The Ocean


Hello everyone,
Sorry for this delayed post. As you know, I am on twitter more often now (Chetan_bhagat). However, sometimes 140 characters are not enough to talk about all I want to say. It is November, and 3 weeks since 2 States came out. I thought I’ll share a couple of things that are occupying my mind these days.
1. 2 States response – I am overwhelmed by the response to 2 States. The quantity and quality of responses is at a higher level than any of the previous books. We’ve started displaying some of the fanmails on the homepage of this site (unless the reader chooses the privacy option). And you can see the feedback coming in. The book has touched a chord and connected across the country. To deliver to the expectations after three already successful books is, for me, the biggest achievement. This time the story was simple, in fact the title gives it away. It all came down to execution, and I’m fortunate God was on my side this time. It is still early days, but I can tell this story will travel far and wide and give me a whole new set of readers. The little red book is literally, everywhere.
2. 3 Idiots – I am sure you are as excited as me upon seeing the 3 Idiots promo (see post below). With a stunning star cast and an excellent director, we have all been waiting for it a long time. Just to be clear, 3 Idiots is based on Five Point Someone (and that is the official credit) but the plot is different. There are commonalities, some of which are seen in the promo – the engineering college, the three boys, the triple riding, the Prof on a bicycle and his beautiful daughter (!). The core conflict and the underlying messages about the education system are also similar. However, the film’s plot is quite different and does not follow the novel. That is a decision the filmmakers independently took well after taking the rights of the book. I personally felt the underlying message needs to reach people more than the exact rendition of the book, and hence I was fine with it. The book has been widely read in any case, the original source is there for all to see. I, from my side, am happy that my first story and its big idea inspired the biggest filmmakers in the country. However, it is their film and all accolades should go to them. I hope my explanation sets the expectations right among viewers so they can enjoy the film better.
3. What’s next and the big escape – This is the big question that I am seeking answers to right now. Will it be another book, another screenplay, a new column, more talks around the country, nothing at all? – I have no idea. I do know however, that I need a calm mind to decide all this. Hence, I decided to escape the limelight for a while. Fame and success, while sought after, have the power to disorient you and cloud your judgment. I left India and have come to Hong Kong, a place I am familiar with having spent 11 years here, but also anonymous. I will be here for a while, focusing on looking inside and trying to find out what I really want. A few answers are emerging. Once I have a bit more clarity, I will surely share them with you. I miss India, my family and readers terribly, but this detachment process is important for me.
4. Launches in other cities – because of the need to get away, I postponed the launches in various cities. However, I know I can’t be away from my readers too long, so will be organizing them in the next couple of weeks. The next few ones will be in the South – most likely Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore. These will be followed by other cities, details of which I shall post when available.
5. A parting word – I want to end bysharing a small incident. The night before the release of 2 States, I was super tense. I went to the ISKCON temple in Chowpatty and met His Holiness Radhanath Swami, an American gentleman who moved to India several decades ago and devoted his life to serve God. I told him I couldn’t sleep because of the anxiety over the fact that there will be a million judgments on my work, both positive and negative, in the coming days. He told me this:
“Imagine there is a puddle. When it rains, the puddle is filled with water. When it doesn’t, the puddle dries up. Now compare that to the ocean. The ocean is so deep, it doesn’t matter if it rains above or it is dry weather. Your inner depth should be as much as the ocean, so you are not fazed by the external praise or criticism. For that, you must truly do work that is meaningful to you, have love in your heart for others and help people. And when you achieve inner depth, the external world’s rewards won’t matter to you as much.”


I don’t think I am as deep as the ocean yet. But I am trying. Meanwhile, I just felt I will share this with you, so you may apply it in some aspects of your life. Whatever happens outside, it doesn’t matter as much if there is a calm stillness in you.

लोकः  समासतः  सुखिनो  भवन्तु

(may all beings in this world be happy)

Love and Blessings,
Me


118 Comments

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  1. Manish says:

    Dear Chetan

    You have aptly portrayed the cultural differences that we face in our country today in your book 2 States. Your book is simple yet it conveys a very strong message. It trully reflects the cultural bondage that today’s “Indian” faces while selecting their life partners.

    I sincerely appreciate your book.

    Hoping for another one very soon.

    Regards
    Manish

  2. virendra says:

    Hello Chetan sir,
    i am a great fan of yours. read your 2 states. you just dig into the mind of me, i felt the events taking place right infront of me.keep up your good work, sir

  3. Deshu says:

    Chetan sir.. help me out… how can i come out from 2 states.

    the emotion love affection all izz well….

    but i am not well… now i am going to searching my ananya…

    pray for me chetan sir & chetan’s fan.

    soon meet you sir…

  4. samvit says:

    Wish you a thoughtful, serene and delightful stay @ Hong Kong :)

  5. Priyanka says:

    I simply love your books..you somehow frame my inner thoughts into words…so reading your books is like talking to you…i feel I am talking to one of my best of the friends…you write exactly in the way I feel about things…Hope you keep writing…would love to share my thoughts to you as well…
    “The partying story” is so small a truth but so important a fact…

  6. komal says:

    hey chetan
    i jst finished 2states few days back ..n i think ur da cutest….i wanna meet u yaar seriously…i really liked ur novel n if all wat u have written in all ur novels abt u is all true ..den tu i wanna meet u more…i think ur v cute n interesting banda :P..

  7. mangala says:

    Hi Chetan
    To start with… I loved all the books you have written so far. In fact I am growing up with them literally.As I say this, in “two states” I am satisfied after reading what you had to say. But there was this time when after the Goa debacle you have narrated Krish’s experience and his handling the post break up scene,but I would really like to know what Anannya went through.The book gives an impression that things were probably as difficult for her, or probably she was not in as much pain as you. How is it with the girls? How do they deal with it all? Or is it that it’s just like anything else? I am confused,I wanna know?

  8. Atit Shah says:

    Hi Chetan,

    You are a great writer!!!!!!

    How can u explain such small things in words so the reader can see the actual picture while reading the book.

    I am really speechless about your books especially One Night @ the Call Center.

    I really looking forward for your Next Book.

    Thanks a lot for all the books which gives some messages to our country.

    Atit

  9. rahul says:

    hi chetan,

    I read ur 2 books… 3 mistakes n 2 states. 1st thing, i travelled a world aftr completing eng… in jst forgotten reading..
    U bring me back to my reading passion. 2nd. one can sense the similarities of situation in both the books…nevernthless.. i NJOY truley both, each was finished in 1 day…keep doing good work.
    Jai ho

  10. Niveditha says:

    Hi Chetan,
    Just finished reading ‘2 states’ last night and here I am to complement you on this book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. Lovely descriptions. You are an excellent writer and an inspiration for the ‘aspiring writers’.
    Your simple usage of language makes it easy for us (audience) to connect with the story at once. Everytime I read your book I end up falling in love with the characters. This time it is no different.
    Waiting to read more of your books.

    Happy writing and have a good week!

    Regards
    Nivi

  11. Richa Mishra says:

    i have read all ur books n i feel they r jst excellent…i really loved ur latest issue ‘2-states’…its simply awesome…waiting 4 ur next issue eagerly (please work on it soon)…al d best

  12. Hi Chetan,

    The last incident u wrote about the ISKON templae. I myself got to know about it few weeks ago on the editorial of TOI. It can be found in the Holy Geeta verse 2.70.

    i read about it detail. while going through it i found a great equation an equation of happiness.

    Happiness = (Number of desires fulfilled)/(Number of desires entertained)

    we try to increase the numerator part by increasing the no. of desires fulfilled and think that w`d make our happiness increase. But we forget to monitor the denominator, the no. of desires entertained. while we try to increase the fulfilled ones the desires entertained increases rapidly thus decreasing our overall happiness. So to get more happiness we may try to monitor the no. of desires entertained.

    I liked it and just felt like sharing

    I also want to tell you that, You are an awesome writer. i`ve read all your 4 books and shall read all the upcomming ones too. Each of your book is great. I want to thank you for writing so nice books. I wish u all the happiness of the world. wanted t weite u many times but felt too shy and sometimes that i was too unknown to write to the most known person of the country. I hope u`ll read this chetan. That will mean the whole world to me…thank you

    Regards

    Saurabh

  13. Gopan says:

    Just finished reading 2 States after four members of the family who already had their turn booked. I felt this work of yours actually has a solid message to pass…a message which is so relevant in the emerging India and particularly for a state like mine…Kerala. A state where the castism is prominent enough to be called lunatic even by the great Swami Vivekananda.

    I have read all of your books…but 2 states became my favorite. As usual your writing style is hilarious but what satisfied me as a reader is the depth of the message behind the main plot.

    All the very best.

    Gopan – From the state INDIA

  14. shreya says:

    sir, your book is awesome. In this post your parting words para is quite inspiring. we are always concerned about ‘what others think about us’. The external praise and criticism always affect us. But how can we stop ourselves from getting affected by others comment? we always judge ourselves by the comments given by others? sir can you please write anything on this?..:)

  15. Nikhil says:

    H.H Radhanath Maharaj ki Jaya…!!

  16. satyam says:

    Very though provoking statement by HH RAdhanath Swami. You are very fortunate Chetan that you have the opportunity to hear such saintly persons. I wish you all the best

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