Well, the story revolves around three youngsters – Aarti, Gopal, and Raghav from Varanasi. Here’s the story in a nutshell:
These three are friends right from the age of 10. Gopal is the narrator of the story. Right from childhood, he’s a loser. He loses his mother at the age of four, he doesn’t make it into IIT or the NIT, he loses his Dad at the age of 18, and he doesn’t win the love of Aarti. Raghav has everything that Gopal doesn’t have – loving parents, a seat in IIT, and, most important, Aarti. He builds up jealousy on his friend, Raghav. He aspires to earn more money than Raghav. With the help of the local MLA, and by bribing all the govt. officials, he sets up an Engineering college on his ancestral land. That makes him very rich and busy. Eventually, he becomes close to Aarti and wins her love.
Raghav is a dynamic young man who wants to change the society. He aspires to become a news reporter and bring out the dark truths of the politicians. He joins the BHU and becomes the editor of the college magazine. After he passes out, he doesn’t become an IT guy, like all other IITians. Instead, he joins a famous newspaper office as a news reporter. One article against the corrupt MLA shakes him out of his job. This makes him strive harder and start his own newspaper – Revolution 2020. His busy schedule leaves him very little time to spend with his beloved – Aarti. On the top of it, his own newspaper becomes a flop show, and he’s bankrupt.
Aarti is portrayed as the most beautiful girl in Varanasi. She belongs to a reputed family with political background. She treats Gopal as ‘just a friend’, and Raghav as a boy friend. Once she finds that Raghav doesn’t give her the time and attention that she needs, she hangs out with Gopal. Eventually, she erases the ‘just friends’ barrier and makes out with him. What a betrayal to her beloved Raghav!
Gopal is more than happy to have Aarti in his life. That’s what he wants right from the beginning. He feels he is now at a better stance compared to Raghav. Gopal is a true example of jealousy and a person with identity crisis. He has money, status, power, and Aarti. He decides to spill the beans to Raghav about his affair with Aarti. But, suddenly a sort of realization dawns upon him - how can he call himself better compared to Raghav? He might have more money, but that was earned through illegal affairs. Will Aarti love him if she gets to know how he earned the money? So, he uses his influence to regain Raghav’s job. He makes Aarti hate him for life time, and watch her get married to Raghav.
I loved Raghav’s character – he always knew what he wanted, he stuck to his principles, and he never lost hope.
I loved Gopal’s character, too – though he used illegal means to earn money, he realizes it very soon, and sacrifices his beloved to somebody who deserves her, that is Raghav. He even gets a chance to become an MLA, but lets Raghav try for it, because he feels that Raghav can be a better politician.
I hated Aarti’s character. I have never seen a fickle-minded girl like her. How could she betray her beloved just because he’s too busy in his mission? Breaking up is one thing, betrayal is another. And, what happened to her ‘just friends’ policy? I felt like slapping her.
I did not like the usage of the F-word quite often. That was not necessary. Apart from that, I loved the book. As always, Chetan Bhagat kept the readers run through the lines. Needless to say, the book was quite interesting. I am surprised to see how much bribing goes into establishing a college. The book sends a message – you can do anything on earth if you have money and power. But, eventually, if you pause and think about it, it feels useless to have money earned through corrupt practices. I suggest that you read the book. By the time I finished the book, I was in tears!