Half-girlfriend… The book was what one would expect from Chetan Bhagat. Complete filmy, ready-to-be-scripted for a movie. And has the same old story line with little changes here and there.
How did i get hold of it:
I had pre-ordered the book in Flipkart and received it on the same day of its launch. Kudos to them, as usual. Especially for always sending a quirky bookmark!
What is it about:
Back Cover: Once upon a time, there was a Bihari boy called Madhav. He fell in love with a rich girl from Delhi called Riya. Madhav didnt speak English well. Riya did. Madhav wanted a relationship. Riya didnt. Riya just wanted friendship. Madhav didnt. Riya suggested a compromise. She agreed to be his half-girlfriend.
As you can guess, she calls it half-girlfriend, because she doesn’t want the relationship to get physical. So, someone can become a girlfriend only if their relationship goes to the next level, according to CB.
The narration is cut out in three parts – Delhi, Bihar & New York, along with Madhav’s tête-à-tête with CB himself. .
‘Myself Madhav’, a Bihari boy from the royal family, whose English sucks big time falls in love for the first girl he meets in college. She is beautiful, smart, ‘high-class’, speaks good English and above all, a basketball player. He falls for her naturally and she falls for his skill in the game , but does not want anything more.
Riya dislikes her rich life and the façade her parents maintain in front of society and wishes to live independently in New York, as a singer. Madhav tries to get close with her and in the attempt spoils the friendship that exists between the two. Riya then discontinues college and gets married to her family friend & ‘rakhi brother’ Rohan and sets off to London.
Madhav finishes college, denies a top-paying job and returns back to his princely village to help running a school along with mother Rani Sahiba, never forgetting Riya in all those years. The poor condition of the school and the difficulties faced by the villagers disturbs him and while he is on the lookout for helping them, comes the grant from Bill Gates Foundation. But Madhav has to deliver a speech, in the effort to impress Bill Gates (!!) himself, when he is on his tour to Bihar.
Madhav meets Riya again, out of the blue in Patna. The rest of the story follows how she helps him out with the speech and leaves him all of a sudden with a death note, and bunch of torn journal papers.
What I think about the book:
The first part in Delhi – normal, love story written over and over again in all novels. I didn’t like it as there was nothing new in it.
The next one is my favorite until Riya comes in the picture. I actually thought the Riya part was over and the rest of the book is gonna be about how Madhav tries to bring some development in the village. Though it didn’t completely become all lovey-dovey, he does try hard for the Grant. When Riya leaves abruptly with a death note, I was still wondering whether the next 50 pages is gonna be another “I too had a love story”. Partly it was, until he meets CB and offers him her journal pages to read. Now I don’t know why he offers CB with his dead girlfriend’s journal. There was no good reason, other than she likes the author. The plot takes a twist here, finding a happy ending in New York. Well that part was definitely Bollywood material. 😛
I would give three stars for the book, all because of the Bihar part of the story (Even though all that trying-to-learn-English reminds me of English Vinglish in some way :P). Looks like CB had written it with only idea on his mind – Movie. And I hear that it’s gonna be made into one in 2015.
After watching Two states, not once but twice, I couldn’t picture any other actor, but Arjun Kapoor for Madhav’s role. The girl… should not be Alia Bhatt, I pray. Riya’s character is portrayed as reserved, silent and full of secrets. So a big no-no for Alia. As if I’m the casting director. 😛