify aspects of themselves and their lives that make them angry and that they would like to change.
The 3 Mistakes of My Life
The 3 Mistakes of My Life is the third novel written by Chetan Bhagat. The book was published in May 2008 and had an initial print-run of 420,000. The novel follows the story of three friends and is based in the city of Ahmedabad in western India. This is the third best seller novel by Chetan Bhagat. The 3 mistakes is as follows:
- Govind had paid a huge advance for opening a store in Navrangpura shopping mall even though his friends tried to stop him.
- He fell in love with Vidya and had slept with her.
- He waited a split second and dived too late to save Ali because of his own selfishness. Ali’s wrist was destroyed.
2 States : The Story of My Marriage
2 States: The Story of My Marriage commonly known as 2 States is a 2009 novel written by Chetan Bhagat. Loosely based on Bhagat’s own life, it is the story about a couple coming from two different states in India, who face hardships in convincing their parents to approve of their marriage. Bhagat wrote this novel after quitting his job as an investment banker. This is his fourth book after Five Point Someone, One Night @ the Call Center and The Three Mistakes of My Life.
2 States: The Story of My Marriage is partly autobiographical. The story is about a couple, Krish and Ananya, who hail from two different states of India, Punjab and Tamil Nadu respectively, are deeply in love and want to get married. The story begins in the IIM Ahmedabad mess hall, where Krish, a Punjabi boy from Delhi sights a beautiful girl, Ananya, a Tamilian from Chennai, quarreling with the mess staff about the food. Ananya was tagged as the “Best girl of the fresher batch”. They become friends within a few days and decide to study together every night.
In the mean time, they become romantically involved. They both get jobs, and have serious plans for their wedding. At first Krish tries to convince his girlfriend Ananya’s parents and at last convinces them by helping Ananya’s father to do his first PowerPoint Presentation, her brother, Manju, by giving him IIT tuition and later convinces her mom by asking her to sing in a concert organised by Krish’s office, i.e. CitiBank. She is convinced as her biggest dream of singing at a big concert comes true. She sings along with S. P. Balasubrahmaniam and Hariharan. Then they try to convince Krish’s mom.
But the problem is Krish’s mother’s relatives who don’t quite like this. They say that Krish should not marry a Tamilian but end up agreeing with them when Ananya tries to help one of Krish’s cousin to get married and succeeds to do so. Krish has had a hatred on his father. He never shares his feelings or doesn’t share a harmonious bonding with him. Now as they have convinced both their parents they now try to introduce each other’s parents. They go to Goa. But this dream of theirs end as Ananya’s parents finds something fishy between Krish’s mom and him. Ananya’s family end up deciding that Krish and Ananya will not marry each other.
But, at last, Krish’s father, who was like an enemy for Krish, helps Krish and Ananya to get married as he convinces Ananya’s family well.Now Krish realizes his Dad’s love for him. They really do very hard to convince each other’s parents and finally make it. It is narrated in a first person point of view in a humorous tone, often taking digs at both Tamil and Punjabi cultures . The novel ends with Ananya giving birth to twin boys. He says that the babies belong to a state called ‘India'; with a thought to end inequality.
Revolution 2020: Love, Corruption, Ambition
Revolution 2020: Love, Corruption, Ambition is a 2011 novel by Chetan Bhagat Its story is concerned with a love triangle, corruption and a journey of self-discovery. R2020 has addressed the issue of how private coaching institutions for courses like IIT JEE exploit aspiring engineering students. How parents put their everything on sake for these coaching so that their children can crack engineering and other professional tests and change the fortune of the family. While a handful accomplishes their dreams others sink into disaster.
The book unearthens the stark reality of this coaching industry which stands on scams, corruption and all kinds of criminal activities. The author, Chetan Bhagat, has stated that the novel is based on the “rampant corruption” apparent in the Indian youth educational system, with the choice of Varanasi as a setting emerging through “a special connection to the city” following his visit. He further said “it is one of our oldest cities, and people there now have modern aspirations. I thought the contrast would be interesting. The city also has a lot of character.
This book follows the story of two friends separated by their ambitions and passions yet connected by their love for the same girl. While Gopal, who has experienced the harsh realities of life due to poverty aspires to become rich, his friend Raghav is a boy from a well-off yet simple Indian family who desires to revolutionize India by fighting corruption. As they grow older, they disconnect from each other and are busy with their individual lives.
But Aarti somehow ties them together being their mutual friend. Both of them are in love with the same girl and this incorporates the romance aspect of this book. However after seeing what Raghav has gone through due to the joint revenge taken by the MLA and Gopal himself yet sustaining his determination to bring the revolution, Gopal decides to change somethings on his part and help his friend anonymously. He stops the affair he has with Raghav’s girlfriend Aarti and lets go of her despite his unconditional love for her. He also asks Dainik to hire Raghav back.
Things slowly improve for Raghav financially as he can now work on his articles, while Gopal is shown to slowly become a better person. Although in the end we see Gopal is alone and prefers to be isolated, he is indeed rich and successful as he wanted to be and Raghav,who is now married to Aarti and almost the MLA sees his dream of bringing about change as well.
Half Girlfriend is a novel by Chetan Bhagat released on 1 October 2014. The story begins with Madhav Jha, a boy from Dumraon, Bihar, as he comes to meet the author Chetan Bhagat and leaves behind a few journals from his half-girlfriend who he thinks to have died. When the author calls him back the following morning to narrate his story, he begins with his struggles to deal with students in St. Stephen’s College.
Being from a village, Madhav is quite bad at English. He has come for an interview in Stephens. A good basketball player, Madhav Jha manages to get admission through his sports quota. The rich and beautiful Riya Somani, a girl from Delhi, is also selected through the sports quota. Meeting her, as he would call it a twist of fate Madhav and Riya become close friends due to their association with basketball. Madhav always wants to make her his girlfriend, which she refuses. Desperate to get physical with Riya, he demands to get physical with her.
Offended by his obscene ultimatum, Riya parts company with him and warns him not to talk to her any more.. A year later, Riya marries her childhood friend Rohan and settles in London where Rohan has a big business. Finding Delhi unbearable on grounds of losing Riya due to his own fault, Madhav decides to settle in his hometown and help his mother, Rani sahiba with her school. Seeing the condition of the school – no proper classes or toilets – Madhav decides to meet local MLA Ojha for financial help, but MLA is of no help.
An opportunity comes when Ojha informs him of Bill Gates’ visit to some schools in Bihar. Madhav tries his best to convince Gates to fund his schools’ development, but in order to do so he has to prepare a speech, preferably in English. In the course of his struggle, he comes across Riya, who was already a divorcee. As Madhav is in a fix as to how he would prepare the speech, Riya helps him. The two are successful in their fundraising, but, after the speech, Riya leaves a letter for him which says that she has lung cancer. With three months left to live, Riya leaves for New York to become a singer, a dream she wanted to pursue.
After three years, it is revealed from Riya’s journals that she is alive. Riya left no trace of her in India. Madhav goes in search of her in New York and stays in his friend Shailesh’s apartment. After three months of extensively searching, he finds her in a bar working as a singer, two days before leaving for India. They two marry and the story sets off. The book ends as the author visits the rural school in Dumraon three and a half years later; he discovers it is being run successfully by Madhav and Riya, who now had a son, Shyam.