I'm no qualified book critic neither can I boast of stellar writing skills. But I needed to talk to someone or rather exchange notes about these two books so I'm simply airing my views!! Two books back to back kept me glued to the couch on a home visit.....
The first being Two States. The reason why I picked it up was its catchy synopsis at the back. Two different cultures. Punjabis & South indians trying to hit it off as a marriage alliance. Thought i could pick up some lessons keeping in mind my current dilemma of making a Gujrati & a Kannadiga family hit it off like a house on fire! At the end of the book I realised that My to be in laws & parents are getting along just fine, thank you! No need for lessons there.
Two states was ordinary....put downable and repetitive....all of Chetan Bhagat's books have the same air.... Reminds me of a singer...Lucky ali... I could never tell the difference between any 2 of his songs.The same goes here..U read one book...Uv read it all! The characters, if u notice closely, have striking similarities. The narration is always in the eyes of this young male who sleeps with his girl friend whose parents dont like him and this certain girl friend is a feminist who looks down upon dowry sysytem n other chauvinistic societal rituals. She's cocky in her own way and keeps making brashful demands for sex when she feels like it or chooses to decline his brashful demands for sex. Maybe it's ok to weave a character like that in one story but that's that.Yawn........
The next thing being - his amazing and at times suffocating capabililty of letting out the priviest details of his life.. If I were his wife I would not like the world to know that I slept with him within 2 weeks of knowing him. Especially when the cover page screams"the story of My marriage". God knows my dad might pick up a copy of it or worse my father in law might glance through it! Do writer's wives also have to sign a "I'm an open book" document?
Ok I guess it's clear I did not like the book....so now let me move on to Afterwards. A sad tale of a man who loses his partner to a car crash and his step daughter within a week (thankfully less violent) to her biological father. Seems ordinary. We have heard this one before... N maybe It has happened to an aunt's cousin's son's friend. Yet the way the writer weaves her story and brings this man's grief alive is numbing. At some parts there was a knot in my stomach and I felt like something really terrible was actually happening.Of course It's just a co incidence that the woman who dies has this quirky habit of leaving the lights on simply coz she does not like returning to a dark house and so do I. It's not everyday I am made to realise that I'm not the only weirdo in the world who does things like that. I found myself making a mental note not to drive cars ever.
and in Short its obvious I loved the book. Jaishree Misra sure scored in my list!!
P.S - any conflicting opinion is welcome. I'v noticed I get aggressive only when I talk about meat eating & vegetarianism. So it's safe!! :) Peace.