Thursday, October 16, 2014

Half Girl Friend - Chetan Bhagat

I was curious to find out what a half girl friend could be. Honestly, I am still not too sure about that after having read the book.

Back to the book everyone's talking about. Start. A sports quota types comes from a village in Bihar to join St. Stephens in Delhi. He cannot speak English (myself Madhav Jha). But he can play basket ball well (wonder how?). He falls in love with a tall basket ball type girl on the first day at the selection trials, say, someone like Deepika Padukone. (I am guessing she is also sports quota else why would she be playing in trials? And what was this about trials - its not an open selection right, its sports quota which means certificates are the criteria right? Someone help me here.) But she is Delhi wali so she knows English. But get this NOW. Both are sports quota types, so lower your expectations guys, they are not really smart. Having been a sports quota guy I know.

Anyways our stud is completely blown over by her. He has a one point agenda in his life which is to kiss her. This is a common theme in his love life almost till the end. To kiss her in various positions - Spiderman, Batman etc. Her one point agenda is not to let him kiss her. He has a bunch of friends who tell him to keep up the pride of Bihar i.e. progress well beyond the kiss and into more intimate activities. Come on yaar, you know what.

Upon which our Bihari basketball player decides to use a line which could be one of the most powerful lines ever used to bed a lady.
"Dena hai to de, varna kat le.' He thunders.

The girl is not sure what he wants from her. She decides to marry her rakhi brother and vanish. Kat le, is the option she takes. She leaves college. Bye.

In all the years that this sports quota chap spends at St. Stephens, he unfortunately does not pick up enough English to get past his 'myself Madhav Jha'. He is not playing basket ball either it looks like, He has no love life. Nothing really. What was he doing there?

Anyway Deepika disappeared. He gets a job in HSBC. I can imagine the interview.
'What's your name?'
'Myself Madhav Jha.'
'Ok, you got the job.'
Our man however lectures the highly disappointed recruiters from HSBC on how they were selling their soul by working for money and goes back to his village. They all stand up and clap. (Not really, but that should be added in the movie.)

In billage Madhav bhaiyya joins family school. Sorry, I was getting influenced. He has no money. I suspect he is still a virgin too. Good news. Bill Gates is coming over to Bihar. All that stands between Gates Foundation and money for their school is a speech in English from Madhav bhaiyya. If speech good, get funds. Nahin to, kat le. Or something to that effect. Enter King's Speech with a twist.

To learn English to give a 5 minute speech, this graduate from St. Stephens, this guy who rejected a HSBC offer, joins an English speaking course in Patna. This is a sad commentary of the state of affairs in St. Stephens. Anyway he notices that Deepika Padukone ...oops sorry, Riya, is also in Patna selling Nestle products while driving around in an Innova. And I thought she left her degree half way...what the hell is going on man. Does she own Nestle or is she working for them?

Anyway the basket ball girl and boy get together again - no more extreme dialogues from him. She helps with a memorable speech to Mr. Gates. His Mom does not like her - oops, I forgot - she is a divorcee. Riya waits till Gates Foundation announces the grant and she disappears. Lung carcinoma. Don't find me.

All she leaves behind are her journals.

Unable to do anything with those journals Madhav Jha somehow traces famous writer Chetan Bhagat who is in Patna (for some famous research work on half girl friends perhaps) and hands him over the journals. 'I can't read them. You read them.' He walks away after handing over the unexpected gift.

Chetan Bhagat reads them at night. In the morning he calls the basket ball player and tells him to come to the hotel again. He has cancelled his flight ticket. Please tell me your story he says. Madhav ji tells everything from beginning. (All that I told so far.) Then Chetan Bhagat reveals select portions of the journal that has clue to Riya's secrets. should have learned to read English my friend.

Alright, let's leave it there folks. Is she alive? Or dead? Did he cut her in half? Find out by reading all about the half girl friend.

Apart from the famous dialogue mentioned above (Dena hai to de, varna kat le), there is one moment of honesty that come sup. It's a line from the end of the girl's letter where she finally bares her soul. 'I love you.'. In the entire book that one line touched me. It sounded honest. I wish there were more such moments.

The novel does not tax your mind. It did not involve or engage me too much either. I was wondering at how flat and one dimensional the characters were. There is no attempt to even build another layer to the characters. Very filmy too. What else do you expect when a good looking well built, sporty, virgin Bihari bhaiya joins St. Stephens yaar? Anyway, it should probably go down as sports drama. Its about sports quota walas yaar.

No comments: