Source- Bookstore in India
Publisher- Rupa and Company
Publication date- 2009
Synopsis- Love marriages around the world are simple:
Boy loves girl. Girl loves boy.
They get married.
In India, there are a few more steps:
Boy loves Girl. Girl loves Boy.
Girl’s family has to love boy. Boy’s family has to love girl.
Girl’s Family has to love Boy’s Family. Boy’s family has to love girl’s family.
Girl and Boy still love each other. They get married.
Welcome to 2 States, a story about Krish and Ananya. They are from two different states of India, deeply in love and want to get married. Of course, their parents don’t agree. To convert their love story into a love marriage, the couple have a tough battle in front of them. For it is easy to fight and rebel, but it is much harder to convince. Will they make it? From the author of blockbusters Five Point Someone, One Night @ the Call Center and The 3 Mistakes of My Life, comes another witty tale about inter-community marriages in modern India.
Review- What a lovely, heart-warming little gem in Indian literature! I picked up 2 States at a bookstore in Bangalore, India (for just $3!!). I read the synopsis and chuckled and decided I had to read it. The author’s books were in various displays around the store and I assumed he was quite well established in this genre. 2 States is loosely based on the author’s life story, Chetan is from Delhi and his wife from Tamil Nadu. I’m so glad I picked it up, it was well worth the read.
It’s told in the POV of Krish, a young guy from Punjab (North India) who falls in love with the vivacious Ananya from Chennai (South India) while studying at IIm in Ahmedabad. Krish is a likeable guy, he’s initially naïve and a little passive but he develops an inner strength and determination to marry the woman he loves, not someone his parents choose. Ananya is candid, provocative and grew on me throughout the story. For these two lovebirds, deciding to get marries isn’t the hard part, it’s convincing the family. Many challenges to overcome- clashing cultures/ customs/ languages and prejudices get in the way.
In comparison to my own recent engagement, it is difficult for me to picture myself in the position of Krish and Ananya. How soul-wrenching it must be to decide on someone you want to spend the rest of your life with only to have your entire family and that of your partner’s against the match. I feel so priviledged in my life to have found someone I love and be able to say ‘yes’ when he proposed and to plan a wedding whether my family agreed or not (they did, thankfully!).
What I loved about 2 States, is the simple and no nonsense writing style of the author and his examination of culture differences within a large, divisive country.
I had many emotional responses to 2 States as I read it travelling around the South of India- laughing out loud, crying and frustration/ anger. I enjoyed picking up the nuances of the South Indians to the North Indians as I travelled up north- from eating habits to dress sense. I was moved by the very satisfying ending. A must read for romance fans, whether you are into Indian literature or not.
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