Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Chetan Bhagat - Wow or Eww?

Day 3 of #AtoZChallenge2017

You can love Chetan Bhagat. You may also choose to hate him. But there is no way you could ignore him. To call him the flag-bearer of new generation of Indian authors and crediting him with reintroducing fiction to young Indians wouldn't be completely wrong. In spite of receiving tremendous criticism for a number of reasons, CB soared higher with every consecutive book. I can't say I have loved any of his books, but I also have to confess that I didn't completely dislike them either. Although I have stopped picking up his books now, I do read his articles once in a while. Whether I agree with him or not, doesn’t need a mention here.

Bhagat has often been criticized for his writing style and shallow plots used in his books. Plots, I agree, have not been top-notch and some of them do evoke a feeling of complete disgust at the end of book. However, discrediting him for the use of simplified English language is unfair. Not everybody likes to read heavier version of the language. And I strongly disbelieve that he can't write better. He chose not to. Probably, that was his plan. Target the young adults of the country who want to read English, the simpler version however, and didn't want Sherlock Holmes-style super intelligent stuff. And the plan worked brilliantly.

Chetan Bhagat struck the exact right chord of the younger audience. He picked up stories from their lives, added some spicy twist and turns, and presented them as books they could flaunt reading. CB does get the psyche of his target market one hundred per cent. Some blame him for using his IIT/IIM tag to get famous. I would call him stupid if he didn't. Did he portray a wrong image of the prestigious institutions? Well, the repute of these institutions isn't so shallow so as to be maligned by what one person thinks. CB often gets to see the uglier side of fame. But he remains unfazed. Sometimes, I think he feeds on criticism.

It’s been years since I read a book written by Bhagat and don't see myself doing that in the distant future too. I have outgrown that stuff but there was a time when I called myself a CB fan. Chetan Bhagat undoubtedly is better than the writers who came after in the scenario and remains a flag-bearer for the young generation of writers budding in the country.

Chetan Bhagat finds a spot in my blogging marathon for bringing "reading" to the masses, for taking it from metros to the smaller towns and cities of the country. Not everybody can read and comprehend Jane Austen or Agatha Christie. We need some Chetan Bhagats too.


Linking this post to the #AtoZChallenge2017 

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