Losing My Religion

121 Comments

Chetan Bhagat, one of Time’s Hundred Most Influential People In the World, needs no introduction.

It is said that in whichever corner of India you go to, you will always find a shop that sells Eveready Batteries, Nirodh condoms and copies of Bhagat’s books (not necessarily in that order).

What Timur did to world history, leaving behind mountains of skulls and altering boundaries of kingdoms, Mr. Bhagat has done to Indian literature revolutionizing it in a way that people never thought possible, breaking the strangle-hold of the ivory-towerist, Humanities-graduate, Proust-reading Illuminati over the domain of English writing with his alphanumeric titles (Five point someone, Two States, One Night, Three Mistakes)  bringing literary enlightenment truly to the “pIpL”.

I admire him for the vital role he plays in solving India’s urgent problems—like judging who will become Miss India 2010, his prodigious ability to block, that would put Jimmy “Padams” to shame and most importantly for his role as India’s modern day “reformer” as evidenced by what he is quoted as saying in an article titled “I am 90 per cent entertainer, 10 per cent reformer” [Link]

I tell 500 people how to do their job better everyday. People are inspired by me. Even if 10 people do it – that makes a difference and I succeed in my mission to change the system,’ he said.

I usually get my fix of inspiration from the TOI editorials he writes, where he brings nuanced non-cliched analysis, fresh ideas and totally out-of-the-box solutions for the problems of today’s youth. So today as I was reading one of his editorial gems (titled “The Great Indian Psychotherapy”) I was shaking my head in awe-inspired agreement till I came across something that had me shocked, as shocked I would be to see my name in the rolling credits.

And change does happen. In the 80s, we had movies like “Gunda” and “Khoon Pi Jaaonga”. Today, our movies have better content .They have changed. How? It is because our expectations from films have changed. Hence, the filmmakers had to change.

First of all, what movie is “Khoon Pi Jaaonga”? A fragment of a dialog from Garam-paaji made into a movie? A sequel to “Life of Pi”? A double bill of “Khoon Bhari Maang” and “Paap Ko Jalakar Raakh Kar Doonga”?

And “Gunda”, which was made in 1998 (another version made in 1969) is from the 80s? And even more importantly, “Gunda” is a bad movie?

I am sorry Mr. Bhagat you have just drawn my Prophet. And insulted the religious feelings of many others for whom “Gunda” is our only contact with a higher being. Sure it does not have the IIM-IIT lingo that your readers find so appealing but tell me if “khatiya khada karna” and “lamba karna” isnt all about “verticals” and “horizontals” and “London se sex ka goli” isnt about globalization, then what is? If you endorse One Night at a Call Center, why do you consider it down-market for real men to spend a night at Lucky Chikna’s “Call Center” Lataka Circus? Can your male heroes, all the Ryan Oberois and what nots, hold a candle to Bullah’s “rakhta hoon main khulla” masculinity? Or do they scream “Dekho na, dekho na bhaiyaa yeh log mujhe cher rahe hain” when twitter-fools fly on them with rude hashtags?

Even more importantly, for a person whose essential argument for his own excellence is that he is the “people’s choice” and “awaam kabhi jhoot naheen bolta” how is it consistent to call “bad” something that had the awaam’s approval in the 90s? Oh ok I get it now. According to the man, the tastes of the common people have gotten better over the years, presumably after being “reformed” and “inspired” by the great Indian authors and film-makers of today. Which is why good movies like “I Hate Luv Stories”, “Kites” and oh yes quite forgot “Hello” (Atul Agnihotri-directed celluloid masterpiece made based on “One Night”)  are made now-a-days.

I wish though I could tell Mr. Bhagat at length, how the average crap level has stayed the same over the decades (I would say the sheer amount of crap has sharply increased as a matter of fact with more movies) with the only thing that has changed is that movies are technically sleeker and made to different formulae, as cliched thematically as those before but with a patina of fraud-profundity, making them more acceptable to a multiplex-going, Face-booking, Karbon Kamaal, Be-the-change,  Masti main jeeyo, yeh hain Youngistan ka attitude, Bhagat-reading audience. I wish I could tell him, again in detail, how great movies like “Chashme Buddoor”, “Jaane Bhi Do Yaron” and many others were being made in the 80s to go along with the trifling stuff, just to show that even then, audience tastes were sufficiently “refined”. I wish I could give more examples and make a more coherent argument but Gunda ka naam sunte hi usne khada kar diya hai mera, gusse se ek ek baal khara kar diya.

Zalzala jaag utha hai. Gang war shuru hone wala hai.

Our patience is at its end. Do chaar chaaye aat dus. Bus Mr. Bhagat. Bus.

121 thoughts on “Losing My Religion

  1. Hahahaha…
    Bhagat is [edited by GB] his books are mass-produced [edited], carelessly written, lazily structured.
    And, as he has shown, he does not know his mithun-da from his dharam-paa
    Automatic fail!

    [GB adds: No personal epithets please.]

  2. Don’t you think in this case Bhagat is like Chutiya, he has no idea that ‘izzat lootna buri baat hai’. This is probably a result of simple misinformation and not doing his homework. He had no clue that ‘Gunda’ has such a huge fan base. And since he has never watched the movie he had no idea if it was ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Though in case of Gunda I run out of superlatives, it’s an experience and it was you who categorized the world into people who have watched Gunda and people who did not.
    But there is this new wave amongst Bollywood filmmakers, critics, scholars and gurus that finally we are making good films and completely negating the 80’s and 90’s. Bhagat merely reflects that psyche.

  3. A bigger bullshitter I have yet to see,
    Chetan why do you still try to be?
    Some Prabhuji and some Hatela
    (Who would like you to eat kela)
    Now that’s what I call a movie.

  4. Forgive the bad limerick but Chetan should get his facts right before he makes nonsensical statements. As you rightly pointed out, in the face of cinematic gems like “Hello” and “Kites”, one would rather gouge one’s eyes out.

  5. I’m surprised that you commented on his article, and more surprised that you have just picked up one line from the article to comment.

  6. :D:D I can imagine your anger!
    I agree that the cinema today is just prettily packaged crap. In fact its crappier than what it was few years/decades back. I do feel that cinema of yesteryears showed much more creativity as compared to the cinema now (considering they had much less resources and means to make cinema back then.)

  7. “making them more acceptable to a multiplex-going, Face-booking, Karbon Kamaal, Be-the-change, Masti main jeeyo, yeh hain Youngistan ka attitude, Bhagat-reading audience.”

    killer line

  8. He quit his job as an investment banker. I am not too sure if he quit his job or was chucked out of it. And investment banker is one profession which vanished overnight.

    #zalzalajaagutha

  9. congrats for the mention in Hindustan Times.

    But I guess your happiness must have been marred by the TOI incident. Alas , that is life!

  10. Mate Absobloodylootely awesome. He has hurt my sentiment’s a lot. I once fought with me girl concerning her not liking the dialogs and was able to keep the movie in me disc. I love that man “Kanti SAH” and any one who insults his wisdom is in deep trouble .

  11. Lol!! GB you are at totally different level when you write about gunda. And regarding Chetan Bhagat, he has hurt thousands and thousands of sentiments for sure.

    Usne jalti hui aag ko aur garam kar diya, apni bujhi hui rakh ko aur naram kar diya. zalzala for sure jaag utha :-)

  12. The apt advice to Mr.Bhagat would be: “Zyaada badbad karke apni zindagi mein maut ki gadbad mat kar”. 8)

    Gunda ke dushman, tera hoga moonh kaala,
    Aaj Chetan ka janaza hai uthne wala :)

  13. Dada, sorry, being a IIT-IIM graduate myself, I can say with certainty that Gunda is our religion – not any Bhagat or Bhagat’s dick, or dick-head Bhagat can ever alter that.

    And please, let me inform you, within the boundaries of IIt-IIM’s walls, those who read his books are a miniscule minority, and that too, they don’t show up in public that they actually read his books.

    And finally – you are read more in IIT than CB. The Teachnology market book-store at IIT KGP has sold more copies of MIHYAP thab FPS in the last 3 months

  14. Chetan’s novels are interesting,entertaining & easy read.He is the best seller in his category…he knows the reader’s pulse.

    He is calling Gunda a bad movie ..may be bcoz the actual target audience for which Gunda was made had enjoyed it for different reason.

    His novels are helping the habit of reading and learning english. But the kind of blog and articles he writes are poorly researched and thought out.

  15. Arnab,

    You mean, you actually READ that article ?? I sometimes get to see the school edition of TOI and frankly 8 th graders write better.

    Anyway – nicely written piece, as always (I mean – your blog .. not Chetan Bhagat’s article :) )

  16. @Kaushik – I don’t think those who are actually in IIT-IIM are C-Bag’s target readership. He appeals to those who never went to IIT-IIM and are curious about what life in those institutions is like. Unfortunately C-Bag got to own this niche first, otherwise Amitabha Bagchi has written a far superior book on life in IIT-D named “Above Average”.

  17. I agree that movie quality in general has not improved over the years.. its just different kind of trash being served to different kind of audience… Moreover the amount of trash has increased over the years, No stats but simple maths. Also Gunda is way more popular at my college than any of Mr Bhagat’s literary gems.

  18. Arnab, tum sangharsh karo, hum tumharey saath hain! Is there any better proof of the lameness of C-Bag than the fact that he’s perhaps never seen Gunda?

  19. @Thalassa – have you read Sandipan Deb’s “The IIT-ians”? I consider his book to be heads and shoulders above in content.

    And this genre is indeed picking up – now we have several such crappy stuff – “Anything for you Ma’am” by Tushar Raheja, “Keep off the Grass” by Karan Bajaj, “You’ve Got to be Kidding” BY Leena Walwalkar (it is about LSE though) – are all similar books

    The problem I find with this genre is – the books are overtly simplistic, plays to the gallery in confirming the stereotypes, and are so generic that anybody who writes anything remotely similar is branded a plagiarist

  20. I think all this hatred for just mentioning Gunda is not justified. Now I am a huge Prabhuji and I was surprised when Chetan mentioned Gunda in his editorial. But still guys, are we all so hollow that we can’t look at Chetan’s editorial in a broader perspective? Just look at the Common Wealth games fiasco. Look where India stands in corruption among the world? Is this the country that you and me ought to be proud of? C’mon people, a little sensitivity and introspection please.
    And what’s wrong with what Chetan Bhagat says about piracy? When I create something, I expect to be paid. How would you like it if the organization you work for pinches your money from you? I’m sure GB wouldn’t like people pirating his book. He might not say it, but I bet he would have thought about it. What Chetan says makes sense and he is right when he says we shouldn’t indulge and promote piracy. Metallica in their days targeted Napster and their popularity fell like a cement balloon. I just don’t get it. When we, as a system, collectively do something, it says something about the system. You might give yourself a thousand reasons for doing something the wrong way. But in the end, it remains wrong and my friends, that ain’t right.

  21. just a note on capitalism:

    Capital makes it easy to make much more capital. Everybody will agree that over and above the preceding truth statement, networking helps tremondously. So if poorly paid policemen, street hawkers and piracy merchants create a network and try to make money by printing pirated copies of CD, novels etc., then consumers(especially, heavily taxed salaried guys/gals) are to gain a lot. This is good…don’t u agree?

  22. I agree with you GB… In the ever immortal words of Pote, “Laashein is tarah se tapkegi jaise nanhe munne bacche ke…”

    I hope CB issues an immediate and unconditional apology, or the Laskar-e-Prabhuji will make a ‘goonda’ish example of all haters!

  23. Yep, he has drawn my prophet too!

    Now, I am going to go out and burn copies of One Night at the Call Centre and chant ‘Death to CB’.

    P.S: I will only burn pirated copies; I don’t want him to profit from it. :)

  24. When lots of people die of hunger and debt in india, still rich guys own private yatch, jets etc., and indulge in obscene orgies…so these kind of imperfections (piracy, mafia) etc., help to distribute the capital among the masses, and then those poors chaps(ok…now rich with black money) who have made enough capital(by wrong means; and without being caught) can join the mainstream by converting the black money to white money by investing in real estates, bollywood etc….so these are actually natural things that are bound to happen…as the only morally correct natural principle is “If you are well, all is well”

  25. knightTemplar: koi kissise angry nahi hai…bus bakarchodhi chal rahi hai…”Entertainment ke liye kuch bhi karega”…mehfil ki shaan…gaana sunne mein nahi hai…aa..ooh..wah karne mein hai

  26. First of all, what movie is “Khoon Pi Jaaonga”? A fragment of a dialog from Garam-paaji made into a movie? A sequel to “Life of Pi”? A double bill of “Khoon Bhari Maang” and “Paap Ko Jalakar Raakh Kar Doonga”?

    LOL, ROFLMAO! Funniest line of the whole piece! I agree with you, even I have nothing else to say about what he says!

  27. Guys…please don’t attack GB…personally I feel GB is a great writer for his insightful and thought provoking articles. This blog is his own personal mind space, he is very much right in expressing his thoughts…If you follow his articles without any personal prejudice of not being as resourceful in thoughts as GB is…you will ensoi the articles…personally I don’t like Chetan Bhagath’s novels and appreciate a lot Rajkumar Hirani. “3 Idiots” movie is far better and engrossing than the related novel. Rajkumar Hirani is great that he moulded the story in a fairy tale way and brought the nuances of human feelings of compassion, kindness and freedom of human mind to pursue excellence for the sake of exercising the grey cells.

  28. The fact that Chetan Bhagat’s novels (I am calling it that for the want of a better word) are bestsellers, itself indicates that the ‘literary taste’ of the people has gone down the drain. And really surprised to know that he writes an editorial in a newspaper (unless of course it is toi which is more of a tabloid).

  29. Read the article…Read Bhagat’s Article..Read all attempts at ‘explaining the IIT life’ books. Read ‘Keep off the Grass’. But, still, I am wait for one…just one….Indian Hunter S. Thompson!

    “Strange memories on this nervous night in Las Vegas. Five years later? Six? It seems like a lifetime, or at least a Main Era—the kind of peak that never comes again. San Francisco in the middle sixties was a very special time and place to be a part of. Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run …but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant … ” Ah, the beauty! :-)

  30. umm…I would say this is utter bullshit..I understand that Chetan Bhagat is full of crap and all..but just coz he said something about Gunda you go on wat against him…thats a pity…you have also stated many prejudiced notions…though I didnt see Chetan going against them.Is this jealousy or what!!??

  31. Chetan Bhagat’s business is to sell retardness to the self-delusioned ‘hap’ ‘Jan Axe’ ‘youth’ of India. For those who know any better, people like Bhagat should be given the treatment as suggested by one famous line from my college hostel, ‘Saamp aur Gaan*, jahaan dikhe, mar do.’

  32. chetan bhagat, like all successful people in India, plays to the gallery.
    i didn’t find an iota of a fresh thought in that article..we’ve read all that a million times before!!
    and the society is degrading in every sense of the word…literature, cinema, thought, anything!!

  33. In a free society, things happen due to the likings of majority or atleast weighted majority(I mean rich and famous guys opinion matter more than that of commoners). So the tendency of individuals to capture their own market as per their capabilities. Chetan is successful as he plays as per his strengths and limitations. There is nothing wrong in trying to play according to the gallery if the concerned person excels in that. The net result is to get the joy of sharing wisdom, joy of getting recognised.

  34. ahmad raza: there is nothing like “society is getting degraded”. it gets only degraded when people start choosing sadistic ways to seek pleasure like taliban, psychotics etc. and the seed of all such neuro-psychotic pleasures is intolerance to other people’s ideas…feeling not bad but tooooo bad about it.

  35. The man is not a dumb guy. Maybe its all a well-thought out and manipulated plan to create an online rumble so that people like us discuss about him. You know what they say – No publicity is bad publicity.
    He’s been silent for quite sometime.

    Maybe he was feeling lonely, or silently researching for his next breaking news breakthrough. Which is kinda sad.

  36. I am a big fan of yours and also am a big fan of Chetan Bhagat’s. No seriously I find his books very entertaining. But I am loving your onslaught anyway! GB, tu badaa badmaash hai, kisi ko nahi chhodta!!

  37. GB kaisse badmaash ho gaya…jab wo kissiko nahi chhodta? Actually saare politicians badmaash hain..kyunki woh desh ko chhodte hain…

  38. This article is an outburst of GB’s emotional attachment with Gunda and CB’s ignorance. But why on earth everybody here started commenting on CB’s works. It’s true CB is over-hyped. But he never endorses his novels as a fraction of literary contribution. So, why comment on his novels relating them literature? Whatever comment you write against his novels, it’s true and proved that it’s CB whose books are selling in India unlike any other books of his time. His contemporary writers (pls exclude any kind of literary work) are not able to achieve even half of what CB has achieved till date. Truly speaking, I am not a CB fan. But yes I enjoyed reading Five Point Someone and Three States and at the same time was very disappointed One Night and Three Mistakes. CB is by no means a great writer nor he has very gud command over the language but his sheer ability of good story-telling makes him an enjoyable read to many. It’s not just me but millions of Indians have already acknowledged. I don’t know what is the problem in accepting this.

  39. "... if “khatiya khada karna” and “lamba karna” isnt all about “verticals” and “horizontals” and “London se sex ka goli” isnt about globalization, then what is? ...
    That is GB in his elements …

    @CB: (fictional being, here in the GB-land) GB ne tujhe lamba kar diya !

  40. Chetn Bhagat is going the way of all gurus, cliched, stale, out of ideas, out of sync, and irrelevant. chetan meri jaan, I would be v.careful disparaging the movies of old or young. It is the same clapper boy, trolley assistant, and mike boom wallah who worked on “Katilon Ka Katil” that worked on “Jaane bhi do Yaaron”. The makeup artists who worked on Saeed Mirza’s “Mohan Joshi Haazir Ho” worked on Subhash Ghai’s “Hero” as well. Pawan Malhotra, a v.v.v.committed theatre artist from NSD who tried to make it, once told me (when we were hanging out at St.Xavier’s Shastriya Sangeet Festival, “It’s th eart film wallahs who welsh you out of your payments, because they keep the actors’ unions out. When I starved it was the commercial wallahs who paid me on time.”

    “Khoon Pi Jaoonga”? Ok here’s my favourite dialogue from our own recreation of Lord Jim, Yash Chopra’s “Kaala Pathar”

    When a miner rushes to Shatrughan Sinha breathlessly to warn him,

    “Mangal, Vijay idhar aa raha hai, tera khoon ka pyasa hai,”

    With a dismissive swagger in the direction of Vijay (who is none else than the perennial Vijay aka AB)

    “Mangal ka khoon nimbu paani nahin hai, jo itna aasan piya jaata”

  41. I actually do not understand, why our people can believe in Matrix and cannot believe in Mithun’s mother getting back her eyes in the climax of the movie by the grace of god?
    Is this because of Gora sahab superiority effect!? GB great defense of 80’s movies.
    I am personally not a movie buff.But,i had a colleague who was one. I remember having watched Ram Gopal Verma’s Aag.I was upset after the movie,he was not.
    His formula to charge up was to watch another movie back to back.We saw manorama 6 feet under. A very different experience it was!

  42. Just wondering if you would have criticized him like this if you were more well known a writer than he is.
    He didn’t bring the literary standards down with his book. Instead he tapped into a market really cleverly setting a trend of sorts. Anyday better than recycling blog posts into a book.

  43. I was expecting a post on CWG fiasco, but this is not bad either. It hurts to see the Aus-Brit-Canadian media and its readers humiliating India.

    IMO, I would watch an 80s movie like “JBDY” or “Ijaazat” over his own piece of junk called “3 idiots”.

  44. Well, Goonda or no Goonda, Bhagat is a juvenile. The fact that investment banking survived till 2008 because people like Bhagat made an early exit.
    But, GB you missed the gem of an editorial in hindustan times last year:

    http://www.hindustantimes.com/In-defence-of-the-PM/H1-Article1-446604.aspx

    And I quote from the article:
    For instance, America has a big need to ensure safety of its own borders and cut global terrorism. We can work with them — yes, by giving them some access to our country. For us, it can save costs of protecting ourselves.

    Yes, ladies and gentlemen, we can cut some costs by outsourcing our defense. To whom? The great almighty America. The guy is an oustanding number expert, only an investment banker can make such suggestions. GB, could you think about this out-of-box solution? Imagine the creativity.

  45. Absolutely brilliant!!! Ever since I’ve read Mr.Bhagat’s books, I’ve been inspired!! Terribly inspired, and confident, that if ‘he’ can write, ANYBODY CAN!!! Loved this tribute to Gunda, (anti)Bhagat and Bollywood, all in one go!

  46. Tum log lad-lo nakko yaaron! Chetan Bhagat ko Charminar ke peechche khundal-khundal ke maare … chindiyan ladayi hui! :)

    #zalzalajaaguttha #Angrez

  47. @Pallavi CB made a mistake of using the wrong analogy…he used Gunda as an example…screw him for it…but don’t come out with frivolous statements like “Terribly inspired, and confident, that if ‘he’ can write, ANYBODY CAN!!!” well the world doesn’t know ‘Anybody’…the world only knows Chetan Bhagat…give him credit for his style of work, which is simple, easy to understand and made novels accessible to ‘Aam Aadmi’ and made even a nobody like you think that you could write…

  48. i dont have a twitter account so have to communicate via comment section.

    This is a timepass thing not related to this post,

    guess what there is a TV series named The Great Bong.Thought you might be interested :)

  49. GB
    Durga Puja is coming. Time for Kaalchural Phestivals. Are you going to announce prize like most shameless politition of India, most talentless actor / actress etc., or are you going to reserve it for year end ?
    Jhunjhunwala also does it nicely on his blog.
    Also follow up on CWG from your side is getting delayed. Fakingnews & Co. are way ahead of you. Or are you writing the CWG post at the speed of CWG construction !! We are waiting.

  50. This was coming from Great Bong. I knew it much before this post happened! This time, there is no escape route for Chetan Bhagat but to admit he was so stupid to have committed the blasphemy in the manner he has.

    Talking about Bhagat, I am yet to understand what kind of a columnist he is. Can’t say about his storytelling talent for I am yet to read one of his books. Maybe, it is more interesting to read what is being written about him than what he actually writes.

    The last time I read something that he wrote was his Op-Ed in TOI where he discussed doping… Well, must confess didn’t read it completely because the first few lines were enough to know where and how the writeup was ending.

  51. Strange. Why so much negativity regarding Chetan Bhagat ?
    He has his own style of writing & articulating things. Don’t like it?…don’t read it. Simple….
    IMHO…most of the bloggers/twitteratis are aspiring writers. Now one amongst them..Mr.Bhagat..has made it big…& that hasn’t really made him popular I guess :)
    The latest fad of the urban(often convent ‘educated’) elite…Chetan Bhagat bashing…thats one surefire way to prove your credentials as a true blue intellectual .
    I am not a Bhagat fan either…but frankly.. the guy writes in his own way…& there are loads of people who read & appreciate it. Berating him & his banker credentials(whatever that is)..is sad.
    But yeah….Gunda is a great movie…terribly displeased with Chetan Bhagat for that :D

  52. GB, the bloke who left comment as CB and some one else before had a pretty valid point. CB original is a publicity maestro. Though he tried eternally to rekindle the FPS magic in his following book, he was never able to reach those same heights. Worst was three mistakes, he tried his best to commercialize the novel by latching on to the most happening time of last decade & weaved a story based on those incidents. He also has NDTV sensationalism on his side.

    However applying Mr Bhagat’s logic to his own operandi, when a minority contingent like broggers become a majority you can definitely notice the paradigm shift even with celebrities & get some of their more articulated talent on display as he will be vehemently booed to any playing to the masses stuff uttered.

  53. hilarious post! your blood starts boiling whenever some one tries to malign Gunda! Otherwise you were in perfect agreeement with chota chetan…
    I read CB’s post. It wasnt that bad! But his homework on Dharam-Mithum genre lacks attention.

  54. your argument and postulation totally outclasses chetan bhagat… but far, far more important for bhagat to consider is that you’re a vastly superior writer than he is…
    this is enjoyable on so many levels!

  55. Yesterday night was up late, working; I found myself muttering, just like that:
    “Zalzala jaag utha hai. Gang war shuru hone wala hai.
    Our patience is at its end. Do chaar chaaye aat dus. Bus Mr. Bhagat. Bus.”

    You’re incredible.

  56. “novels accessible to ‘Aam Aadmi’ and made even a nobody like you think that you could write…”

    Novels were always accessible to the aam aadmi. You are grossly underestimating the reading capability of an aam aadmi. Rephrase it as Novels becoming accessible to yuppies who consider reading anything between two shiny white covers with English text on it ‘cool’.

    Earlier the same crowd used to buy books only during their train tours, and the book titles began with Manohar and ended with Kahaniya.

  57. Bhagat not liking what you like. Makes sense to me. Comparing your writings, it makes sense to me. It would have surprised me if it was otherwise. :)

  58. “Meh. You’re just jealous he sells more copies than you. that’s all this is about.”

    Yes, I am jealous that Venkatesh Prasad has made more international runs than I have, so I have no right to say that he was not one of the best cricketers around. Get the logic?

    “Novels becoming accessible to yuppies who consider reading anything between two shiny white covers with English text on it ‘cool’”

    This is fact is the perfect summary of why Bhagat became a phenomenon, or for that matter, even Jeffrey Archer.

    What Bulla would have said – “Mera Naam Hain Bulla…. Main Chetan ki Bajaoonga Khullam Khulla…”

  59. I see here are quite a few people out here who harbor this notion.

    (1) GB is a wannabe author, but is not successful. He is a okay-ish blogger, and somehow managed to write a book by recycling old articles of his. Now he is jealous of CB’s success and hence lashed out at him.

    I am sure those who harbor this notion are people in their late teens and early twenties, who have recently been used to reading blogs (some of them might actually have started reading after reading CB !!). They read GB either because he is an award winning blogger, or have been recommended by their friends, or happened to read his book and hence thought of trying out his blog.

    Most of them are not aware the deep attachment GB’s old readers have towards his writings. When a person writes, some of his / her personality generally comes out through what he / she has written. And having been a RTDM-fan for the last 6 years, I can vouch for the fact that the last thing GB would be – jealous of somebody !!

    Secondly, the new-bies have no idea of GB’s Mithun-da connection and that this article was written in humor, not malice. So to them I say – you are better off reading how CB’s protagonists manage, on a regular basis – to f**k their leading ladies !!

    (2) There is another small wrong notion that I want to correct – having seen the I-Banking profession from close quarters for some time, all I can say, much of the ridicule surrounding the profession is unjustified. 2008 was as much a failure of the policymakers as the bankers themselves, though the Bankers, because of their apparent over-the-top salaries were made the fall guys. And yes, the profession is still going strong !! And yes, CB is not the typical representation of an I-banker – I have seen many level headed ladies and gentlemen who are into the profession who actually make a difference – to the economy, society and the country !!

  60. Kaushik….Why would you drag CB’s IB credentials into it?
    & as a matter of fact the amount of devotion shown in the last comment actually comes from teens & early twenties :)

    You have a point when you say that you don’t like CB’s writings…that he doesn’t/ will not appeal to ‘refined’ readers of English literature. Point well taken. The problem starts when you start accusing him of being ‘not so level headed’ & ‘publicity seeker’ etc etc. Thats what smacks of jealousy.

  61. @Rig, not for one did I drag IB credentials :). In fact, that is one reason why CB is popular – many see the “halo” around his head because of his D,A and GS credentials :) – you know, the teeny-bopper wannabees who at one go hates IIM grads and respects them? I personally have met scores of them :)

    And of course, you might be right – as someone said above about “refined” readers – about why CB is “kewl” :)

    And as far your “jealousy” comment is concerned, well, that’s a Rediff DB level comment, in other words, juvenile. Whenever somebody criticizes a celebrity, the first reaction from some fan of that celeb is – “oh you are jealous of him”. :) Funny, really funny :)

  62. An advise for “Fans of CB”,

    Keep off this article !

    To accuse GB of jealousy is the most idiotic, lame and stupid comment ever.

    He can be slightly off as in the “babri verdict”, he may have views that dont match with mine but based on his tweets, blogs etc, he can never be JEALOUS.

    CB is a “proven” greedy writer !

  63. Kaushik

    Precisely what I pointed out. I understand when you criticize his writings.
    What I do not understand when you subtly hint that he is not level headed & so & so. Thats a personal remark which has no connection to his work. He may or may not be level headed…how does that impact the quality of his work? My understanding is that there is a tinge of jealousy involved when someone doesn’t stop at criticism of someone’s work which is in the public domain & therefore very eligible to be criticized & dissected.
    Badrinath…Hope you understand that I am not a fan of CB’s work either. Hence inadvertently I have followed your well meaning advice :D

  64. Superbly funny! in the eighties they had songs where the characters made a fool of themselves whereas today they have some totallly unconnected people dressed all alike doing drills like in erstwhile soviet union..

  65. surprised you have not mentioned the whole 3 Idiots affair….He decided to promote his old book by creating a controversy around a super hit movie…

  66. OMG – just realized that a friend of mine might have been C-Bag’s senior at Deutsche Bank Singapore, in the very division where he worked! What fun it would be to discuss C-Bag’s I-wanking days with him.

  67. Never mind, apparently C-Bag was with Deutsche Bank Hong Kong, in the Strategic Investment Group. My friend was in another DB group, although he worked both in Singapore and HK.

  68. 3 basic things..

    1. Chetan Bhagat can never write and editorial coz hes not the editor of any news papaer. He can write only an article that is published in the Op-Ed page. I know that its pointless to speak about such things to a reader who has grown up with Trash Of India (ToI) :)

    2. Chetan Bhagat’s books describe him as the “Voice of Indian youth”. I think that single thing is more than sufficient to relaise what sort of a crapper he is..

    3. Regarding the article he has written, its yet another crappy piece with so much factual inaccuracies and loosely written statements – every word of which could be rebutted and refuted. Take it for what its worth – nothin but crap – and all wud be fine.

    Having made the above 3 points – I would definitely credit him with writing a set of books which are eminently readable (irresepective of its literary merits) and are published at affordable prices.

  69. Chetan Bhagat is the lower rung of the literary ladder. While it might sound patronizing, he does get a lot of people into the habit of reading. These are people who ordinarily would never read anything. Having said that, most bloggers who’ve been around for over a year or so are better at writing than Chetan Bhagat.

  70. arnab da eagerly awaiting your analysis of the babri verdict. I am infact spending sleepless nights waiting for your post. Please put on something and put me out of my misery :(

  71. Ha ha. Good one. The current generation of self-proclaimed intellects think that they have attained enlightenment and are now at a plane where the Gundas of the world seem like cheap products of the nation where they were born by mistake.

    They feel having spent Rs.300 in a swanky mall watching Inception or Avatar gives them the right to write off Indian movies of yore as childish creations of imbeciles.

    Great work dude. I found another blog which expressed similar ideas. I am sharing it below. You two must exchange notes sometime. That would help us get more super-awesome posts.

    http://casualstrokes.wordpress.com/2010/09/12/on-masala-movies-and-multiplex-audiences/

  72. All that I can see amidst the hullabaloo is that intellectuals, bored of their ergonomic kinda lives are fascinated by a minimalist yet entertaining movie like ‘Gunda’ and the not so bright are fascinated by those who walked the aisles of IITs & IIMs.

    We all seriously need to bring about a balance in our lives. Please start reading the Bhagavad Gita or Holy Koran or Bible. Please start looking inwards for Peace.

    “You don’t have a soul. You are a soul. You have a body.”-C.S.Lewis

  73. HOT NEWS. STRUCTURES UNDERNEATH THE GREAT BABRI MOSQUE NOT TEMPLE, BUT MOSQUE AND STUPA

    We have to accept the truth. And the truth is that the structure under the temple is not a temple at all, but a combination of ancient Buddhist stupas and mosques.

    This is based on the findings of expert historians representing the Waqf board, people of the stature of the great Shireen Ratnagar. A senior HC justice in the Babri case has studied the credibility of these experts, and has expressed amazement at the complete independence and integrity of their efforts, and the consistent conclusions their independently conducted research has compelled them to converge to.

    There is no option but for the fanatic Hindus to hand back the land to the Waqf Board, recreate the mosque, pay punitively exorbitant damages, and issue profuse apologies for desecration and destruction.

    Shame on the Hindus. Read more about this at http://publication.samachar.com/pub_article.php?id=10358119&nextids=10358116|10358117|10357417|10358118|10358119&nextIndex=0

    HOW ALLAHABAD HC EXPOSED ‘EXPERTS’ ESPOUSING MASJID CAUSE
    ———————————————————–
    Abhinav Garg, TNN, Oct 9, 2010, 03.07am IST The Times of India

    NEW DELHI: The role played by “independent experts” — historians and archaeologists who appeared on behalf of the Waqf Board to support its claim — has come in for criticism by one of the Allahabad High Court judges in the Ayodhya verdict.

    While the special bench of three judges unanimously dismissed objections raised by the experts to the presence of a temple, it was Justice Sudhir Agarwal who put their claims to extended judicial scrutiny.

    Most of these experts deposed twice. Before the ASI excavations, they said there was no temple beneath the mosque and, after the site had been dug up, they claimed what was unearthed was a mosque or a stupa. During lengthy cross-examination spread over several pages and recorded by Justice Agarwal, the historians and experts were subjected to pointed queries about their expertise, background and basis for their opinions.

    To the court’s astonishment, some who had written signed articles and issued pamphlets, found themselves withering under scrutiny and the judge said they were displaying an “ostrich-like attitude” to facts.

    He also pointed out how the independent witnesses were all connected — one had done a PhD under the other, another had contributed an article to a book penned by a witness.

    Some instances underlined by the judge are: Suvira Jaiswal deposed “whatever knowledge I gained with respect to disputed site is based on newspaper reports or what others told” (other experts). She said she prepared a report on the Babri dispute “after reading newspaper reports and on basis of discussions with medieval history expert in my department.” Supriya Verma, another expert who challenged the ASI excavations, had not read the ground penetration radar survey report that led the court to order an excavation. She did her PhD under another expert Shireen F Ratnagar.

    Verma and Jaya Menon alleged that pillar bases at the excavated site had been planted but HC found they were not present at the time the actual excavation took place.

    Archaeologist Shereen F Ratnagar has written the “introduction” to the book of another expert who deposed, Professor Mandal. She admitted she had no field experience.

    “Normally, courts do not make adverse comments on the deposition of a witness and suffice it to consider whether it is credible or not, but we find it difficult to resist ourselves in this particular case considering the sensitivity and nature of dispute and also the reckless and irresponsible kind of statements…” the judge has noted.

    He said opinions had been offered without making a proper investigation, research or study in the subject. The judge said he was “startled and puzzled” by contradictory statements. When expert witness Suraj Bhan deposed on the Babri mosque, the weight of his evidence was contradicted by anotherexpert for Muslim parties, Shirin Musavi, who told the court that Bhan “is an archaeologist and not an expert on medieval history”.

    Justice Agarwal referred to signed statements issued by experts and noted that “instead of helping in making a cordial atmosphere it tends to create more complications, conflict and controversy.” He pointed out that experts carry weight with public opinion. “One cannot say that though I had made a statement but I am not responsible for its authenticity since it is not based on my study or research but what I have learnt from what others have uttered,” Justice Aggarwal has said, emphasising the need for thorough original research before concurring with what someone else has claimed.

  74. ..now that’s a shame.. this article clearly reflects the jealousy of one towards another…despite the fact that both are of same attributes! This proves an old saying “Khud upar jaane ke liye dusre ko neecha dikhao…”

  75. Personally i think Chetan is borderline funny but thats it. He’s not informed or bright to comment on anything outside of IIT delhi campus. If you’ve read 2 states you will see how ignorant he is.

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