The story of a creative writer from an IIT

A life organized for the discovery of the potentialities already existing within ourselves, and the ordering of our behavior so as to nurture and nourish them, is a life well spent. Herein our success depends upon the amount of transformation we can successfully bring about in our personality and character. The vital question is not how many talents each one of us has, but how much of our existing talents we can explore, develop and exploit. An individual may have many talents, and yet, he can be a miserable failure in life. That person is successful who makes a practical use of at least one great talent that he possesses.
To an intelligent man alone is given this freedom for rebuilding his future. A true seeker is he, who is constantly asserting day by day, hour by hour, and he alone has this privilege of ordering his future life style and Chetan Bhagat is no exception to it.
Chetan Bhagat is one of the most popular novelists in India, whose books have been adapted into movies. Chetan Bhagat was born on 22nd April 1974 in New Delhi, India. After finishing school at The Army Public School in New Delhi, he joined IIT Delhi and graduated from mechanical engineering. He completed a post graduation course from IIM Ahmedabad, he received a medal for the ‘best outgoing student award’.
He worked as an investment banker with Goldman Sachs, an investment bank, since 1999 and lived in Hong Kong for eleven years before moving to Mumbai. He is married to Anusha, whom he met at IIM. The couple has twins Ishaan and Shyam.
Chetan Bhagat rose to fame with his first novel Five Point Someone (2004) about what it feels like to be below average students at IIT. He won the Society Young Achiever’s Award (2004) and Publisher’s Recognition Award (2005). The book has taken the form of a movie, 3 Idiots which will be released in 2009. It is directed by Rajkumar Hirani and stars Aamir Khan, Madhavan, Sharman Joshi and Kareena Kapoor.
His second book One Night @ a Call Center was yet another success. He wrote the script for the movie Hello (2008) based on this book. The movie had a special appearance by Salman Khan and was an average success.
His third novel was Three Mistakes of My Life (2008) which has a lot of cricket in it.
A creative act can be explained as one in which our powers to know our reality, to get absorbed in it and to project out of our fullness, are heightened and harmonized.
His first novel ‘Five Point Someone’ reveals his own days in IIT through the light-hearted story of three IITians who do not live up to others’ academic expectations. The book, with its humorous narrative and contemporary Indian student argot, achieved a sort of cult popularity and has topped national bestseller lists.
In March 2008, the New York Times called him the “biggest selling English author in India’s history”.
His second book, One Night @ the Call Center, was released in India in October 2005 and continues to be a bestseller as of January 2008. The book is about six people who work at a Call Center and one night which changes it all for them. The book was made into a big budget Bollywood film called Hello starring Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif, Sharman Joshi, Gul Panag among others.
His third novel, The 3 Mistakes of my Life, written as if based on real events, is set in the year 2000, when a young boy in Ahmedabad called Govind dreams of starting a business. To accommodate his friends Ishaan and Omi’s passion, they open a cricket shop. However, each has a different motive: Govind’s goal is to make money; Ishaan desires to nurture Ali, a gifted batsman; Omi just wants to be with his friends. During the story the characters have to deal with religious politics, earthquake, riots, unacceptable love and their own mistakes.
Chetan Bhagat considered as a youth icon, recently gave a talk to the youngsters at Maharana Pratap auditorium at Vidyashram School, Jaipur (Rajasthan) on Sunday organized by The Times of India and Taxila Business School, witnessed jam-packed auditorium, especially college students. Other than sharing his own experiences about his books, there he highlighted the importance of language and it effective usage.
Hinting about importance of English in corporate world, he said all firms need people who can speak good English and handle clients properly. “Learning English language is in no manner attacking the mother tongue. Today it is not just a language but a skill,” he said and added that this does not mean Hindi should be neglected. He also said that one should become people’s person; he should be able to deliver what people want and become their favourite.
In our experience in life, we find that we are what we are because of the calibre of the mental and intellectual equipment in us. The texture and quality of the mind-intellect equipment in us depends upon inherent and innate tendencies or inclinations.
When birds twitter, its music, when blades of grass appear greener with glossy drops its beauty, when one unleashes the innate inclinations wild its creativity, let us let loose our creative instincts just like Bhagat and develop our emotional and mental alacrities.
“Life is a tragedy to those who feel; life is a comedy to those who think”.
Lets learn the traits of being smart, intelligent and the most important creative from Chetan Bhagat.

Chetan Bhagat Speaks to you

What is ‘2 States’ about?
2 States is about a boy and girl from two different states of India, who fall in love and want to get married.
Love marriages around the world are simple:
Boy loves girl. Girl loves boy.
They get married.
In India, there are a few more steps:
Boy loves Girl. Girl loves Boy. Girl’s family has to love boy. Boy’s family has to love girl. Girl’s Family has to love Boy’s Family. Boy’s family has to love girl’s family.
Girl and Boy still love each other. They get married.
The tagline says ‘The story fo my marriage’. Is it inspired by real events?
Well, like my first book, this book draws a lot of inspiration from my own life. I am Punjabi and my wife is Tamilian, same as the protagonists in the story.
What is the message?
The message is simple – if India is one country, why can’t we marry a boy/girl from another state? A modern India will never emerge with so many differences between people.
Are you nervous before the release given the extraordinary expectations?
Of course I am nervous as the size of the print runs is unheard of Indian publishing. The book has to deliver to these expectations. However, two things make me more relaxed. One, the initial feedback from editors is highly positive and two, I feel secure about my reader’s love for me. If I won’t let them down, they won’t either.
You moved to India, you quit your banking job. What else have you been upto?
Quiting the bank was indeed a tough decision, as I didn’t actually dislike my banking career. I was reasonably senior, had a lot of perks and of course investment banks pay well. However, I found it difficult to invest the required amount of time in my writing.
I wanted to write beyond the novels and take on youth based issues, something I have done since leaving the bank. I have opted columns in Dainik Bhaskar, one of the biggest Hindi newspapers and Hindustan Times, a leading English daily. These columns allow me to bring out important issues and my take on what will make a progressive Indian nation.
I also do several events/talks across the country – with the aim to motivate and inspire youngsters in smaller towns.
What is your next project?
To take a break! I’ve had a hectic two years with the new book, film adaptations, columns, talks and taking a decision to quit my job. It has taken a lot of emotional energy and I want to rejuvenate myself, maybe get back to yoga. After that, it is possibly a screenplay.
Any message for your readers?
Most of my readers are young who, always try to look at the brighter side of life, even in the toughest of times. This attitude makes us surmount the biggest challenges, just as the characters do in my books. And keep love above everything else in life.

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