Monday, September 1, 2014

CB: Chuck Bullshit!

I am sure you all must have seen this entire, front-page advertisement in a famous national daily and like me, you all must have been surprised to see the hype being created around a book. Chetan Bhagat; I should have guessed who could possibly be behind the whole campaign. This guy has reached a position in the industry, both publishing and cinema, where his words are considered worthy by financers to bet on.

I was able to digest, well almost, the fact that an author who has got nothing great to offer to the Indian literature has become the torch-bearer, a representative of the same. I am, suddenly, reminded of Honey Singh who proudly blabs out in his latest song that he would soon bring a Grammy home. Well, dreaming big bears no taxes or hidden charges, but all of us know what would the standard of the India music industrys be if he’s finally able to get one. Please chew and spit out the clichéd theory that Indian youth “wants” to hear to that kind of music. NO. Indian youth is being tortured to death by forcibly making them listen to these songs no matter where they go, be it clubs, bars, weddings, family functions or on any music channel, for that matter. It seems as if we are gagged by someone else’s choices.

Precisely, the same stands true for Chetan Bhagat. The fact that India Today’s Chief Editor, Arun Purie, had to write an article and explain WHY on earth he chose CB as his cover model for the August edition implies his feeling of guilt of having done something nobody expects of him – giving a revered space to someone who just doesn’t deserve. (India Today Editor-in-Chief Aroon Purie on Chetan Bhagat's forthcoming work of fiction)  

One Night @ the Call Centre, The 3 Mistakes of My Life, Five Point Someone, 2 States – I never found substance in any of his work and, now, his latest stint as a scriptwriter in the movie, Kick, has cooked up nothing but rotten Briyani this Eid for all the Salman Khan fans. Touted as the representative of Indian youth, a leader, a motivational speaker, Chetan Bhagat is trying to grab all possible accolades which could reserve him some space in media columns and TV talk shows.

There’s some deliberately concealed information beneath the buzz we hear around his upcoming book, Half Girlfriend. The fact that all the media bytes, advertisements and online publicity is being handled by Flipkart on its own expense is something we never hear about. Flipkart, on its attempt to outgrow other retailers like Amazon, Google or Kobo, is trying his hands at these marketing stunts. Further, the initial print run of the book is speculated to be two millions – a whopping number in a world where a print run of 5,000 grants the status of ‘bestseller’ to a book and where piracy comes as easy as poop.

I am sure his latest book would already have been bid for as a movie script by numerous prominent directors but all the avid readers know that whatever Chetan Bhagat writes is not only difficult to relate to, but also is tasteless, bitter tablet of BS served to someone who is out to savor the best delicacies being offered in publishing. It is surely not something readers die waiting for, contrary to popular belief. Chetan Bhagat is clearly not for someone who’s seen classic literature, exactly like Honey Singh is NOT for someone who knows what music is all about. Yet these guys are scoring big(!) – probably, it is high time for us to check our facts and boycott what media forcibly tries to dunk shot down our gorges.

Brain Processing (begin: snail-pace): Stop. Wait. Read blurb. Analyze if it’s really useful. Check reviews. Read Preface. Double-check if it sounds sense. Lastly, the author – does he/she talk sense when eyeballs try to pass him through. Still, you’re motivated to read? Congratulations! You’ve found your next read. 
Brain Processing (auto-mode: jet speed): Reading commences.  


EJ said...

Loved your observations on CB, but the sad fact is that Indian CBs are here to stay and so is Honey Singh.

As bloggers we have our own share to promote this trend. Don't we all accept to review low quality books churned by IIT-IIM passouts and write good reviews of these books to gain readership and promotion of our blogs?

Cheena Chopra said...

I am sure Chetan Bhagat has a long way to go; thanks to his efficient PR team. And no, Liz. My book reviews have always been honest. Honestly has gotten me more readers! ;)

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