The idea of guest posts was a good one, but some topics just force me to write, no matter what. So here I am, once again writing for the In(di)Spire topic, which has the following description:

What makes Chetan Bhagat so popular? What do the other lesser known talented Indian writers need to do to get the same recognition?

I wish I knew what made Chetan Bhagat so popular. I mean I have respect for that person's brain and path-breaking ideas, but I have literally no love for the kind of books he writes. It's like reading a Hindi cinema. He has created Bollywood masala flicks for the well-read.

I have read his book five points someone. I was shocked to know that a thing like that is called a novel. I then tried reading The 3 mistakes of my life. I couldn't read beyond few chapters. And then, his books finally started solving the purpose for which they were being written-MOVIES. Yes, they served to be perfect scripts for Indian audience for senseless movies with loads of unrealistic love, sex and many other silly things.

3- Idiots was a good movie because of the obvious and well needed improvisations. But I guess that offended him and he filed a suite. For? For did not giving him credits for the story of the movie. It was not completely his, was it? It was BETTER.

I was dragged to watch Two-States, the movie. It was pathetic. I hated it. 

The whole point of writing the movie story was that Chetan Bhagat actually took the hobby of reading to a whole new commercial level where he can mint money by selling it to people who can make movies out of it. One time hit he was and then people are mad about reading him. And what is even sadder is that people have the hobby of "reading" and their best books are the ones by Chetan Bhagat. Where has the old reading gone? Kids nowadays are not even aware of the authors we grew up reading. No, the literary world doesn't consist of just Chetan Bhagat.

The second part of the topic description says, what should be the less known "talented" Indian authors do? The talented authors have already reached that level of recognition without commercializing literature. There are people who have written beautiful books and are not yet made into movies. Why? Because they can only be cherished when you read and comprehend them. Take Chanakya's Chant for example. Or may be some Amitav Ghosh's great work. They are Indian. They are talented and thus popular. And for the people who have been made into movies, take Devdas as an example. My point about quality reads and watches will be clearer.

If someone plans to take the way Chetan Bhagat did, then he/she might have to struggle. Because that is not what literature is about and to write something so filled with so much filminess, one has to be Chetan Bhagat.


  1. A lot of it comes down to publicity nowadays sadly... think of it. It is the same with movies too. Real duds like Happy New Year which are panned by critics and even SRK fans end up earning 350 crores just because of the hype... CB does tend to fall in that bracket. His books get sold into reprints in pre-booking even before they are launched. Its because of the brand "Bhagat" rather than the quality, I agree.

  2. Rightly said.. And recently I committed a sin by reading his new book half girlfriend.. which was pathetic and now I hear Ekta Kapoor is making a movie out of it.. Oh god.. I only wish he stops writing novels from here on.. Just can't take it.. But like u mentioned there is a whole new community of Chetan Bhagat readers.. They read only his books (may be more like reading a movie with all the necessary masalas) and his name has already become a biggie.. so his novels will sell out and he will write more and torture us.. Sakshi Nanda had written a blog post about Chetan Bhagat.. you should definitely check that out..

  3. @Roshan
    Its the brand. You become the brand and publicity follows. Even the negative one creates the same hype as the positive ones! But I really don't know that why the quality has started degrading in literature?

  4. @Shruthi
    Indeed! That was a great and candeed read by Sakshi Nanda. "Read what you write!" :D

    I just hope that some day the community of non CB readers just outweigh the community of only CB readers. Some day...