New Delhi: For author Chetan Bhagat, who has explored themes like love, life in call centres and higher education in his novels, the ability to pick the pulse of the youth makes a bestseller.
Bhagat, in his fifth book "Revolution 2020" that was released here late last evening, tackles the issues of corruption in the not so famous institutions in India through his favourite theme- love.
"It is my job to sense what the youth are feeling," says Bhagat who quit his job as an investment banker to focus on his writing.
The book, says Bhagat is "a very specific love story" and has not been inspired by the recent wave of protests across the world, including that by Anna Hazare.
"I began writing this book about two years ago and was actually quite nervous as I wondered if a story set in small town of Varanasi would appeal to readers. It was only later that Egypt happened and Anna Hazare happened and I felt my choice of theme was ok," says Bhagat.
The 37-year-old author who is an alumnus of IIT-Delhi had very recently on the microblogging site Twitter slammed Infosys chairman emeritus N R Narayana Murthy`s comments on the quality of engineers churned out by the premier IITs.
"I have always been a little irreverent in my tweets. I didn`t take his comment on my college lightly and so tweeted about it. I didn`t realise ... but then later I apologised for my tweet," says Bhagat.
Bhagat says his intention was not to create a controversy around his recent book.
"I don`t need controversy to sell my books. It is so easy to create a controversy I can easily do that since I have a column in a newspaper. However, that is not what I want," he says.
Bhagat has written four novels, Five Point Someone (2004), One Night @ Call Centre (2005), The 3 Mistakes of My Life (2008) and 2 States (2009). Two of his novels have inspired Bollywood films.
Love stories, says the author is what he uses to connect with the youth.
"My books are aimed at young people and they care more about love than say about the Lokpal Bill," says the author who says he will bide his time to write about social and developmental issues.
"I want to write about Kashmir... similarly about the North East... but before doing that I need to go deep and understand the issues...I need people to have faith in my writing and that I am not seeking publicity," says Bhagat.
Bhagat says he strongly believes that corruption can be got rid of if people, especially youth believe they can do so. "I believe that corruption can be got rid of, if all of us believe. It is a self fulfilling prophesy."
"In India to be a bestseller you have to sell at least 10,000 copies. For Chetan the opening days sales of revolution 2020 is 500,000 copies. This has not happened in the country for any book in any language. This is a record," says Kapish Mehra, Managing Editor, Rupa &Co, which has published the book.
The book says Bhagat has received preorders twice over that his previous books.
"It is amazing what can happen if you can pick the right chord," says Bhagat who says he wants to go on entertaining people with his writing as well as use the platform to do more.
"I really do feel for the youth of this country. Not more than 10 per cent youth get a good college education.
What do those people do? Where do they go to have a shot at life?...", says the author.
First Published: Sunday, October 09, 2011, 14:08