The book touted as the continuation of Chetan Bhagat's 2 States doesn't only have a similar sounding name (read: 2 Fates) but an uncanny resemblance to the Bollywoodesque storyline of Bhagat's book as well. We quiz the author Judy Balan on what exactly goes into writing a parody. According to her, it is pretty simple, "You don't pre-think the storyline, the characters or who you are going to sell your movie rights to."
Talking about 2 Fates, which is based in India, Balan says, "Everyone has an aunt or uncle who asks personal questions and the book is about that. It will appeal to every Indian." She adds that she had not originally decided to make it a parody. "I was reading the parody of Eat, Pray, Love and on my blog I mentioned that I was considering writing a parody of 2 States. I got a great response for the blog posts and it just sort of spiralled from there."
Since it is a parody, do the readers need to read 2 States before reading her book? "2 Fates is a standalone book. A parody is mostly inverse to the original story but 2 Fates isn't. There are some jokes in the book that the reader will get if they have read 2 States, but it isn't necessary," states Balan. She admits that she hasn't spoken to Bhagat about her book and neither has he contacted her. "Let me clarify I am neutral on Chetan Bhagat. I didn't take writing this book seriously, so obviously there was no malice intended," she adds. Talking about the characters Judy says, "Rishabh and Deepika are two urban Indian individuals who are quite spoilt."
While the character of Rishabh has received a lot of female adulation on Balan's blog, the female protagonist Deepika has an existential pain that Balan could relate to. "But the story isn't about my divorce which many readers have assumed. It is purely a work of fiction," she says.
Now that she has completed her book, we ask her if she would like to make a movie on it. "I haven't thought about it yet. I would love for a movie to be made but I don't know how the process works. So, right now I am just happy about the book. I would like to cast Deepika Padukone or Priyanka Chopra as the female lead and Imran Khan might fit the bill for the male lead because he has a chocolate boy image."
The book cover of 2 Fates
We ask her what are her future plans. "I have started writing my second book. I have reached the third chapter, so I wouldn't like to divulge any more details," she concludes.
On December 21, at Landmark, SGS Mall, Camp. 2 Fates is priced
At Rs 150.