“Two Fates” is filmy but fun

Two Fates Cover Page

Two Fates Cover Page

Judy Balan’s debut novel “Two Fates – The story of my divorce” is an extension of the story of “Two States – The story of my marriage” by Chetan Bhagat. The plot is about separation of the couple (Deepika and Rishabh) who are like Yin and Yang, intrinsically different but complementary in nature. While the pair plots for their severance, their family unknowingly conspires against their divorce. Two Fates is story of these opposing forces, full of humour, sarcasm and some high schoolish turn of events.

Yin Yang Symbol

Yin Yang Symbol

Judy narrates the story through the protagonist Deepika’s perspective and sticks to Aam-Janata syle of writing – use of plan language. Though the story is fun, Judy’s story is built around some very hard-core beliefs of the Indian society like inter-class or inter-religion marriages are social stigma, divorce decisions are not personal but family decisions, non-conventional form of vocation/studies/career like writing, vetenary doctor etc are not easily accepted by society. The author is also bold in presenting the sexual life of the couple in a very comic way.

The central characters of the novel might relate to many urban cosmopolitan citizens but the turn of events presented in the story like the baby making conspiracy by the families, the events related to the clandestine divorce, the union of the two inter-community families involved, the openness of the family to talk about sex etc are way-off from the life of a common man. The constantly-fighting-yet-loving-sort-of-relationship between Deepika and Rishabh is also expected to strike a chord with many couples.

Judy’s job of extending Chetan’s story line is remarkable as I believe extending someone else’s imagination is more difficult than creating a completely new plot. Hence, I think that the book is better than many other books belonging to modern literati genre. The book is a stand-alone success and does not require readers to have read “Two States”. The story is racy, dramatic and quick read (Should not take more than five hours to read).

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Two States – Book Review

Two States” by “Chetan Bhagat” is a love story of individuals from two different states of India, who fall in love with each other in their campus life at IIM Ahmadabad and post the campus life work towards convincing their families, revolting against inter community marriage of their children. Female protagonist Ananya, unlike typical south Indian girl is characterised as a smart, intelligent and extrovert female while the male protagonist Krish, an intelligent IITian from Delhi is presented as a whizkid.

The book differs from the other campus stories in two dimensions:  a) A larger portion of the book is devoted to post campus life of the protagonists of the novel unlike campus stories which are purely devoted to the campus b) Secondly and majorly, the book delves on slightly more serious subject of “commitment and marriage” rather on the present day buzzword of numerous other campus stories “love & fun”. The author should be commended for his ability to present a very serious subject of inter-community marriage in his style of humour and fun and hence the book becomes a light read. The story has patches of gloom interspersed with happiness surrounding the small victories of the couple in events that helped them convince their families.

The book owing to its presentation style can be categorized in the genre of humorous writing rather than in the romantic novels. It is recommended as a light read and hence attracts a lot of young audience. From the perspective of a mature reader, I expect Chetan Bhagat to graduate to higher levels of writing and present to its reader a slightly more serious work.