I know I’m going to get some stick for this, but you have to admit, Chetan Bhagat (CB) isn’t really that great a writer. Yes he managed to get many Indians to reading novels but if you look at him un-biasedly, he’s like any other writer. Here’s 7 reasons why I think he’s very ordinary:
7. Tested stories of love
All his stories have a tendency to revolve around the ‘boy meets girl, they fall in love, somehow they live happily ever after’ cliche. Pick up any of his novels and prove me wrong. In 2 states, it went far beyond just meeting and falling in love. And that, he says, is an IITians life. If that’s true then IITians life wouldn’t be as ‘hard’ (no pun intended) as they say it is.
6. Ordinary story line
All of CB’s stories, whether they really are based on real life incidents or not, don’t really catch your imagination. I mean that his stories are very plain and ordinary. It’s a compulsion to read because we feel we can relate easily to what he’s writing. But it’s not really so. Don’t be fooled, it’s a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
5. Semi-porn novels
You know why people like ’50 Shades of Grey’? It’s because it delivers exactly what it promises making it easier for readers to pick it up without feeling embarrassed. But CB’s novels are borderline pornographic. The power couples somehow find a way into each other’s pants. Either write an enticing story or create an erotic novel. But to throw it in because ‘sex sells’? And where in India do we even see these things happen, honestly? At best, boys and girls exchange almost avoidable glances and the next thing you know, they’re getting married!
4. Under-estimating the Indian audience
I know he’s got a lot of us to read his books, but I honestly feel like he’s under-estimating our capability to read good English. Is it just his way of increasing sales or does he actually not know how to write any better? Because the last I checked, we’re one of the largest English speaking demography’s in the world. It wouldn’t kill to write in better English, especially since it’ll help the readers improve their own.
3. A variety of dialects
There’s nothing more irritating that switching between dialects while reading. I mean your brain is already reading, absorbing and recreating. But to read random words in Italics in the middle of a sentence to which you may or may not know the meaning? If I wanted that, I’d read The Lord of the Rings. I don’t have to sit with a 300 page book and oscillate my eyes between words, wondering what it means.
2. His stories are stereotypical
I think this was addressed in short earlier but his stories portray a very stereotypical view of Indians. There’s no variation in the way we’re portrayed in his novels and this coming at a time when we need to see some change in our country, not expect everyone to swallow their defects. Yes, we are how we are but that doesn’t mean we have to be portrayed that way. It’s equivalent to showing an Indian in America speaking in a typical Indian accent. Is it ever that way?
1. Chain Reaction of horrid writing
Watching an IITian rise to fame with nothing more than a ball pen and a dyslexic dictionary sparked the minds of hundreds of engineers. It has gone to the extent that almost every engineer, or anyone else, has started writing about girls and boys, love and sex. Many are of the opinion that writing crap like CB is the way to get rich quickly even if it comes at the cost of their education. This isn’t how life is, kids! Just because you can’t handle the pressure and demands of your education doesn’t mean you should do what one lucky IITian did. READ books, don’t write them.