The wordsmith that young India loves is back. This time, Chetan Bhagat has released What Young India Wants, a compilation of writings and essays from his columns, and his career as a speaker and thinker. Extracts from the book
Destiny — from Banker to Author
Indians believe in destiny. Some call it luck. Whatever you call it, my life had a plan written for it. Little did I know that I would be able to communicate my ideas for a better India not only to a few but to millions around the country. I was meant to be a banker, stay a banker. I was an NRI, someone who earns in dollars and spends his evenings being nostalgic about India. I had no idea I would quit banking and be back on the streets of Mumbai. If there is someone who should believe in destiny, it is I.
Author Chetan Bhagat. Pic Pradeep Dhivar
All of this became possible because of the one little ignored quality of my childhood—being the entertainer. It surfaced again and changed my life. I mentioned earlier how I used to entertain my uncles and relatives when I was a child. That same entertainer re-emerged in Hong Kong. My other banker friends took on hobbies like golf and bridge. Almost by chance, I decided to do what I enjoyed: tell stories. Perhaps I wanted to get over my depression and frustration. Maybe I wanted to reconnect to India. Whatever the reason, I decided to write a book.
What Young India Wants, Chetan Bhagat, Rupa, `140. The book will be released in Mumbai on August 9.
Everyone found the title of my first book odd. It took me a minute to explain it to people.It referred to grade point averages of the three students in IIT, whom the story was about. Many found the entire book odd. I don’t want to go into the heroic story of how I struggled to become an author. Let’s just say it wasn’t easy. Five Point Someone released in May 2004. The book did well and gave me a readership. The rest, they say, is history. I continued to write more books, taking on social issues in each of them. The second book, One Night @ the Call Center took on the plight of the call center generation. The third book was a story about secularism set in modern Gujarat, The 3 Mistakes of My Life. The readership continued to grow and reached the hundreds of thousands. The books gave me an outlet to express about India. However, for the most part they were entertainers. I could take on a social issue, but each book took two years to write. There was far too much going on in the country that needed comment.
Extracted with permission from Rupa Publications.