I’ve just been tossed out of a roller coaster ride, head-first, and I have no clue what I’m doing with my life right now or what to do next. For the past 4 days I had been reading “2 States” by Chetan Bhagat and nothing (Okay. Certain things like feeding my kids or getting my Driver’s License done did tear my attention from the book) occupied my mind apart from the main characters in the book and their circus to get married. I talked to my husband about nothing but the book and read whole passages to him that I found hilarious. And now that the book is over I feel lost.
I’m hoping writing about the book will help me get over it and do what needs to be done next.
“2 States” is a fictionalized story of the writer’s marriage. The main characters, a boy and a girl- Krish and Ananya- fall in love and decide to get married. What’s new, you may wonder. Read on….
Krish is from the north of India while Ananya is from the south. They come from 2 different states. 2 different worlds, I can easily add, at least in the 90s when the story takes place (Education and movement of people from one state to another in search of a better life has gradually made people aware of other cultures that exists in India). They meet one another at IIM-A, one of the elite MBA institutes of India, fall in love and decide to get married (yes yes… I’ve said it already!). Both families are dead against their union. Now they have 2 choices:
1. elope and marry without anybody’s consent, or
2. get their families to accept their marriage.
They choose the latter. Operation Parents’ Consent to Marriage begins. That’s the essence of the story.
Krish is the story’s narrator. Sometimes he comes across as a manipulator, resorting to all sorts of trickery like pretending to love classical music because Ananya’s mother is a Carnatic singer or asking Ananya to buy expensive gifts for his mom to please her. But you will forgive him ’cause he’s doing it for love. All’s fair in love, right? Plus he has this dry humor about him which makes him irresistibly cute sometimes.
After her parents are on board, it is Ananya’s turn to please his mother (Krish’s dad is out of the equation because he’s not in good terms with his son or his wife). She tries hard but fails because she:
1. is not a Punjabi
2. is not rich enough.
3. can’t cook food.
– lacking all the qualities Krish’s mom expects in her daughter-in-law.
And after the mother accepts her (partially), it is time for the parents to get to know one another and, hopefully, to like one another. Phew!
But for this marriage to happen, one other issue has to be resolved- between Krish and his dad.
The marriage happens eventually. It HAS to! 2 people crazy in love, working so hard to make their families agree to their marriage are sure to make it work. But how? And that’s why I recommend this book. The “how” of their marriage sets it apart from other stories. I wonder if any of this will make sense if you’re not an Indian. But I could totally relate to the story and its characters (although mine was an arranged marriage).
A laugh-riot through and through, I found myself giggling away as I read the book. Their romance and plight consumed me for the duration of my reading. I could not journal or do projects or blog- all the things that give me pleasure- until I finished the book. Afterwards too….
So I gathered my thoughts (they were all over my mind) about the book and dumped them here, in my post. I hope I can function better now.