octobre 9, 2012 par s.vonkessel
My first thought when I started to read Chetan Bhagat´s novel « 2 States: The story of my marriage », was « Oh no, this is going to be a Bollywood written version of an impossible romance story like Romeo and Juliet or Twilight ».
But it’s an easy and quick narration made me continue the reading and I understood that under it’s simple plot, there was a lot of information about the differences between the states inside India, and more specifically between North and South India and it works in reality. Going through this book you get to know better traditions, origins and value systems of two of the most different Indian communities, Punjabis and Tamilians. It teaches you about their different dressing codes, eating habits, traditions, weddings, priorities in life… You will also discover a bit more about how arranged marriage works and the importance for each community to be able to choose the person their child will get married to, basically to make sure each community´s identity and the correct heritage .
Before coming to India, I was interested in the question, how nowadays a country can still maintain a system based on such strong differences as casts, tribes, classes, communities, religions….
But now, after walking in the streets and analyzing the way people act and interact, even if I personally still don´t accept such a discriminatory system, I kind of start understand why people keep such a strong feeling for a specific group. In a city like Bangalore with more than 8 million inhabitants, you get the feeling of being lost in the crowd constantly, of not being important, of being one more nobody. And that´s the reason, why I am thinking that Indian people stay attached to a certain community. The smaller group gives you an identity, a feeling of relevance, of being part of something, of being known to your own people, of not being lost. And keeping differences with other communities only reinforces the inner union of your own group.
The book is also encouraging, because, even while the cast/class system is still strong, it inspires the new generations to think above all these barriers and work towards freedom of choice for their own future.
Text: Maddalen Gillopez Delacalle, A4 student, Bangalore
Chetan Bhagat (born 22 April 1974), is an Indian author, columnist, and speaker. Bhagat is the author of five bestselling novels:Five Point Someone (2004), One Night @ the Call Center (2005), The 3 Mistakes of My Life (2008), 2 States (2009) & Revolution 2020: Love, Corruption, Ambition (2011). Two of his books were made into Bollywood films.
Reading of « 2 States: The story of my marriage » was mandatory during the introductory workshop (CIA). SvK