Chetan Bhagat can easily be described as a man with classic plots, and truly Indian twists. Yet, I think he outdid many writers I had unbelievably high admiration for with the launch of Revolution 2020. Set in the backdrop of the holy city of Varanasi, the story traces the lives of childhood friends Aarti, Gopal, and Raghav, and here Chetan weaves in the typical twist. Two boys love the same girl. Life goes on, and they grow up, finally leaving their childhood behind, lost in the big bad world where your worth is judged by your marks, the only way to get what you want is money, and those who dare to go against the system are dragged down in the worst ways. The story focuses on the real India. Not the way we imagine and want it to be, peaceful, quiet and normal, but harsh, unjust, and cruel. Where money will get you everywhere, where the power lies in the hand of a shrewd MLA or CM, where the typical Indian stereotype evolves into being, no matter how much we run away from it, where one man who wants to start a revolution, is sabotaged. The story actually struck a chord in me because of the fact that this is the dirty little truth that lies behind the tangled web of lies, money and power. This is right now the condition of god knows how many small cities and towns in India. Inspired by his stint as a writer for The Times of India, Bhagat provides us with words we drink with our eyes, slowly awakening, and facing the saddened state of our staring at us country right in the eye. While many may read it for the love story, the real message that is struggling to come across from every page is, that too much of power, too much of lies and deceit, too much of corruption, too much of money, too much of hatred, eventually ruin you. While things do not have a happy ending from one point of view, the book, as strange as it may sound is attractive for the very reason. No, it's not a happy ending for everyone type of book, but the issue that concerns every citizen of this country manages to come out loud and clear, revolving like a mantra in our heads, even long after putting the book down.
Revolution 2020 by Chetan Bhagat
November 9, 2011