While my friends were making plans to see Salman Khan’s latest blockbuster, I was all set with my coffee mug to step into Chetan Bhagat’s world. “What Young India Wants”, Bhagat’s first non-fiction novel, caught my attention every time I passed the Vishvidyalaya metro station book shop. The catchy title and the flashy cover suggested that the book was sure to unlock the secrets of our hopes, desires, dreams and ambitions. So I bought it and promptly sat down to read it.
It started with his life journey, detailing his experiences as an engineer and an investment banker. It was all quite boring as I was already well aware of his achievements he keeps boasting about. He then talks about society at large. He also talks about the Bhopal Gas Tragedy, the German bakery blast, the Airline crisis, various scams like CWG, 2G, IPL, terrorism and other national issues. He tries to give solutions. Some are sensible while others are best read and forgotten. He says things like “Our laws need to be amended for corporate disasters” and that “politician-industrialist socialising should not be encouraged”. He is right, of course, but the how is conveniently missing. We all know that these problems exist and Chetan makes next to no effort to challenge or enhance existing social consensus.
I continued reading it in the hope, that he will give a solution to the problems but none came. The writer expresses his views about today’s youth, their outlook, aspirations and their needs. He is of the opinion that the youth dream only about a good job and a good partner. “Spark” is quite a motivational chapter. He lays emphasis on the importance of English language (though his own English shows little signs of improving). Most of the book consisted of extracts from newspapers.
Though the back cover of the book made a lot of promises about answering questions, the book itself failed to live up to my expectations. However the book can be appreciated for it’s optimism and positivity.