Book Review – 2 States – The Story of My Marriage

After Five Point Someone (2004), One Night @ the Call Center (2005), The 3 Mistakes of My Life (2008); Chetan Bhagat is again present with another exciting novel “2 States: The Story of My Marriage”. An IIT-IIM combo, Chetan Bhagat’s easy-read books have made him a youth icon more than an author. The New York Times named Chetan Bhagat, the biggest selling English Language novelist in India’s history. He also writes columns in some of the most recognized newspapers of India, mostly focusing on issues related to Modern India.

Love marriages around the world are simple. Boy loves girl. Girl loves boy. They get married. In India, there are few more steps. Boy loves girl. Girl loves boy. Girl’s family has to love boy. Boy’s family has to love girl. Girl’s family has to love boy’s family. Boy’s family has to love girl’s family. Girl and boy still love each other. They get married. These are the famous lines of his last book. Chetan Bhagat admits that his last book reflects his own experiences and dedicates it to his in-laws. This book also has a Bollywoodish plot like his other three books and you know the twists. Yet you must read it once for its witty tale about inter-community marriages in India.

Welcome to the love struggle of Krish, a Delhi Punjabi boy and Ananya, a Tamil Brahmin from Chennai. The story begins in IIM Ahmedabad mess where both meet each other. In a few days they become friends and then the usual romance begins. They both get good jobs. Everything goes fine till they arrange a meeting of their parents at the convocation ceremony. Then the real story takes off.

Krish tries to convince the girl’s family and Ananya tries to convince boy’s family for their marriage. It is not that simple, a whole lot of emotional drama takes place. The story oscillates from Delhi to Chennai and from Chennai to Delhi, as the title of the book suggests. In between there are various interesting & masala elements of investment banking life, Punjabi wedding, strained father-son relationship, typical South Indian culture, flaunting of rich Indians, spiritual discussion with a saint and many more. Will they be successful? Will they marry each other?

If you are a true Chetan Bhagat’s fan then it is one of his best and must – read. The book is written in a very simple language. The humorous tone is well used through the narration of the story. It contains everything like a formula film – emotions, music, romance, etc. What I didn’t like about the book is unnecessary addition of some events; it just made the book boring and predictable in between.

There is over dramatization of some scenes and prolonged role of non-lead characters also. But still the book is successful in giving the strong message about the cultural divide in India and how it is affecting the young generation. The book comes out with flying colors by showing the scuffle between old & new generation and how it is affecting the family relationships in our Indian families. It sarcastically comments on the ideology of Indians about marriages. Thanks to Chetan Bhagat for coming with such a lovely novel.

Sumit Goyal