Before I start off with the review I have to confess I am a really big fan of Chetan. His books have been a great read. Simple, honest, contemporary and intelligent are the words I would usually use to describe his books. My favorite thus far has been 2states and five point someone in the same order. I had pre ordered R2020 a week ahead and the anticipation was pretty high.
When I started reading, I realized this was typical Chetan; which was good as that’s is what most fans would want but on the flip side there was nothing new in terms of narration style. Chetan it seems, is obsessed with two things; 1.First person narrative. 2. Pre marital affairs. Both test your patience after a particular point of time.
R2020 starts off on an intriguing note with a wonderfully writ prologue that immediately pulls you in. One has to accept that though repetitive and slightly discomforting to read, the first person narrative does serve its purpose by hooking you instantly. The language is simple and the description of people, places and events are imaginative.
The short summary claims R2020 is the story of two people, but when you delve into the story you realize it’s more about one guy Gopi who is a loser as far as academics go. He fails miserable in his entrance exams (AIEEE & JEE) while Raghav cracks both. Gopi is forced by his father to do engineering, and so he spends an year attending coaching classes in a place called KOTA in UP to crack the entrance exams. Raghav on the other hand joins a prime institute and takes up engineering. Both these boys love their school and childhood friend Arthi. What happens with the lives of both these men and the sole woman makes the rest of the story
The narration style, the language used, the almost tangible romance, the plot and the depth in the characterization all add so much value to the story. We find ourselves carried on by the immense skill of the author in layering his story. Emotions have been portrayed subtly and the entire feel and flow of the story is extremely contemporary.
Chetan’s strength also lies with the understanding of women and their nature. By design women are complex and confused. They contradict themselves and chetan has their pulse. This helps strongly when he adds depth to the female lead in his story. Excellent portrayal of a confused girl .
The short summary claims this to be the story of two men, but actually this is more like the story of only one guy Gopi and his friends and love. Also the first person narrative really irks sometimes as we hardly see the story from any other different angle; in short we are led to see the world in the story through just one angle.
Also though the description claims this is the story of two intelligent boys, but it is anything but that. We hardly see any evidence of their intelligence. Gopi definitely never exhibits that and if he is anything he is just manipulative and corrupt. So the short summary is hugely misleading and actually stomps the anticipation of a reader. A definite bummer
One of the major failings of Chetan is his inability to increase the pace in his stories. His stories are very slow moving and that should be improved. R2020 though interesting is definitely not a page turner.
Word to the author:
Chetan has to realize he has made the youth of India to read. It would be much appreciated if he stops depicting all women as confused and easy to woo during vulnerable moments into an affair. Chetan you are not going to win hearts with such portrayal however true they might be. Forget women, even men would find your idea of what is right and what is wrong difficult to accept.
R2020 is a good read. It is made especially for the romantic types and people with patience and interest. A must for the fans though! My rating would be a 7 on 10