Emergence of Chetan Bhagat

Chetan Bhagat (born on 22nd April, 1974), a Delhi native who in the notable part of his teenage life went to ‘The Army Public School’. Then, he proceeded to IIT Delhi in the year 1995 followed by IIM Ahemdadabad in 1997. A graduate from the IIMs has nothing to look back at, that’s what we all know. Graduating from the IIMs is a real big deal! The IIMs stamp weighs like the value of gold in India. Mostly the international companies allure the IIMs graduate and Chetan Bhagat was no exception. After leaving India with an MBA degree, he started working as an investment banker. He has worked for banks like Deutsche Bank and after his stay in Hongkong for eleven years; he recently relocated to Mumbai and as earlier he is working for an investment bank.

An IIM graduate turning into an author is an incredible venture. This investment banker turns into not just an author, but India’s bestselling author! In March 2008, the New York Times called him the “biggest selling English author in India’s history”. Mr. Bhagat burgeoned as an author in May 2004, with his first fiction venture – ‘Five Point Someone’, which won him the Society Young Achiever’s award in 2004 and the Publisher’s Recognition award in 2005. This was followed by ‘One Night at a Call Centre’, which was his second published work in 2005 and was a bestseller even before its release because of its advance orders. His next venture: ‘The Three Mistakes of My Life’, in 2008 gained much popularity. Mr. Bhagat is a big hit! His passion for writing is unparallel and this reflects in his work.

Mr. Bhagat’s first fiction – ‘Five Point Someone’ is about three IIT students, who try to cope with life along with the tremendous study pressure of the institute. This story will soon be featured as Rajkumar Hirani’s new film that stars Aamir Khan in the lead role. His second book : ‘One Night at a Call Centre’ has already been conceived into a bollywood movie ‘Hello’, directed by Atul Agnihotri and is slated for release in the month of September 2008. This movie stars Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Sharman Joshi, Gul Panag, Sohail Khan, Amrita Arora, Isha Koppikar, Sharat Saxena and Dalip Tahil among others.

I recently read ‘The Three Mistakes of My Life’. The book is wonderfully written in simple language, without any complications or jargon. The book is thoroughly Indian and I loved every chapter, every phrase of it. Its basic layout covers three worldly factors: Cricket, Religion and Politics. Mr. Bhagat has incorporated details of the Bhuj earthquake, religious turbulence (The Hindu-Muslim conflict), political disarray and the typical attachment of the Indians to Cricket. This book truly reflects the passion of the author and it is heartening. The course of events in the latest Bhagat release is thrilling! It’s about a young boy from Ahemdabad, Govind Patel, who has a passion for business and his friend Ish and Omi who have their individualistic dreams. Ish’s passion for cricket has been portrayed exceptionally by Mr. Bhagat. Omi is well aware of his limited capabilities and just wants to be around his friends. The book is well written with sharp and witty comments by the author. It distinctly reflects the Indian youth chasing and realizing their dreams through far reaching consequences. The realization of the dreams of the youth is not an easy indulgence. Govind, Ish and Omi all have to face the various adversities of life that get hurled at them through their loved ones and sometimes by their own selves. They will all face religious complexities, political terrorism, sudden earthquakes, nefarious riots and unacceptable love. The one factor that tops their list is their own mistakes! The wonderfully knitted events are certainly a tragic series of happenings and I felt the tragedy from within. Although, the book is fiction to the core, the author has managed to pick up the most genuine events that occur in the day to day lives of the Indian youth. Right from the prologue to the epilogue the book is un-put-down able!

Chetan Bhagat has indeed come a long way… The passion of an investment banker, whose life revolves around banking and finance to contribute towards the fictional world undoubtedly, is a big deal. We are all looking forward to fresher bestselling novels from the author and blockbusters too, with not just a big budget, but featuring Bhagat’s talented and unique story telling virtues.

Upasana Mallick