Why Chetan Bhagat sells?

No wonder Chetan Bhagat is a best-seller, he’s got most engineering students reading and buying his books. And there are quite a lot of engineering students in India. And when I mean students, it also includes those who normally would not touch a novel with a 10 foot pole. What possibly began as word of mouth praise for 5 point Someone culminated in sequel books which as standard movie sequels are a low reprisal of the original and also in follow up movies.. I agree 5 point someone was good. It allowed us insight into how an IITian may live. Getting into an IIT is a dream dreamed by a lot of students although very few actually make it into those hallowed portals. Now am not saying that the ones inside are better than the ones out. The stringent admission system only makes it possible for the ones who are hardworking and studious and mostly who don’t have a life able to get in. Well I did write the JEE and obviously did not do any good at it. But given the amount of hardwork I put in, I was satisfied with my performance. So much so that I still covet that markscard. So well 5 point Someone showed us that IITians are humans too and they have feelings and live through the same screwed up engineering student problems. Well the book became a standard read for all engineering aspirants and with it became famous all the books. It also spawned an entire genre of book titles regarding IITs and IIMs. My worst experience being an IIM one who’s title I have gladly forgotten. I think it had ‘dream’ or ’inspire’ in its title. That book was a god forsaken mistake.

Now that his books were selling like hot cakes , the guy decided to give up his day job and take to full time writing; newspaper columns and movie scripts. Personally speaking, I like his non-fiction writing. Its good. But his fiction is going nowhere. I barely know any hard core readers who liked the latest book, ‘2 states’. I, by far, had expected something better. I started reading the book mid October, during my second sessionals and uptill now have not been able to get past ACT 2. Now his insights into Indian life is largely true and maybe thats what makes it click. Indians, I believe, like to laugh at themselves hence we have so many jokes about so many ethnic groups; Sterotypes and otherwise. We are great voyeurs, no?

But apart from all this, These books have made people take to reading. Just like how Harry potter had done for the western world. Reading Novels and visiting libraries are some things which are decreasing in our world. With digitising of books, libraries may in the near future cease to exist. I love libraries and second hand book shops. I can spend hours together there and I really do. Ebooks are great but they are not keepers. Kindle is innovative but I want to see it being used for bulky engineering texts. And Yes, I would like to own one.

I’m really glad that I was introduced to reading when I was little and I still covet those treasures of mine. Reading teaches you a lot, mind you!

A friend asked me whats similar between all the titles. “isnt it obvious? Each title has a number.”
I almost want to see ‘ 4’ in his next book title eg..’4 freaking days’, ‘4saken’,’4 the love of god’

“Have you noticed how sex has moved through his series?
From the almost end part of 5 Point Someone, to page 23 in ‘2 states’.”
Remarked by a second year in the college bus.

I got inspired to write this after reading The Oatmeal’s Twilight review. Thats another series which is lying unread at home.

Author: inosaint

designer. data viz aficionado. evil genius. product designer at gojek.

7 thoughts on “Why Chetan Bhagat sells?”

  1. mix a lil drama with the HOD’s daughter and a few scenes of grass and booze here and there ..wait get IIT into the picture and there yer book is going damn straight to hell..err into the hands of yuppies and fiction loving college junta.

    no book so far has been close enough to tell you how IITs really are, there are basically two ways to know, either you get into one or you read material right of the horse’s mouth example the mini documents /essays these IIT profs pen to give a form to their long teaching careers at these institutes.

    close to that quality comes sandipan deb’s the iiitian, the book is drag at times but hay its not all hublaboo like chetan’s.

    iit is as real as real can get and to say that that a fictional account of it told you the real story helped you “identify” with it? BS.

  2. True. When we visited one, we came to know about certain realities there. The culture at IIT is quite different but its still plagued with 85% attendance thats required irrespective of the fact that you are representing India at ROBOCON.
    but i still felt that 5 Point Someone was good Indian Fiction.

  3. i guess i picked up the wrong book of chetan bhagat a year back and havent attepmted reading any more of his books.
    3 mistakes of my life was a BIG MISTAKE indeed!!

  4. I don know why I felt plot of 5 point was based on Dil Chata hai ,remember it starts with one among 3 friends being admitted to hospital? With whatever I know about 2 states I think its sequel of Ghar Jamai Madhavan starred hindi tv serial…

  5. I know, right?

    I wanted to blog about this too.
    Most of the people who call themselves ‘readers’ have read only Chetan Bhagat. And their favorite is Five point someone. I know people can have an opinion and stuff but how the hell do you call yourself a bookworm if you’ve read like four books?
    And I like books that make you think. Or that tell you a nice story. That make you feel. But his books are so bland.
    I did not like two states. AT ALL.

  6. i dont read bhagat. read 5 pt sumone just coz i was stayin at my cousin’s place with nothin to do,my cousin had to go n that was the only book he had.It was like readin someone’s diary.will read his other books only if similar situations come up.i’m not saying he’s bad.But i’d rather read Dostoevsky or Barker or Milton.
    PS: nice comment Sindhu

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