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I'm not shedding clothes for attention: Chetan Bhagat

Author Chetan Bhagat, whose book, '2 States', is up for the big-screen adaptation, says that he doesn’t think people see him as somebody who manufactures controversies 

If you follow Chetan Bhagat on Twitter, you are most likely to see tweets on the current political scenario or social issues. But a couple of days ago, one of his tweets read ‘There’s PMS. And there’s PRS. Pre-release stress.’

Chetan Bhagat
Author Chetan Bhagat says criticism does not bother him as much now

After Five Point Someone, One Night at a Call Centre and Three Mistakes of My Life, Bhagat’s semi-autobiographical book 2 States is up for release as a big-screen adaptation on April 18, and the author is excited. But he should have become used to it by now, right? “I thought so too, but unlike previous times, there are a lot of expectations from my readers. And there are millions of readers and millions of expectations,” Bhagat tells us.

The movie, like the book, is semi-autobiographical, and takes instances from Bhagat’s own inter-community marriage with wife, Anusha. “I’m happy that a lot more people will become familiar with the story as movies have a larger reach. I think the book changed a lot of people’s thinking towards inter-community marriages and I’m hoping the movie does that too,” he says.

Not indifferent to criticism
Bhagat might be a best-selling author today but he’s had his fair share of brickbats. Critics have panned his writing, calling it mediocre and pedestrian and some have even gone on to label him the Rakhi Sawant of Indian literature. Does the criticism bother him? “It does but a lot less than how it did five years ago,” says Bhagat.

Courting controversy?
Bhagat finds it hard to explain his own success. “I’m not a highly-gifted writer. There is a lot of luck involved. I’m blessed with a simple and amusing style of writing, which comes effortlessly to me. Also, I genuinely care for people,” Bhagat explains. Controversies, too, have dogged him from time to time. “If I want to create controversies, there are a lot of things I can do. People take my work seriously, and I’m not seen as somebody who manufactures controversies,” he adds.

An opinion on everything
Just as he seems to have an opinion on a lot of issues, Bhagat also has a knack attracting attention — good or bad. That, in his opinion, is not a bad thing. “It’s nice that in 2014, with so many distractions, people still care about a writer. After all, I’m not a girl who wears less clothes to get attention. I’m just talking about ideas and they get attention. There is no cleavage,” he says, with an attempt at humour. Sexist statements? Maybe he needs to rethink his say on controversies.

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