Sundarrajk's Weblog

Half Girlfriend by Chetan Bhagat

Posted on: October 16, 2015

Half GirlfriendHalf Girlfriend by Chetan Bhagat
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A book that can now be categorized as a typical Chetan Bhagat book. Written from a perspective of being converted into a Bollywood movie someday. Perfect setting for a Bollywood mobie. A boorish Bihari lad comes to St. Stephens, Delhi for his graduation on sports quota. He falls in love with a rich, sophisticated Marwari girl, thanks to their common love basketball.
She does not wish to commit herself as his girlfriend while doing everything that a girlfriend would do and so she is half a girl friend. She also confesses that her ambition is to be a singer in the restaurants in New York. This her way of breaking away from the straitjacketed life she lives at her home. He goes to her house for her birthday. The scenes that play out are similar to what has played out in so many Bollywood movies.

Under pressure from his peers he tries to bed her. She refuses and walks out of his companionship. Either in frustration or under pressure from her parents she gives in and agrees to marry a rich UK resident and drops of college. The dejected Bihari finishes his graduation, gives up a lucrative job in a MNC bank and moves back to his village, where is a Maharaja of sorts, to help his mother run the school.

He happens to meet up with a person from the Gates foundation and applies for grant from them. He is asked to make a presentation to Bill Gates on a tour of India. He joins an English speaking class, in Patna, to improve his speech before presenting to Gates. He bumps into his half-girlfriend and old flames are set alight once again. She is now a divorcee working on her own and she is to work out of Patna.

She helps him with the speech and visits his house and his school. She still remains the half-girlfriend. After the presentation to Bill Gates she disappears from his life leaving him a letter stating she has only a few months to live as per the doctor’s diagnosis. An emotional lover boy finds a set of diaries written by her. He approaches Chetan Bhagat and offers him the diaries that he has not dared read till then and leaves them with him. At first Chetan refuses to read them and trashes them. But then curiosity in him is aroused and he reads the diaries and discovers something. So he calls over the lover-boy and asks him to read sections of the diaries. After refusing to do so he reads them and is stunned.

He discovers that the half-girlfriend is after all in love with him and is not dead. So he sets off to New York (remember her dream to sing in restaurants in New York) in search of her. I guess anyone who has seen Bollywood movies knows what the end would be.

A Chetan Bhagat read.

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