IITians proved to be the best in one more field; these technocrats in addition to being cerebral, entrepreneur and earning in dollars and pounds can write novels also! Chetan Bhagat, an alumni of IIT Delhi has successfully churned out this skill of writing in his two bestseller Novels ‘Five Point Someone-What not to do at IIT’ & ‘One Night at the Call Center’.
Best selling Indian author Chetan Bhagat was born on 22 April 1974. He did his schooling in The Army Public School, Delhi and graduated from IIT Delhi (1991-1995). At IIT he was the editor of the hostel magazine. He completed his post-graduate studies from IIM Ahmedabad (1995-1997). At IIM Ahmedabad, he received a medal for the ‘best outgoing student award’. Since 1999 he has been working in Hong Kong with Goldman Sachs, an investment bank.
Chetan is fast emerging as a storyteller who deals with contemporary and youthful themes. There have been novelists who have struggled for years to attain moderate success but for Bhagat it has been more than an easy ride. With just 2 novels Chetan Bhagat has managed to be on top in the Indian bestseller list for fiction. His first novel ‘Five Point Someone’ came in May 2004, followed by another novel ‘One Night @ the Call Center’ in 2005.
A phenomenon of sorts, with a staggering sale of over four lakh copies of his first two novels, Chetan Bhagat has left everybody guessing what is so special about his writings that made him a best-selling writer.
He isn’t afraid of being honest when it comes to analyzing his own worth as a writer.” It’s not high literature,” admits Bhagat, “both of my novels portray the aspirations, mind-set and problems of the present generation in a very simple language. And since I belong to the young generation, I feel I have been able to strike a right chord with my readers. When they read my books they are able to relate themselves to the characters and the plots.”
Bhagat’s writing is all about offering inside views, via plots intricately tied to the novels’ settings. The story moves quickly, the dialogues are very catchy and familiar.
Chetan always enjoys entertaining people. Also, feels strongly about a few things in society. Fiction allowed him to combine both in the form of a story with a message.
For Chetan, entertainment comes first. This is because what is entertaining travels far and wide, and thus, the message wrapped in the story travels wide. This means the story which is created had a purpose, it is satisfying for any author.
According to Chetan, “If a novel can transport its readers into a new setting, make the characters seem so real that you think you know them, and the story grips you such that you can’t keep the book down, it is surely a good novel. Also, if the story can trigger three things in you — past memories, imagination and emotions — you have really got a good book in hand”
For the young writers of India Chetan says that, learn the art to the extent possible by reading, finding a mentor, meeting people etc. Keep writing and keep getting feedback. Also, write from your heart. Inspirations we all need, but your own personal style has to come through that is what God gave you and that is what you should use.
As the author of two thumping best-sellers that hold immense appeal among India’s growing army of youngsters, Chetan Bhagat feels a strong sense of affinity and responsibility towards young generation.
He says I want to see India as a developed country before I die. And, for India to achieve its full potential, people have to work to their full potential.
Five point someone – What not to do at IIT
The primary idea of this book is to entertain the readers. This book doesn’t teach you how to get into IIT. The genre is humor, and it attempts to bring the reader back into their college days. Chetan Bhagat deals with three friends who are ‘bright’ enough to enter the most prestigious institution but they are not that ‘bright’ to be the front liners. So they secure the GPA five points something, which are pretty low. The narrator Hari, his friends Ryan and Alok try their luck to improve their grade in different ways only to end up every time in a mess. Hari is not that attractive, but smart enough guy to be the lover of HOD’s daughter. Ryan Oberoi the handsome dude and full of creativity, wealth & style. Alok is a fatso and positively irritating. Chetan Bhagat’s characterization fit the character of the present day youth most aptly. It directly as well as indirectly discusses the grim side of the IIT education system, which is lauded by the elite. The disdain of the three protagonists could be the experiences of several students who have some how passed out of seven IITs.
One night @ the call center
The whole story of the novel takes place on one memorable night at the call center in India. Since their customers are based in the US, these call centers operate during the night. The job pays well, but is rather mind-numbing. You are required to read out the responses from a pre-written script. Even your name is changed to something which Americans can pronounce easily.The story is narrated by Shyam and revolves around his team, Esha, Vroom, Radhika and Priyanka. A Military Uncle marches into the story and paces it. They have a monster of a boss, a Mr Bakshi. This call center is in the verge of getting down sized. The bad boss takes the credit for work done by his subordinates and gets himself placed in Boston while more that 40% of the employees are going to be fired. At this juncture, they get a call from GOD. He helps them introspect and discover what they really want in life. The story is really a page-turner. The “dark side” of call center work is also evident.
Chetan Bhagat is delighted as the scriptwriter for ‘Hello’
the Bollywood movie Based on his novel One Night @ the Call Center.