'A lot of People are waiting to see me fall'
But that time is still far away. Says a confident Chetan Bhagat before the release of his fifth book Revolution 2020
Seems like our tryst with corruption is never ending. So after Anna Hazare and his movement (which is still going on in government offices around the country), it is time to pan our attention on corruption in a different sphere -- the education sector. That's what Chetan Bhagat's new book Revolution 2020 is focusing on. While the subject could at best be termed co-incidental (Bhagat had been writing the book for the past to years), the timing could not have been more correct with urban middle class India being completely fed up with the muck that is fast turning into quicksand.
Days before formally launching the book, Bhagat is in a curious state of mind. "My mind is oscillating between super confident and super nervous," he says, shifting in his seat in between sips of masala chai. "A lot of people are waiting to see me fall but that isn't happening this time," he stresses. The author is in between interviews, but doesn't look tired. But rest is something he is looking forward to. "Once I am done promoting the book, I will take a break and chill out. Remain disconnected for a while, spend time with family and travel," says the author with a Midas touch (his last four books have been instant bestsellers which were recreated on celluloid with mixed success).
Bhagat is stressed but is happy with the positive reviews the book has already been garnering. "Because of Twitter and Facebook, promotion has already built up. Everyone knows it's coming," says the man who recently kicked up a storm on Twitter as he reacted to Infosys founder NR Narayana Murthy's tweet on falling standards in IIT, calling the software giant a 'body shop'. He later declared truce on the microblogging site, posting: "Showed them how high-handedness can hurt."
"He (Narayana Murthy) targeted my college, so I reacted. Don't know why people have made headlines out of a non-issue," he tells MiD DAY. The author stresses he has no expectations from the book which is set in Varanasi and is a love triangle between three friends. "It's a love story set in the backdrop of corruption in the education sector. There is rampant corruption in the education sector," he says.
In this book, Bhagat has moved away from what he calls 'secure love'. "That's not how love occurs in real life. Sometimes people are not secure in love," he says. The book has real life connections and is based on people the author met in private colleges during his motivational talks.
For someone who is city bred, Bhagat accepts it was difficult to get into the minds of small-towners. "It is very difficult for someone not from a small, town. But my father was in the Armed Forces so I have had a taste of small towns," he says. Is small town India closing in on its metro counterparts? "The aspirations in small towns are similar. But the facilities are yet to catch up," says the man who has visited at least 75 cities in the last two years.
It took him two years to finish Revolution 2020, in the course of which he met people, asked them what their 'issues' were and visited Varanasi at least four times. He sat down each day in the morning after bidding his wife and kids goodbye (he has twins) and finished before the kids got back from school. "If there was still work, I'd write a bit in the evening," he says. His formula for success, he says, is luck and commitment to do his best. "I don't take my readers for granted and don't think of my brand. My readership is big enough for me to keep doing the work I do," he points out. We like the attitude!
Cost: Rs 140
At: All leading bookstores