Books Of India Blog

Author Profile: Indian Novelist Chetan Bhagat

Posted by Ray McLennan on 30-Jan-2019 14:29:00

Author Profile Indian Novelist Chetan Bhagat

Chetan Bhagat is a prolific Indian author and media personality, best known for his English-language novels Five Point Someone, The 3 Mistakes of My Life and 2 States. His novels tend to deal with issues relating to Indian middle-class youth, a topic that has made him a mainstay of mainstream networks and lifestyle columns where he writes as a current affairs pundit and social commentator. Bhagat's novels are bestsellers in India, having sold well over seven million copies. In 2013, Bhagat branched out into scriptwriting with the award-winning Kai Po Che!; he had completed four movie scripts by 2017. Bhagat has even starred as a judge for the seventh season of the reality dance competition Nach Baliye.

Bollywood For Paper?

Bhagat's first novel, Five Point Someone (£5.99), was published in 2004 to much commercial success, being later adapted into a hit film, 3 Idiots (2009). Although an instant bestseller, Bhagat's prose and plot was criticised for its light and pulpish style, being described as “Bollywood in paper” because of its overdramatic and unreal narrative. Bhagat is particularly astute at writing for his target audience of casual readers looking for quick, light books; his novels rarely exceed 280 pages. Nevertheless, each successive novel written by Bhagat has continued to be a best-seller in India, growing his fan base into the millions. His novel Half Girlfriend (2014) (£5.99) was so anticipated that its film rights were sold before it was even published in book form. With seven novels published by Rupa & Co., Bhaghat recently moved over to Amazon Publishing to publish his eighth novel, The Girl in Room 105 (2018), (£6.99) which is currently in the Indian Top Sellers list.

Background & Personal Life

Despite Chetan Bhagat's literary success, he does not come from an artistic or writing family. Born in Delhi in 1974, Bhagat belongs to a bourgeois Punjabi background; his father was an officer in the army and his mother worked in an agricultural government position. After completing his school studies in the Delhi-based Army Public School, Bhagat undertook a degree in mechanical engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, later receiving his MBA from the Indian Institute of Management (1997). Despite this mechanical training, Bhagat went on to work for the investment banking company Goldman Sachs in Hong Kong, where he acquired the distinct cosmopolitan outlook that characterises him to this day.

He wrote his first novel while still in Hong Kong, before moving back to Mumbai to focus on a career as a writer, yet still working as an investment banker for Deutsche Bank. Bhagat juggled his two careers until his fourth novel, 2 States (£5.50), was published in 2009, when he quite banking for good. Given his corporate backing, Bhagat has become very popular with aspiring members of Indian's middle-class, particularly its youth, owing to his broad successes in both the banking and the creative industries. He is frequently invited to deliver speeches for Indian education institutes and continues to write for newspapers like the Times of India, where he frequently garners praise for his motivational outlook.

Find Out More

Novels by Chetan Bhagat can be purchased at attractive wholesale rates through our book ordering service. Contact us to find out more. If you are new to Indian fiction you may also wish to download a free copy of The Independent Bookseller’s Guide To Buying Books From India, which includes a section on popular contemporary Indian novelists.

Special offer: Making Indian Awesome now only £1.00

All Chetan Bhagat’s books are available from, The Book Depository, The Wordery.

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Topics: Indian Authors, Indian Novels

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