Chetan Bhagat, a mechanical engineer from IIT Delhi and an alumnus of IIM Ahmedabad is currently busy enhancing his accolades as a columnist for leading newspapers, a motivational speaker, a scriptwriter for Bollywood films, and an accomplished author. In 2009 this ambitious man quit his banking career to pursue his passion full time. Most of his books are bestsellers. His second book One Night @ the Call Center’s entire print run of 50,000 copies sold within 3 days, which set a record for India’s fastest-selling book.
Most of his works including fiction, deal with the various social issues prevalent in our country and he gets his ideas from the ‘people’, this is what he told in an interview given to a leading newspaper last year (2019). This leading author from the commercial fiction genre, wants to invent his own genre, ‘The Chetan Bhagat Genre’, let’s know about his books now –
Five Point Someone; What Not to Do at IIT
The first book by Chetan Bhagat, published in 2004 peeks into the stressful environment clubbed with peer pressure and individual struggles, in a premium institute like IIT. It gives an interesting look at the lives of three average students at IIT Delhi, who are far from being the normal IITians. They all come from different walks of life with different goals in their lives. They have a 5 point something GPA out of 10, which makes them the lowest scorers of the batch. The book is a fun-filled narration of the struggles that these three friends are facing in their friendship, love life, and in their future plans.
In Chetan Bhagat’s own words, “This is not a book to teach you how to get into IIT or even how to live in college. In fact, it describes how screwed up things can get if you don’t think straight”.
One Night @ the Call Center
The novel follows a group of six Call Center employees working nights in a failing call center in Gurgaon, India. This call center provides assistance to the American customers of a household appliance manufacturer. All six are facing personal crises in their lives along with the fear of losing their jobs. Here, the struggles of today’s youth and the work environment at an international call center are aptly depicted by the author.
One mighty night, the night of Thanksgiving in America, one call from a very special caller changes everything for them …
The 3 Mistakes of My Life
Again, a bestseller by Chetan Bhagat that follows the story of three friends living in Ahmedabad, Govind, Ishaan, and Omi. Govind has a great acumen for business, Ishaan’s life is cricket and Omi is a loyal friend. Govind is the narrator of the story and is more focused on life than the other two friends. He wants to open a cricket shop and the 3 friends go into the business together. They also take a local young boy under their wings. Things were working out fairly well until three major incidents struck their lives hard – a devastating earthquake, the 9/11 attack, and the Godhra mishap leading to riots in the state.
Will these friends overcome these unexpected hurdles? Will they succeed in life?? And, what are the 3 mistakes committed by the protagonist?
An overwhelming account of a young man’s life from his death bed; with a mix of cricket, business, religion, love, and friendship. This book was made into a film also, featuring our beloved Sushant, titled Kai Po Che.
2 States: The Story of My Marriage
Published in the year 2009, 2 States: The Story of My Marriage is a simple and light read. The love story of Krish and Ananya, Krish – a Punjabi from Delhi and Ananya – a Tamil Iyer from Chennai, who are on a mission to get married. It is a beautiful tale about the cultural clashes between the two parties to the interstate and inter culture marriage. The story is focused more on the Indian culture of getting approval from the family before Shaadi. Overall, an entertaining account of a khichadi Indian wedding that is bound to tickle your funny bone.
Revolution 2020: Love, Corruption, Ambition
It is an intense story set in Banaras, about three childhood friends who are all very ambitious. The author raises some important issues through the story that are present in our society currently. One of the main characters fails to get into IIT in his first attempt so he joins as a ‘repeater’ in a coaching center in Kota, spending his father’s entire savings. Here, the author realistically portrays the plight of an engineering aspirant in India. There is a tricky love triangle also in the story.
The novel claims to stir a revolution to bring a change in our rotten system. On the whole, a touching and quick read, which can be gulped whole in one sitting.
A sweet love story of Madhav – a ‘non-English’ boy from rural Bihar, who is madly in love with Riya – an ‘English’ girl from Delhi. Madhav seems to be the one-sided lover who makes his ‘half girlfriend’ believe that she too loves him. Riya’s character in the novel is shown as a conservative and less expressive kind of girl, who towards the end of the novel admits her love for Madhav.
A smooth read that has the depth to touch your heart and make your smile. The realistic depiction of family system, rural India, people’s judgemental mindsets, struggles faced by non-English people, discrimination between the English speakers and the strugglers, discrimination between the haves and the have nots; by the author helps a common man of India to connect with the story instantly.
One Indian Girl
This is the seventh fiction by Chetan Bhagat which explores the chick-lit genre. A well-crafted story about a highly successful Investment Banker Radhika Mehta, working in the prestigious Bank Goldman Sachs, is trying hard to strike a balance between her work and love life. Radhika was not like this always; she had a very insecure childhood as she was always compared with her elder & ‘fair’ sister Aditi. Then she decided to strengthen her intellect to compensate for her so-called shortcoming and reaches a point in her life where she is sponsoring her own destination wedding at Goa with an engineer working in Facebook… but her past comes back to confuse her again. Will she end up falling prey to the male chauvinistic mentality again, like in her previous affairs where she was expected to make some compromises in order to continue those relationships. Let’s read the novel to find out the answers.
The Girl in Room 105
This is the eighth fiction novel by Chetan Bhagat, a crime mystery this time. The story revolves around the life of Keshav who is an IIT Delhi pass out. His love interest Zara is a beautiful Kashmiri Muslim girl. Unfortunately, their love story succumbed to their religious difference present between them. Zara moved on after the break-up but Keshav could not forget her ever. The mystery begins when one night Keshav gets a message from Zara saying that she is missing him and on impulse, Keshav goes down to her hostel room no. 105, only to find her lying dead there. Then Keshav along with his friend Saurabh investigates this mysterious death.
This well-executed mystery cum ‘unlove’ story would surely be termed as a successful attempt in changing the genre by Chetan Bhagat. An engaging book that can be read during team breaks at the office.
One Arranged Murder
This is the second thriller by Chetan Bhagat after The Girl in Room 105 where the same characters from the previous novel, Keshav and Saurabh, take the story forward. Here, both friends are ready to solve another murder mystery. In the previous novel, it was Keshav who had to face the unfortunate event, this time it is Saurabh who is struck by a similar kind of disaster – Saurabh’s fiancée dies under mysterious circumstances. Now the detective duo comes into action to solve this murder mystery.
Keshav has now set up an investigation agency with his best friend Saurabh. Along with this they also work for the same cybersecurity company. Somehow the bond between them weakens when Prerna enters Saurabh’s life but they come together again after this mishap in Saurabh’s life.
An easy and fast-paced read with a story full of suspense and an unexpected climax.
What Young India Wants
This is the first non-fiction book by Chetan Bhagat published in 2012 where he raises some common issues faced by the youth of India and asks all the questions that come to their mind. Questions like
– Why do our students commit suicide so often?
– Why is there so much corruption in India?
– We love our India, but shouldn’t some things be different? And so on.
The questions asked in the book would definitely encourage us to at least start thinking about the real issues that are prevalent in the country.
What Young India Wants is a compilation of Chetan Bhagat’s essays, speeches and two short stories at the end where he raises some questions and tries to suggest solutions also to some of the problems.
Making India Awesome
This again is a compilation of short essays, this time discussing the various issues pertaining to politics, society, women’s rights, and resources for youth; in short, all the burning issues that our nation is facing today. Here also Chetan tries to propose some solutions to these widespread problems. One might not necessarily find the proposed solutions agreeable but at least they give a good start to a much wider discussion.
The author definitely knows the pulse of Indian readers and has aptly used his knowledge in writing non-fictions too. This book can be considered as a guide book for all the issues faced by India presently.
India Positive: New Essays and Selected Columns
Another addition to the list of his non-fictions. A book that resonates with the common man, which does not intellectualize the issues or the current state of affairs. Written in simple and easy language, this book tries to portray an unbiased opinion about the major issues that plagued our nation during the last decade. Issues such as the employment prospects for youth, the country’s healthcare system, challenges related to social media; all are addressed in this book with an optimistic approach towards the solutions.
The book provides an insightful overview of how the country developed on all the fronts during the last decade and inspires the readers to become an ‘India positive citizen’ which in turn will help India to become positive.