If you enjoy reading books by Desi authors featurig story lines that for once might just be relatable, you’d probably have heard the name Chetan Bhagat. Or maybe you’re an Indian movie buff who’s watched Two States on repeat over a dozen times? Or heck, maybe you’re like me and love to read the books I saw (while a teenager) lying in my mother’s bookshelf – you know, the one’s she’d said you could read for yourself when you’re a grown up. I always envied her little book collection featuring, of course amongst the classics, was contemporary subcontinent literature. Now, when it comes to books by Chetan Bhagat, I have to give you a warning well in advance – you’ll either love the book, or you’ll hate it completely, and this isn’t just applicable to The Girl in Room 105, rather it is applicable to every novel/ book that has come from the author.
I tend to find myself picking up a bundle of books at a time I honestly get around to reading months, or in some cases years, later. One of these books happened to be Chetan Bhagat’s The Girl in Room 105 that I picked up while travelling one fine day, a very very long time ago. The very-Desi thriller come sop story come romance features, of course IIT graduate, Keshav and his long lost lover, Zara who messages him on the night of her birthday out of the blue much after their break up. Drunk at the time, Keshav agrees to meet her and sneak into her hostel room, thus the name of the book. This very peculiar meeting turns Keshav’s life around as he sets off on a quest to seek answers regarding a crime that places him as one of the prime suspects.
What I loved about the book:
The characters keep you grasped throughout with Zara being an outspoken, Kashmiri Muslim settled in India but with her heart still at home and as her couterpart, Keshav, the quiet yet madly in love little puppy who was never able to “unlove” his beloved Zara. Saurabh, Keshav’s best friend, sets friend goals while adding a touch humour to the story.
Honestly, I was hooked till the end, as I wanted to know how the story ended! It’s an interesting read, however, not my favourite by the author.
What I disliked about the book:
Chetan Bhagat has a casual writing style which brings in aspects of Hindi slang. Not everyone enjoys this style of writing however if you are a Chetan Bhagat reader, you’re probably used to it.
The plot is interesting however the climax, which is towards the end of the novel, is slightly “mehh” and very Star Plus drama-ish. Also, Keshav is too good to be true, in my opinion at least, he is way too hero-ish to be a reality.
I personally enjoyed the story line however, this is not a book I would reach for again unlike Two States, which I have re-read several times. If you’re bored, The Girl in Room 105 is a good way to pass your time as it keeps you consistently wondering what really happened the night Keshav went to meet Zara…?
Have you read any Chetan Bhagat books, or any other desi author? Drop down your book recommendations!