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Someday over the rainbow….

There are some dreams, that we never imagine would come true. We think of it…like being so untrue and impossible, so much so that even if we dream about it again, we just let it go…

I had this strong desire to meet author Chetan Bhagat, after I read One night @ the call centre and Five Point someone. It never looked realistic, until the 6th of May, when my editor came up to us, and asked if any of us was a CB fan. I raised my hand instantly, without second thoughts..his name had magic…his writing like a spell. My editor handed me an invite…and said Jane you have to meet him and discuss the launch of his new book. CB is big in India, though literary writers find it hard to accept him in their league, he is big, he is the J.K Rowling of India…without any denial.

I met CB on the 8th of May at High Street Phoenix….the expeirence was the fulfillment of my first impossible dream ofcourse…it was small…but still so big in my memory….

My article was published on the 9th of May in The Asian Age supplement. He spoke about his new book “The Three Mistakes of my life,” and the movie which he scripted “Hello”.

Read on…
Few hours before the launch of his third book, “The three mistakes ofmy life” in Mumbai, writer Chetan Bhagat looked all excited about thelaunch.”We are running out of copies of the book,” he admits, “and we had to call for more copies from Delhi today.”With his the guy-next-door charm Chetan Bhagat comes out as a cool and friendly person, who loves his readers and gets enthused every time he finds an admirer of his work.”Oh! You read my books…” he says surprised. Chetan still feels that he has to come to terms with his large audience base and confesses that he blushes with happiness each time his fan asks him for an autograph.”I knew that I had a big audience base in the U.S among the technocrats and other student population there, after my books were translated in French, I learnt that even the French loved my work.But, unfortunately I haven’t been there to sense my following. It is India that pulls me time and again,” he says talking about his fans. He adds, “I love my Indian readers, and that is why I am launching my books in different cities in the country.”An IIT, IIM graduate, investment banker and writer all the roles suit Chetan Bhagat perfectly. He does not look uncomfortable in his role-playing and fits himself well into anything. Content with his decision to move from Hong Kong where he spent eleven years as an investment banker, Chetan says, “It feels like coming back into your mothers arms. I come to the city very often but the feeling of settling here is entirely different.” Though Chetan finds life in Hong Kong very comfortable, he loves his country and is making aconscious effort to adjust with the city’s pace and traffic. “I actually meditate during a traffic jam, it keeps me calm and gets methrough the long traffic hours,” he admits slyly.
Chetan believes that audience feedback is essential; it helps him improve his writing each time, but a writer with strong readership to his credit, still faces brick bats and is accused of ripping literature apart. On this, he says, “If the criticism is constructive even if negative, I take it with a bag full of sugar. But some feel Iam writing trash and compare it to Mills and Boons; I cannot change mystyle for them.” He adds, “I write different books. If you are not into reading my books…you are not, I am completely fine with it.”Talking about his new book, Chetan claims that it very different from the last two books. This time he chose for a smaller town like Ahmedabad and has tried covering the issue of Gujarat riots. “I was in IIM-Ahmedabad, and lived there for two years and know people there.The issue of the Gujarat riots is also very close to my heart; I tried to blend it within my narratives. Also I wanted to cover the issue of Gujrathi’s wanting to get their daughters married to rich businessmen,”he says. “These are some problems dominating the town and I tried best to deliver it in my book.”When asked about his expectations from his third book. Chetan says, “I just hope that my readers are not disappointed. After the huge success of my two books, I find it challenging to meet those expectations, but I guess…its part of your job,” he muses. India’s top selling author has more surprises to give. He recently wrote the script for the movie “Hello” which is a remake of his secondbook “One night @ the call center” starring Salman Khan and Katrina. Elated about the snapshots of the movie going to be screened in hisbook launch at Mumbai, he says, “I am satisfied with the movie. It keeps the essence of the book alive and fresh. Though, I was not present for all the shoots, I am sure director Atul Agnihotri has done a fine job.”

For Chetan, writing is a hobby. He writes only when he feels like he needs to and does not show any inclination to make writing a full time profession. “I will continue working as an investment banker in Deutshe Bank, Mumbai – that is my job. If i get a good story i will probably try my hand on writing some good film scripts,” he says.
Until then, Chetan is basking in his success and at teh way his life is taking shape. He intends to take a break to reduce weight. He says, “I put on so much weight while writing my third book. My family, friends and fans feel I need to do something about it soon.”

Well….Chetan I dont think you need to do anything about the weight….this fan just loves your work

After that converstaion with CB..he gave a me copy of his book with his autograph…I hesitantly removed my copy of his first two books and asked his autograph there too….”Oh my fans carry my books everywhere,” he laughed. I couldn’t help but give a sheepish smile….

Love and Regards,

Jane…
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