Prose and Conshttps://indianexpress.com/article/cities/ahmedabad/prose-and-cons/

Prose and Cons

That Chetan Bhagat is a foodie is reiterated by the fact that he knows the menu at Moshe’s Bakery & Café by rote.

That Chetan Bhagat is a foodie is reiterated by the fact that he knows the menu at Moshe’s Bakery & Café by rote. Just as we sit down at their Colaba outlet,the auhtor rants a list of sandwiches and desserts that he enjoys here and suggests some. “But I have had to keep a check on my diet because of my weight problem,” says Bhagat,who looks a bit in shape after following a strict regimen lately. “Earlier I had two jobs—investment banker and writer. I had absolutely no time for myself. Now that I have quit my banking job,I have plenty of time and no excuse not to diet,” he says calling for the menu.

One of India’s bestselling authors,he is easygoing but focused,loquacious but also a thinker. After three successful runs,Bhagat is now eagerly awaiting the launch of his latest book 2 States – The Story of My Marriage on October 10. “The story is about Krish and Ananya who are from two different states and cultures of India and deeply in love. To convert their love story into a love marriage,the couple has a tough battle in front of them,” says Bhagat who went through a similar phase in his life,while dating Anusha,a Tamilian,and now his wife. “No matter how educated or open-minded our society pretends to be,inter-community marriages always wreak havoc. It is easy to fight and rebel,but it is much harder to convince,” he smiles while placing an order for a smoked chicken sandwich.

Bhagat is a regular at Moshe’s and the staff here knows him well. But despite the adulation from the masses,he is still grounded. “I think it’s the critics,” he jokes. As he bites into his sandwich,he tells us how he has made peace with the criticism although it does bother him. “It is obvious one gets hurt when one is constantly targeted. But I do take criticism seriously and apply it in my writing,” he pauses. “But one must bear in mind that I write for the masses. I want young kids in Raipur and Varanasi to pick up my books,” says Bhagat convincingly,as he sticks to the Rs 95 price tag for his latest tome. “My main aim is to get people to read. If it was money I was interested in,I would never have quit my job.”

Bidding goodbye to his investment banking job seems to have brought humour back in his writing. “My previous book 3 Mistakes of My Life lacked humour as it was based on the Gujarat riots. But this one is funnier than Five Point Someone. I have even made fun of the banking sector,now that I am out of it,” he winks. Post the book’s launch,he will be looking forward to 3 Idiots,a film based on his first bestseller. The author is happy about the way Bollywood has accepted his writing. “Farhan Akhtar’s Excel Entertainment will be making 3 Mistakes into a movie,while filmmakers have approached me for 2 States,” he reveals.

If the slowdown is any indication,then banking is little competition and we doubt this writer’s celebrity will be missing it.

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Hooked to books
* Catch 22
* Animal Farm
* Atlas Shrugged
* Life of Pi
* God of Small Things