Book : Half Girlfriend (2014)
Author: Chetan Bhagat
Genre : Romance
Pages : 260
Cost : N/A (Didn’t Bought)
GR8 Meter: 4/8 NO
Well, which Indian don’t know about one-of-the-first iconic simple English language writer Chetan Bhagat , on whose steps, so many upcoming so-called writers cropped up, and try to imitate his success, many succeeded, many are still trying. And the fact that we Indians mostly liked to read simple language books, with simple stories, which make these writers hit, but it was CB who started the trend, and is still continuing, and as first pages of his latest love-story fiction book says, this book is dedicated to rural India & non-English types, the book is ‘Half Girlfriend’ .
So, first let us guess what does this terms mean, Half-Girlfriend, well I suppose it means that a guy has a girl friend (a friend who is a girl), he treats her as a girlfriend (a girl who is basically more than a friend, BTW most of the Indian boys think that for all the girls they met in their teen life!), but obviously, for the girl, the guy is just a friend (maybe, if benefits not included, and yes, most of the Indian girls think that for all the boys they met in their teen life!), so it’s kind of a one-way traffic. But here it also means one more thing, a half-girlfriend is kind of friend without benefits, i.e. the girl can give all signals, can pretend as a girlfriend, but in actual no other benefits are provided (I think everybody understood that!). So, yes this is a love-story of a guy with his half-girlfriend. A poor prince from Dumraon Bihar, a village near Patna, named Madhav Jha came to Delhi to take admission in Delhi’s prestigious college St.Stephen, he’s also a state level basketball player. Then he met a basketball-playing girl from a rich Marwari Delhi based family Riya Somani , and he instantly fall in love with her (as always), but Riya treated him just as a special friend, and then their story started, what happens next, I will leave it all to you so that you can get atleast some interest in reading this non-interested book ( sab likh diya to padhoge kya ), but well you can guess!, Haven’t you seen any Bollywood romantic movies!
I didn’t bought the book, but it’s not that costly, if you want to buy, and this copy I read is published by Rupa (not Srishti, Thank God!), I read it quite quickly, not because of its interesting(!) subject/matter, but because it’s a simple Indian-English book, meant for Indians to read, a total of 260 pages , divided over 3 parts, 45 chapters, a prologue & an epilogue. The story started nicely, where we are introduced by CB himself, but then when it went into flashbacks, it gave us the hint of same-old love story , infact till the last part, which comes at Pg.212, this books looks quite boring without any motive or story . Even the last part is weak, but you can count it as a consolation prize for you, that you have read the book till 212 pages, so, yes, I will count it for myself. Author has quite good descriptive knowledge of 3 settings he used in the book (though I cannot verify it, since I haven’t been there personally, but I can take CB’s words), but the story other than being normal looks too easy on some occasions, like Bill Gates’ visit to the royal school, providing grants, Madhav’s getting US internship job/visa looks too easy to grasp, it looks like all fall in place for our lead hero. The book’s language is simple is one good thing about it, and I liked the characterization of both the lead characters, while Madhav looks like desperate village boy, on the other hand, Riya looks adorable and cute. So that was one more good point of the book. The ending looks good while reading, maybe will look better in a movie adaptation, coz it is written like that (a movie script explaining climax scene), I remember a song ‘Tinka Tinka’ from Karam movie to place the end happenings of the book.
This is 7th book from CB (6th fiction) and released after 3 years of gap of his last fiction book’Revolution 2020′, but his level falls down with this book. I still loved CB’s 5.someone, 3 mistakes of my life & 2 states a lot (his best 3), but this one along with other 2 (1 night @ call center & Revolution 2020) comes as weaker lot, probably this being the weakest, atleast we have a concept in the other 2, though not explored properly. You can give it a try if you’re into reading crappy love-story books of so many cropped out so-called Indian authors, and if you want to try a light hearted, simple language book just for timepass, otherwise can give it a miss. I rate 4/8. I think already Mohit Suri and Ekta Kapoor bought the rights.
Jai Ram ji ki:)