Half Girlfriend Book Review: A Typical Bollywood Potboiler

Half Girlfriend Book Review: A Typical Bollywood Potboiler

Recently, I caught my hands on Chetan Bhagat’s newest best-selling creation “Half Girlfriend”. Let me confess today, I’m guilty of reading all of his books and even watching some of the books adapted into movies. However much I may detest them in public, for they are one of my desperate attempts at being elitist, I could not resist the bait of an unread book kept on my table since two full days. The last time I read his book, I had a firm resolve not to pick up any of his creations again, for reason best known to all his readers. However, like all new-year resolutions are meant to be broken, I failed at keeping this resolution as well. The book had been lying unattended at my desk for some time now. The deadly combination of me being the usual unoccupied, unemployed and an unread book had been tantalizing me and finally won me over.

I can proudly say that the book did not disappoint any inch of me. Like its predecessors, it holds all the ingredients of a typical Bollywood potboiler. A prudent me professes the movie adaption. A gratuitous advice to any movie director out there listening to me is to buy the rights ASAP.

The story revolves around the life of a boy named Madhav Jha, born in rural parts of India who lands up in one of the elite colleges in the capital city. As is expected, the boy is not any usual boy. He held rich fortunes once and is the erstwhile maharaja of his small village. His mother is a self-made woman, the Rani Sahiba, who is running a school and does all sorts of noble works in the city.Such an honourable women.The whole town respects her and adores her little one. However, the travails of the protagonist start as he begins his college life. He faces a tough time in the capital, fromttttggttt78 the torturous interview time to being bullied by the rich urban English speaking fellow college mates who took no time to categorize him as low born/illiterate.  There enters the girl of his dreams, the rich, tall, beautiful Riya. The rich girl has inherited her family’s fortunes, comes to college in posh cars, wears expensive clothes but what’s noteworthy is that she hates it all.  She hopes to be not given any special treatment and helps the poor rural boy to adjust in the new town. Basketball connects the two opposite individuals and of course all the artful efforts by Madhav. He is depicted as an intelligent person lacking confidence due to his poor language skills and hence falls back on his friends for opinions.  This group of people guide him when he is lost, console him when he is upset, counsel him when he loses all hope and does everything to help the boy get the girl of his dreams. After a tortuous journey through innumerable twists and turns, ups and downs, he manages to get the girl love him back. The consortium of all the trails the poor boy faces are enough to put tears in the eyes of the audience. Skipping through the details of her dramatically going away to marry a childhood friend, his declining his job offer to take up the work in his hometown, surprisingly bumping into his beloved in a place he least expected, imagining a life with her, losing her again, searching for her true love in an unknown land again and finally finding her.A happy ending afterall.

What amused me throughout the book was the author’s meek attempt at humor. At every second moment, he made a deliberate attempt to lighten up the audience’s mood with poor jokes and useless puns. There were several instances when I almost predicted the story and patted myself on the back for being smart. I could almost foretell two possible endings, given it’s a Bhagat novel. To my surprise, he used one after the other, as if not wanting to conclude the story just yet. In all, the book has a regular and basic Bollywood story and I’m eagerly waiting for its adaption, lest I forget the story. 
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