“Chetan Bhagat graduated from IIT Delhi in 1995 and IIM Ahmedabad in 1997. He currently lives in Hong Kong and works in a prominent investment bank . Chetan’s first novel , “Five Point Someone” was released in May 2004 and continues to top the bestseller lists across the country ever since , over seventy weeks after its release.”
And last Sunday , I met Chetan Bhagat , listened to him tell about his life and writings , and bought a personally signed copy of his recently launched second book .
That’s another good part about being at an IIM. You get to meet people who get clicked by pesky reporters and can be seen smiling on NDTV and smiling a little more on page 3 of glossy newspaper supplements . Over the last few months , we have had Lillete Dubey , Harsha Bhogle , Shyam Benegal on campus , to name a few.
Chetan told us the bosses in corporate world can be real bad . And in spite of the fact that the employee stood first in every contest held around him , from the leg tied frog race in class three to the entrance exams , the boss can make an employee feel like a perfect ten scorer on the uselessness meter . And he said his boss did just that to him. And he needed to do something which he enjoyed, and made him feel slightly more useful than a ladies perfume in a boys hostel . So he wrote . And wrote Five Point Someone.
Now I do not if this like a god given gift or something , but I can feel things coming. And I can clearly visualize my boss, yelling in a Americanized accent – “You goof !! When are you going to submit that report ?! Sometime after the next Hailey comet sighting happens ?” , while I stand apologetically and mumbling something to prevent an immediate firing from the job. And I would love to do a little rebel act then , and come up with some novel called “I am not a goof. My Boss is a goof.” or “Kidnapping my boss’s daughter” or something which goes onto become a bestseller and is talked about at all the parties my boss attends and is discussed by my boss's in laws .
Chetan pointed out a thing. A young , pretty , shrill voiced Nursery class teacher asks a classroom full of bumbling little kids , “Tell me how many of you can draw ?”. Rahul remembers the Giraffe he drew in his last class and sticks up his hand. Shreya thinks about the drawing she drew of her pet dog , and even though her depiction looked more like the corpse of a dog ran over by some three trucks , she sticks up her hand. And most of kids in a nursery class would say “ I can draw.”
But when a lecture hall full of IIM students was asked the same question, just three hands went up. Are we scared to free ourselves and see what happens ? And who knows , whom you may have within you , a writer , a poet , a painter , a singer , a kuchipudi dancer , a caberet dancer .
And in other news , imagine a big mental asylum. Imagine all the crazy inmates there who drive imaginary cycles and swim in imaginary pools and spend hours calculating the distance between
And before I close this post , I wish all of you a very Happy Diwali. It sounds a little strange to wish someone I don’t even know. But , whoever you are , whether a jealous you stole your rich classmate’s expensive pencil case in class two of school , or you still bitch about your boss who drives a Lancer and makes you work overtime , I know you are good at heart . Everybody is good at heart . So bring out that goodness . Be good. Do good. May you get all the good things you want , except Aishwarya Rai.
I would miss being at home and the Diwali aarti session where we sit down before the little temple at our home as a family , and sing all those aartis . Its more like yelling though and god must get real pissed at all that noise . If someone asks “who can sing ?” , no one should from my family should put up a hand.
Happy Diwali .