How Chetan Bhagat became a leading youth writer of the past decade

Chetan Bhagat is one of India's most commercially successful authors, having written several bestsellers. Why is he popular? Read on to learn more.


If you look at Chetan's early life, you'd be surprised to see how different his path was initially. He received a degree in engineering from IIT Delhi in 1995 and proceeded to complete an MBA from IIM Ahmedabad. Following nearly a decade in finance, he then tried his hand at writing, a move that would make history. Five Point Someone, his debut novel was a bestseller and was adapted into the box-office smash Three Idiots. He's followed it with hits like 2 States, Half-Girlfriend and The 3 mistakes of my life, all of which also had their own movies.

So what makes Chetan such a force? The biggest takeaway from his work is that he accurately captures the dreams, desires and pain of the youth. His language is simple, yet rich with youthfulness. He once said that he never wanted his work to become elitist, and he has always tried to keep it that way, often featuring characters from middle class backgrounds. The relatable persona that most of his characters embody has carried all his works into the hearts of millions of Indians, for whom he opens a window to dream, laugh, and live a youth they might not get to enjoy amidst the pressing responsibilities of daily life. This is why his earlier background is surprising. For someone who has enjoyed a cozy life and career, Chetan still has a keen insight into the lives of regular folk.

While Chetan has received criticism about the supposedly cheap quality of storytelling and writing, it does not matter when one realizes how he is making English books more accessible to larger sections of the country. Chetan writes for the everyman, and while that might not  mean sophistication or artistic value, his efforts still deserve praise for the egalitarian thought behind his actions. Chetan is thus the face of Indian writing for the past decade, and let us wait and see what he comes up with.

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