Short Story: The book of my love

Article type: Short Story
Average reading time: 10 to 15 minutes

This is my first attempt to write a real short story. I have tried before, but many of them had to do more with facts and less with fiction. This was an attempt to see if I can really write something purely out of imagination. Not sure if it really keeps you interested till the end. But I needed to give it a try.

This is an over optimistic start as I have tried to write from a woman’s point of view and that too with a setting in which I have never lived for sure. But nothing wrong in trying to write. In the least, it’s always better to write a bad story than not to write a story at all.

Your feedback is most valued. So please drop in your thoughts using comments form.

***
The book of my love

May be we will be happy once again, when the war is over. But nobody knows when the war will be over. And nobody knows whether we will be happy when the war is over.

I wish I could go somewhere where I do not want to fear death every second. There lands a bomb from nowhere on the opposite house. I know I missed it only by few meters. That’s what scares me most about this war. There is no clue when you will die. But then life has to go. I can’t stop eating. I can’t stop doing many things which look totally meaningless in a war. But I have to do because the bomb hasn’t found me yet. And may be it will never find me. That’s the hope with which we live in a war.

Those were the daily thoughts in our lives. To fall in love in times of war will not help you in anyway either. In fact, it is so horrible to be in love in times of war. Let me tell you my story of love in times of war.

I was a twenty-two year old girl then and I guess it was somewhere in early 1940s. Now that it’s almost forty years after the war, everything looks like a far away nightmare. Did I really live and survive the war? Many of my friends died. It’s at least better to know that they died. What happened to many of my friends is a mystery till today. They may be alive somewhere or dead long ago, who is to tell me.

I used to work as an assistant in the local library. I used to walk to work as the library was only a mile away from our house. I stayed with my parents. My father used to run a small business and my mom was a housewife. I was the youngest among four siblings. I had two brothers and a sister. My brothers went to stay in their own houses after they got married. We used to meet once in a month and it was such a fun. And what happened to my brothers is still a mystery. Everyday I pray to God that they are alive somewhere, that they will find me someday and we will have a dinner together again. But it’s a hopeless prayer.

Library was in an old building which I guess was built four hundred years ago. It had no particular historical significance though. The walls of the main hall where the books were placed were decorated with many paintings. Of all the paintings, I loved one painting in which a couple are walking on a busy road holding each others’ hands. The artist captured every small detail on either sides of the road. There were stalls selling fruits, clothes, sweaters, and many more items. There were small kids playing on the footpath. And there was a butterfly flying. Amidst all the miniature details, the artist still captured the passionate couple and the love they had for each other. I still remember the way they held their hands and the smiles on their faces and the love that motionless picture conveys in that eternal moment.

I used to go to work by nine in the morning and stay there till five in the evening. I was an assistant to the main librarian. And most of my work was to place the returned books in the right places. It was also my job to help people find the books they wanted. I used to get plenty of free time which allowed me to read many books.

One afternoon, when I was busy shuffling the books to make sure they were in the right places, there came a man. When our eyes met for the first time, I fell in love with him. He was not that kind of a guy every girl would dream to sleep with. He looked moderately handsome with a body which faintly hints you that he worked out for quite sometime. But not like a dream boy by any chance. But when I saw him for the first time, I just fell in love with him. I never knew it could happen that way. And we rarely get a chance to think about love in the times of war.

I was sure that he was there for the first time as I could recognize almost everyone who used to visit the library.

‘Excuse me, I am looking for A Farewell to Arms by Hemingway. Can you please help me find it?’

I almost knew where every book was and I could find the books blindfolded. I also remembered which book was taken by readers.

‘Definitely. But I am not sure if it’s there or someone took it.’

‘I hope it will be there. I wanted to read it from a long time.’

‘Please come with me,’ I said. My heart was beating at a speed where I could almost hear the sensations inside. I tried myself to be normal but I couldn’t hide my tension altogether.

We went straight and then took a left to reach the corner where this book was supposed to be. I knew that it was taken out for reading. An old English man had taken it yesterday. I helped the old man to find this book. I wanted to spend sometime with this man. I acted as if I was searching. He also looked in the racks for a book which I was sure he wouldn’t find.

‘I guess it’s taken out,” I said finally when I thought it was enough to fool him, ‘give me a moment to confirm it from the notebook.’

‘Please, will be a great help if you could somehow get this book in a week.’

‘Sure. I will find out who has taken it and I will ask them if they can return the book.’

‘Thank you very much,’ he said and started for the main door.

For the first time in my life, I really loved a man. Well may be liked a man. I have met many men and never really felt like what I have felt that day.

On my way back home, I stopped at the old man’s place to find out if he had finished that book. He was surprised to see me stop by at his home and he was kind enough to invite me for a coffee. We discussed about the war and I learned that his son was taken by the army the last month. Since then he hadn’t heard about what happened to him. That was the toughest part to be alive in the war. You never know what happened to people. It’s good to know that they are dead than not to know what happened to them.

It was a small house with one bedroom and I could hear a old woman coughing profusely from that room, whom I imagined to be his wife.

“She is my wife. She is suffering from fever from last ten days.”

“I pray that she recovers soon,” I said in a consoling voice.

He went inside the room and came back with the book in his hand.

“Take this book. I am not in a hurry to read it. May be it’s good that someone reads it.”

I took the book and pushed into the small red colored cloth bag stiched by my mother in which I used to carry my lunch box.

“Thank you. And when you visit the library next time, please tell me how she is feeling.”

I knew she wasn’t going to recover. The way she was coughing some how suggested that she might not live long. It wasn’t any helpful to be sick in times of war.

Next day, I went to library hoping that man would come back for the book. I haven’t returned the book because someone might take it again. I kept it in my bag and hoped he would come to take the book.

I had to wait for three days. When we were about to close the library on Friday evening, he came rushing. He asked me if the book was available. I had to pretend as if the book was returned. I gave him the book and modified the register.

He said an honest thank you and he was about to leave.

“What’s your name?’ I asked him hoping it would get us into a conversation.

“It’s there on the card. Din’t you see?”

“I want to hear from you.”

He told me his name and smiled.

“Coffee?” I asked him shamelesly.

He accepted and waited for five minutes as I helped the main librarian to close for the day.

We started walking towards a street which was once one of the busiest market streets in our town. Now you could only see dilapidated buildings on the two sides. When the war broke in our town, this street was first to see it.

We were silent for the first five minutes and by that time we entered another street which had some shops to buy groceries and a coffee shop where people gathered to discuss about the war and life in general.

“What’s your name?” he asked.

I told him my name.

There was silence for few minutes and he was trying to read the back cover of the book.

“Where are you from?’ I asked him as his accent suggested that he was not from our country.

“I am from America.”

“So, what are you doing here?”

He smiled and never answered though.

We went inside the coffee shop and sat in a corner where I always preferred to sit. The radio in the coffee shop was announcing the war news and few people gathered near it to hear clearly. And then there was a huge uproar after the lady on the radio announced something. I was sure it was not the end of war announcement even though I wished it was.

I always wonder how wars start and how they end. They seem to be eternal when we are in a war.

“So why did you come from America?”

“I was working with American army. But not anymore.”

“Did you escape from the army?”

“No, I wasn’t fit to be in army after my left leg was amputated.”

“Amputated?” I couldn’t believe. It was difficult to guess from the way he walked that one of his legs was missing. He used a prosthetic but he managed it quite well.

“Yes, I lost my left leg an year ago.” And he lifted his pant till the knee to make me believe.

“Why do we have wars?”

“I have no idea, may be that people have to die”

We ordered two coffees and waited for fifteen mintues before they were served.

I was trying to believe that this man was really in a war and he lost a leg.

We drank the coffee in silence and he paid the bill and we started to take a walk back.

We crossed the school building where I used to study. I have showed him the classroom where I used to sit. The classrooms had half destroyed walls. But still one could make out which room was which.

We walked past the school and took a right.

“I think,” I said, then stopped and looked into his eys and said, “I love you,” and started walking a bit faster as I couldn’t look into his eyes any longer.

“What do you mean? You mean you really love me?”

“I think I love you. I am not sure what is really loving,” I said and stopped there as he was a couple of steps behind me.

He came to me, held my face in his hands, and kissed on my forehead and said, “I wish I could love you too. I wish we could love each other and have a happy family. I just wish I could.” Then he kissed me on the forehead again, said bye and left.

I wasn’t sure what he meant.  I wasn’t sure whether he loved me.  I wasn’t sure whether he loved someone else. All I knew was that I was in love for the first time.

I walked home alone thinking about how hard it must have been for him when he lost his leg. How hard it must have been for him to live in a foreign country in the times of a war.

On the way back home, I realized there was a crowd in front of the old man’s house I visited a couple of days ago. I felt really sad and I knew what must have happened. I went inside the home and prayed for her and left the house. The old man was sitting in a corner looking at the corpse of the woman who would have been alive if there was enough medical care. But life has no significance when there is a war. When a bomb can kill you, how does it matter if you are healthy or sick.

By the time I reached home, my brothers were there and they were waiting for me to have the dinner. I explained the story of that man who lost his leg and everybody thought he was very unlucky. I thought it was better not to tell them that I have told him that I loved him. And I told about the old man who lost his wife and everyone thought he too was unlucky.

I waited for that man everyday at the library for next ten days. I wasn’t sure what he meant when he said he wished he could love me. I wanted to see him again and tell him that I really loved him.

Meanwhile, in those ten days, many buildings were bombed in our town. And I was always warned by my parents to not to go to library because it was one of the famous buildings in our town. I never heard their advice though as I rather foolishly believed if a bomb had to find me it will find me where ever I was.

Unfortunately, my mother fell sick and I had to do the cooking at home. It made me go late to the library after I finished the household chores. I managed to go an hour or two late.

This unusual work at home gave me those rare moments when I forgot about that man and my love for him.

It was on eleventh day after my mysterious proposal to that man, that I had a chance to see him again. By then, I started to believe he returned to his country.

But unfortunately, on that very same day in the morning, our library was bombed. And fortunately for me, I was late to the work as my mother was still sick. The main librarian escaped with injuries and a couple of readers died in it. And to this day, I think what if my mother wasn’t sick ? I am not sure you would be reading my story. Who is to tell what could have happened. Life is mysterious.

I did not know that the library building was bombed until I reached there. I wished it was a nightmare when I first saw the destroyed halls of the entrance. But wars are nightmares in real. I rushed into the library and found a crowd already gathered. I saw the main librarian sitting on a chair in a corner with a bewildered look on his face. When our eyes met, there was an expression which suggested that he was thinking I was really lucky to be alive.

Then I went to the place where the crowd formed a circle. There were four or five dead bodies and it was difficult for me to recognize if I knew anyone of them. As I looked at each of the four dead bodies closely, I saw something.

I saw a man who was lying motionless with a face which was very difficult to recognize after the injuries. But that man, in one of his hands was carrying the book: A Farewell to Arms. The book was partially damaged but it was easy to see the title of the book on the front-cover.

There was only one ‘A Farewell to Arms’ in our library and there was only ‘one man’ who took it. I looked at his almost damaged face more carefully and realized it was ‘That man.’

I sat there and cried for sometime. I took the book off his hand and walked back home.

I still have that book in my home. It’s almost forty years after the war. I have never opened the book until yesterday. When I have finally opened it, I have found a paper in the book which said:

“I love you. I really do. Coffee at 6PM today at the same place?”

Everyday, I think, what if I haven’t given him the book. May be he would have escaped the tragedy. But may be not. Who is to tell me.

***

Thank you very much for reading. I hope you found it interesting.

It wasn’t easy to write this story. For some weird reason, it struck me on one night that I had to write a short story about love in war. It was definitely an attempt which is very difficult to be successful at for a first timer, for I haven’t read much about wars except in a couple of novels and I have almost no experience writing short stories like these.

Please do share your feedback.

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Posted in: Short Story | 10 Comments

Sachin knows: A fan’s take on critics

Sachin ka number kab ayega? When is Sachin’s number coming. This was part of the title of a show that one of the prestigious Indian news channels was running almost all the day on 20-02-2012. So pathetic it was that I almost laughed at the foolishness of the host and the people who were discussing about Sachin being dropped from the one day side.

Nothing can be as disrespectful for the God of the Indian cricket. And I have decided to write about this here as an almost die-hard fan of Sachin. They were talking about Sachin’s retirement from a long time and now these mad people have gone insane and asking for Sachin to be dropped.

Sachin knows. Yes, he knows better than anyone else on this planet about when he has to retire. He knows when it’s time to say a goodbye, for he has dedicated more than half of his life till now to a sport which is not any less than a religion in India.

Every time these crazy stupid media guys start discussing about whether it’s time for Sachin to retire, I cannot understand the foolishness behind this debate. May be they are real fools. Now that Ponting is dropped from the ODI team, the Indian media is going crazy whether Sachin should also be dropped. The very same guys are discussing about Sachin’s retirement from at least five years and yet they haven’t learned. Paradoxically as it may sound, this shows the foolishness behind the arguments. For almost five years, he answered them with the bat. And remember, never with a single word or not even with a single gesture. That’s why he is the God of the cricket.

Is this what a man or shall I say ‘the God’ expects from a country for which he played for more than two decades.

Isn’t it tremendously disrespectful to say that Sachin should be dropped from one-day team?

Why don’t you guys say that our politicians should retire? Has any channel said that a politician should retire?

Either these self-proclaimed critics with a microphone in their hands are out of their brains or they are unable to accept that a man can achieve something so superhuman. It’s jealousy rather than patriotism. It’s foolishness rather than criticism. It’s sheer madness rather than intelligence.

One guy, I am sure who hasn’t played a single international cricket match himself, says, ‘Country is more important than an individual’. Stupidity at it’s best. For whom Sachin played then?

As a a teenager he made India proud. He was an inspiration for a whole new generation of cricketers in India. He has showed that Cricket needs no God fathers. And now that he is nearing forties, we still see that very same innocent eyes which are hungry to hit the ball to the boundary. When in the field, he still patrols the boundary lines as if it’s our country’s border.

Yes, he is not in the best of the forms in this tour. So is almost everyone in the team. Why point at only Sachin. Why do we expect mathematical perfection? Are we perfect in everything we do? I am sure in whatever professions we are, we make mistakes. Then why do we expect ruthless perfection from cricketers? Yes, I do feel bad when India loses. But not to a point to make any statements like, Sachin should retire or someone else should retire.

The biggest myth is that when Sachin hits a century, India loses. Please check this wikipedia link and that data speaks for itself.

Personally, I strongly believe that no one in this country has any right to talk about a man like Sachin. This might sound very exaggerating. But honestly, what is our eligibility to talk about Sachin? Is there someone who is parallel to him? No, and we are sure never in near future we will find a parallel. Someone may remotely match his cricketing skills, but sure they will never come any closer to Sachin as a person. How many times we have seen the young players getting into controversies in the recent past, from showing middle fingers to slapping team mates and to insulting other team-mates in the press conferences. They have talent but nobody has got the skills of Sachin to last long for well over two decades as an idol of perfect player on the filed and as one of the best human beings off the field.

Most of Sachin’s critics are driven by jealousy.

The fact that a man can achieve so many humanly impossible things, makes these critics go mad and make statements which are outright foolish and should be condemned.

Two decades have passed and this man lived with almost no controversy. Now these critics have got a last chance to defame Sachin in the only possible way by dropping him from the one day squad.

To all those Sachin’s critics, you go and dump the rotten shit in your brains somewhere else and accept the fact that Sachin is beyond anyone’s criticism. If you cannot do that, please shut your mouths and better find some other job which earns you bread and butter.

When a man attains to such a perfection to the envy of the bests in the game, this is bound to happen. Everyone is looking for that one, one single thing which would make the God a normal human being. But God will come back and answer you with the bat. It happened before and it will happen again.

And the day Sachin retires from the ODIs, cricket will definitely loose a part of it’s glory in India. It will never be the same again for the millions of fans who dare not even to wink the eyes when Sachin is playing.

We must be fortunate enough to witness this man for almost two decades. After a hundred years, he will be like a myth which is believable only on the page. But we are fortunate enough to have seen him play. Play to a godly perfection. And rejoice the days till he decides to wave a goodbye. You will know that never again the Indian cricket is going to witness a man like Sachin.

And the pathetic mediocrity of Indian media is reaching its heights, or should I say its lows. They want Dhoni to be axed, they want Laxman, and Dravid to be retired. Guys please stop this nonsense. There are better people to decide this stuff.

You and I are in no way have any credibility whatsoever to decide the future of few of the top cricketers this country has ever produced.

There are two kinds of cricketers in India. One is Sachin and other is the rest. And unfortunately we are at the verge of Sachin waving a good bye. Till then feel yourself fortunate enough to see the God live on the screen!

As a die-hard fan of Sachin, it makes me very sad when I see the stupidity of people who are not willing to accept Sachin as the epitome of what is humanly achievable in any sport.

Because Sachin knows better than anyone else, so please stop this non-sense about Sachin’s retirement.

If you are not in that ignorant minority of Sachin’s critics and if you liked this post, please share it.

Posted in: Cricket, India | 7 Comments

Remembering Grandpa

Article type: Personal
Reading time: 5 to 8 minutes

Almost for the first time, I am attempting to write something very personal and sort of a small memoir here.

***

If you are fortunate enough to experience the love of grand parents, I am sure you definitely know that they love you more than your parents do. At least, that’s what I believe personally.

I was in my engineering second year, when he left us forever. Death is a full stop. It ends everything. He was there with us a day before playing caroms till the midnight, but then he was no more on the next day. It was year 2002. I remember every moment of that fateful day. We went to a hospital and then we returned home, he walked on his own when we came back from the hospital. We had no idea he was going to leave us in few minutes. When my doctor uncle declared that my grandpa was no more, I wished my uncle was lying. I wished it was just a dream. I prayed to God to bring him back to life. But then time never stops and never reverses.

Things happened so quickly that we learned to live without him. We learned to see that empty place where he used to sleep. We learned to accept the fact that we can never play caroms with him again and quarrel during the matches. And we never played caroms at home again.

That was my first experience losing someone so dear to me. So dear to me that I find no words to explain.

After a decade, the memories still seem so fresh that it feels as if everything happened yesterday. Almost ten years passed without knowing when. But I still miss him even today. At least once in a week I will think about him. Why can’t I forget? May be I will never forget even when I become a grandpa.

He wasn’t anything extraordinary. He was a simple, honest, well educated man; and a retired government teacher. When I was studying at home, he was my virtual dictionary. Whenever I wanted to know the meaning of a word, I would ask him and he always had the answer.

In many ways, he gave us the gift of education. He was strict though, when we were growing up. We never had a cable TV at our home for most of my childhood. He wasn’t behind us to study though. But we knew he was a learned man. He wanted us to study well too. He fought life in a hard way to earn his respect and of course money. He knew education was the only way out. He wanted us to be successful in life. Now that we are moderately successful, he is not there to share the joy with us.

When I was out of my hometown for studies, he wrote me letters. Letters which were so simple. Innocent affection put into words. A simple postcard asking me how I was doing and conveying that everyone else was doing good at home. And of course asking me to study well. He never bothered about my marks and ranks though. We had no phone at home. It was late 90′s and neither email  nor mobiles were so common as they are today.

One more thing I will never forget. We used to watch cricket together. Of course, my father used to watch too. I still remember that 1996 world cup semifinal we watched together where India lost. I used to bunk school and watch the cricket matches with him.

Many memories. Starting from going with him in a bus, eating breakfast with him in the hotel, watching a cricket match, sending money orders on behalf of him, helping him with his bank work, stealing few coins from his pocket, using his rented bicycle without he noticing it. Everything feels as if yesterday. Everything feels as if now. But decades stand in between.

He taught us many things in life. He never cared for material possessions. He never talked bad about anyone. He was a perfect man except for one thing. He smoked a lot for few years without knowing it will take away a decade of his life. He was so healthy even when doctors have lost all hope of his survival he lived for almost three more years.

One more incident that makes my eyes wet and I remember it quite often. One day when he was in hospital for treatment, he compared my height with my father’s height. He was so happy that I was a grown up boy.

He wanted to buy a motorbike for me – to the envy of my father – when I got good percentage in my engineering first year. No one knows the sadness I had to bare when I was the college topper in the next semester and my grandpa wasn’t there to see it. Sadly, he passed away only two weeks before I got my result. I missed him so much that day that I couldn’t sleep.

Yes, when he was there, there were time when I quarreled with him, when I disliked him, when I liked him, when I hated him, when I loved him.

One thing that I still remember even today, which he told me once about his driving. Sometimes bicycle guys used to overtake him while he was on a moter vehicle and they used to laugh at him. But he told, he never really cared for hose things. He never really cared what people thought about him.

He was a simple man without any extravagant aims in life. One thing for sure, he never really cared for money.

I will miss him for sure even when I become a grandpa.

We owe a lot for what he had done for us. We owe a lot for his love.

Why should death do us apart? Why can’t we life forever? Why life after all if we are destined to vanish some day.

Posted in: Personal | 4 Comments

What is Biryani?

Article type: Writing exercise, non-fiction
Reading time: 5 to 8 minutes

I am writing this quick post to make sure I get into the habit of updating this blog more frequently from now. Being busy is a lazy excuse. My friend, Karteek inspired me with his 100th blog post.  I started blogging at least a couple of years before he did, and I was happy and at the same time surprised to see his milestone. But I really hope Sachin reaches his 100th 100 before I reach a ton of posts here.

This isn’t fiction.  This isn’t a story. This is just a recollection of an incident. So, you may not find the ending interesting.

***

So what is Biryani? Well, most of us do not need an introduction. Biryani and Hyderabad have become kind of synonymous these days. Just in case if you do not know what is Biryani, please check the Wikipedia article. When anyone comes to tour Hyderabad for the first time, eating Biryani will be in their to-do list for sure. And we, software engineers, whenever our clients visit Hyderabad, we will make sure they eat the best of Biryanis. Before they eat, little do they know about what’s going to happen to them the next morning.

Well, I am not going to give any recipe or write history of Biryani here. I am recollecting a small incident which happened in my hometown, I guess three years ago.

One fine sunny afternoon, I wanted to eat Biryani and we went to one of the best restaurants in my hometown. My friend joined with me. We ordered two Biryanis and couldn’t finish them. My friend suggested we could get the remaining Biryani parceled and give it to someone on the road instead of wasting the food. He was sure we could find someone at a temple on our way back home.

He was right in guessing as we found a boy in his early teens begging(couldn’t find a suitable synonym) at that temple. It was around two in the afternoon and I wasn’t sure whether he had already eaten his lunch. We stopped our bike and I went and gave him the cover.

“Have you had lunch?” I asked him.

“No, Anna(elder brother),” he replied putting the cover aside on the basement on which he was sitting.

“That is Biryani. Eat it.” I have told him and I was about to turn and leave.

“Anna…” he called me and I turned back again.

“What is Biryani?” he asked without a hint of mockery in his voice. It was an innocent question.

I was surprised and shocked. I realized that’s the reality of the world we live in. We take many things for granted from our childhood.

I din’t know how or what to answer. My friend was also shocked. We told the boy to eat it and we told him it will be really good and tasty.

We never knew whether he ate it. We never knew whether  he really thought it tasted good. We never knew what happened to him. We started our bike and left, discussing about the harsh reality that surrounds us and the probabilistic good fortune most of us have.

I know that there is nothing wrong in not knowing what Biryani is.

I do not want to get into any kind of philosophical stuff here. I wanted to recollect the incident the way it had happened. I hope you liked reading it.

If you have read this, you have made my day! Thank you for your time.

Please ‘Like’ it if you like it.

Posted in: Life, Musings | 8 Comments

Book review: Revolution 2020 by Chetan Bhagat

Revolution 2020 is the story of three childhood friends: Gopal, Raghav, and Aarthi. The story is setup in the holy-city of Varanasi. Gopal and Raghav are schoolmates from the childhood and share the same bench in school. Aarthi is also from the same class. Gopal loves Aarthi from the school days.

The story’s narrator is Gopal. I am not going to tell you the entire story and be a suspense spoiler.

Gopal comes from a filmy-Indian-middle-class background. Raghav is from an almost well to do family, where as Aarathi comes from a kind of bureaucratic and political family. Three of them have their own ambitions in life. Gopal wants to be a rich man, Raghav wants to change the world, Aarthi wants to become an air hostess.

After the failure in getting through JEE and AIEEE exams, Gopal is forced by his father to repeat the exams next year. But Raghav secures a good rank and joins the top college in Varanasi. Aarthi falls in love with Raghav.

What happens when Gopal returns to Varanasi after his one year stint at cracking the entrance exams is the main part of the story. Apart from losing his love, he couldn’t find a seat in engineering to fulfill his father’s dream.

How Gopal chooses corruption as an aid to become a successful person while Raghav tries to change the world(read as India) with his revolutionary ideals is what the middle pages of the book are all about.

In the ending, things kind of change though, and you will be left to yourself to wonder who is right and who is wrong. Except for a faint hint in the end, Chetan doesn’t really judge what Gopal does is good or bad.

Following the tradition of the latest Bollywood movies, you can find few swearing words which start with letters b and a and f. I leave it your imagination to figure out those words. I really wonder whether Chetan added those words in the drafts after those movies are released or those words were there from the beginning.

Few of my favorite sentences:

I am reproducing few of the sentences I have underlined while I was reading the book.

People come to my city to feel the presence of god, but I could feel her presence everywhere.

Ease of cremation is one solid advantage of being in Varanasi. The death industry drives the city.

Stupid people go to colleges. Smart people own them.

We don’t fix cases, we fix the people in the cases.

What I din’t like? (And may be you don’t like too)

You will miss the witty observations for which Chetan is known for. Two States has a lot of lol-moments for the reader. But in this book, even though there are few sentences which make you lol, the obvious fun factor is missing when you compare this to his previous books.

The story becomes too predictive in few places and you might as well skip through paragraphs at times.

I guess, in some places, the character development is not handled well. There were not enough reasons shown to us by the author previously in the book to make us believe the characters’ actions. The actions come as a surprise, but they don’t convince us to believe.

The first hundred pages don’t really add much to the entire theme of the book. It could have been easily conveyed in less pages without really degrading the overall effect of the story.

I would have liked the book more if it had handled the ‘revolution part’ in more detail instead of focusing more material on the triangular-love-story. May be Bollywood needs it.

So what do I have to say finally?

I usually hate giving a rating based on five stars. It’s really useless to rate a book like that.

If you are a Chetan Bhagat’s fan, I am sure you will definitely like this book. But I am not sure whether you will like it better than any of his previous books.

Even if you are a fan of Chetan Bhagat, you will be disappointed if you expect a lot of revolutionary stuff from the book. It is a regular love story with a modern backdrop and written in a typical Chetan Bhagat style. The book’s title could have been anything else, for Revolution 2020 is not the major theme in the book.

Four books after his bestseller debut novel, Five Point Someone, I guess Chetan is unable to re-create the same magic like he did with his first book.

I think Revolution 2020 is a good book, but not as revolutionary as one might guess from the book’s title and book’s back-cover summary. Of course, I don’t expect in people changing the world just by reading books. But from the book’s title and pre-release interviews and promotions on the Internet, it is reasonable for an average reader to expect more ground breaking stuff than a regular two-boys-love-the-same-girl-love-story sprinkled with corruption in India.

It’s a really good read if you like reading light fiction.

If you like reading books to pamper your literary senses, definitely this book is not for you.

If you haven’t read Chetan’s books before, I would say you better start with Five Point Someone.

If you are too lazy to read books, then wait, I am sure this book has everything in it to be a Bolloywood movie.

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