2 hours – two uninterrupted hours was the time it took me to complete the 260 pages “Half-Girlfriend” novel by Chetan Bhagat. I was one of the many readers who pre-ordered the book, exactly the next minute Chetan Bhagat announced it officially. Why? Curiosity. As Chetan says, I don’t remember him as a person who did this, I miss him when one year passes without his book. Let’s cut the small talk and get on to the real review.
What I perceived? I thought this book would something about friends-with-benefits or no-strings-attached type, which is now popularly trending. However, it is the exact opposite. This is a tale of first love.
Plot: Most of you would be aware of the book back synopsis; however, to brief it up again: Madhav, a bihari guy with no English fluency falls for Riya, a high-class Delhi girl. He proposes her to be his girlfriend (read as propose to make love), she says no. But, yeah wait, she accepts to be his half-girlfriend. When people might think it is friends-with-benefits, it is the opposite lovers-without-benefits. Cool move, lady!
What happens next? Arrrgh, the male ego in Madhav gets hurt, and he along with his so-called love guru friends realize that Madhav fucking her is the only way of making her his. Enter Madhav, who was not-so-high-class with his boner into Riya’s bed. The smart girl (did I say you they were just 18 years old in the story?) pushes him away, and he ends up abusing her with his typical Bihari slang. Boom, the girl goes out. Boy chase the girl. After a prolonged ‘Sorry-No need of your sorry’ scene, Rhea gives her wedding invitation to Madhav. Guess who is she marrying, London groom (American grooms have become too mainstreamed, you see), Rohan bhaiyya. Yeah, she used to call him bhaiya back then, even tied Rakhi. But, screw that, he is rich, so let them get married. Here ends Act 1.
Act 2 starts in Bihar, Madhav ditches HSBC job paying him bloody-50K rupees/month (I wonder who pays so much to a B.A Sociology grad), to improve his village in Bihar. Hey, did I mention he is a prince? Yes, this guy is a broke prince. Long story short, he develops his mother’s school and tries to give peech in English. “Yeah, no girl, but I nailed in English, you see.” But, his English is still pathetic that he goes to spoken English class in Patna. Enter Riya… Boom… After this if I reveal, it will be spoilers.
Hey, there is an Act 3 in New york! 😛
1. Simple language, as always – CB and his idea of making everyone read.
2. Cheeky lines – Although sexist at places, his dialogues are realistic and humorous – a rare combo.
3. At last, no steamy sex or scandal – Yeah, there isn’t any.
1. Predictable – Enough said.
2. There were few instances were the story was toooooo dragging. Especially the Bill Gates part, the search for Riya, etc.
3. Climax – typical ending.
4. Same narration style as in R2020. Kinda got repetitive.
Do I recommend? Yes, it is Chetan Bhagat, you need to read. Love his books or hate his books, you can’t ignore them.
Verdict: Half girlfriend – A full predictable story with typical CB ingredients.
One-liner: A simple tale of a low-class boy, high-class girl romance in CB’s style.
Bonus: This will definitely make a Bollywood blockbuster, for this can be an awesome script for B-wood movies without even a change in the screenplay.