It’s already been months of its release. Compared to all the other ones, this is his only novel which I’ve laid my hands on, so late indeed.
Bhagat has mastered the skills of keeping young readers hooked on to his story, irrespective of what he wants to convey from it. I should say, he has proved it again.
It all starts with Chetan Bhagat in Pune meeting a heart broke young man Madhav giving him his dead half-girlfriend(Riya)’s journal to read. Out of human tendency, the author reads the whole of her journal and then asks Madhav to tell him his version of story.
Well, I must admit there are flaws in narration. In the very beginning Madhav persuading Bhagat to read his girlfriend’s journal just because that guy and Riya had read Chetan’s novel as a part of unconventional English learning, itself strikes a wrong chord. Added to it, Madhav admits that the journal is his priceless possession since he got it after 2 years of their separation; But yet doesn’t want to read it since he wanted to get over her. Madhav has the personal journal of a girl who would withdraw everytime he tried to make her talk about her past. A guy who tried to decode her every expression during each moment together, a guy who has clinged on to past for 2 years thinking about Riya everyday, the only love of his life, yet not curious of what she has in her journal, given any reason, doesn’t seem realistic.
What makes Riya forget her personal journal in the remotest corner of her condo(to go unnoticed for more than 2 years) even after scribbling in it the very day before she cuts off with the world leaving absolute no clues to anyone, but this most evident one, is another loose link in the story.
Apart from that, this novel doesn’t disappoint you. The way Madhav deals with getting grants to his rural remote school from Gates foundation is worth knowing and inspirational as well. Its an eye opener about how vital English-This foreign language is, despite all odds about brainy people being overlooked just for their lack of sound knowledge of English.
The love story and Madhav trying to make a meaning from their half-baked relationship and all the confusion around it is what that holds the reader till end.
No wonder if you skip parts of it during last chapter in the eagerness to know what happened next, it’s all reasonable!!
(With a wink, lest I did the same!!)