Two States

Chetan Bhagat is a popular Indian writer. Born and brought up at Delhi, he studied Mechanical Engineering at the Indian Institute Of Technology Delhi and then at the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad. He is also a columnist with Dainik Bhaskar and Times of India. He has written four books so far, Two States being his latest release. All his books have met with commercial success in India. The title of his books are: Five point someone, One night at a call centre, Three mistakes of my life, and Two states.

Two States as the name and the book cover suggests, is about a girl and a boy from two different states falling in love and their stuggle to get married with their parents consent. The author tries to show that even though India celebrates unity in diversity, people are quite skeptical to marry their sons and daughters to someone from a different state in their very own country. The book follows the story of the main protagonist Krish a Punjabi boy, who falls in love with Ananya, the most beautiful girl of his batch who happens to be a Tamilian. The whole story is written in a narrative first person style, revolving around how Krish meets Ananya for the first time in his college and how from being just friends they eventually fall in love. Where Kirsh is a little shy and reserved, Ananya is confident, outspoken and peppy. Krish is the only son with a loud boisterous mother, whose only concern is to see her son well settled with a very nice rich Punjabi girl. Krish has major issues with his father, whereas Ananya comes from a calm harmonious traditional family which includes a geeky brother, serious father, and a classical singer mother.
The story is not just about the young couple trying to convince their parents to agree to the match, but also about convincing their own selves in times of doubt.

The starting of the story is set in Ahmedabad where Krish and Ananya study in the Indian Institute of Management. When Ananya starts having some trouble with a subject at college, Krish offers to help her. They start meeting every night to study and the obvious happens: they fall in love. As the story progresses we see that the couple gets serious about each other and decide on marriage. Neither of the parents make a good impression on the other when they meet at the graduation ceremony of their children. The couple gets jobs through their campus interviews. Ananya gets a job in Tamil Nadu while Krish has to choose whether he wants to be with his mother or go to his girl in Chennai. Not wanting to betray either of them, he leaves it to fate and puts both cities as his preference in the form, luckily enough gets posted to Chennai. The rest of the story is in Chennai and then for a while in Goa. Both set of parents can’t stand each other, ego clashes follow, conflict seems to creep in between the lovers too! Will they be able to sort out their problems and even if they do, will they be able to get their parents consent for the marriage? Well to find out you will have to read the story.

Two states is probably Chetan Bhagats best write so far and the author has agreed that a lot of what is there in the story is taken from his own personal experience. The author himself is a Punjabi Boy and his wife Anusha is a Tamilian thus the book in some ways is inspired from real life. The book is very humorous and takes digs at both the Punjabi and the Tamil community. Most of the book is very realistic; a lot of people can probably connect to the Indian sentiments that are portrayed in the novel. The book tries not to be preachy and manages to maintain the humor quite consistently, thus making it a good light read.

You could have done with a much better introduction of the book and author. Example “After the success of his first three novels, Chetan Bhagat’s most recent novel Two States is a refreshing love story that captures the Gen Y sentiments and cross-culture marriages. Based on his real life experience, the story captures the love story of a typical Punjabi boy and a Tamil girl who not only convince each other about their marriage but their respective families as well.”

Sneha Jaiswal

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