Maybe it’s the film industry’s incessant interest in his books or it might have something to do with the thousands of youngsters who suddenly began reading Chetan Bhagat’s stories and felt a wee bit smarter in the company of those who actually read. But the massy writer’s popularity extending to David Dhawan’s audience sure says something. Or at least, he claims it does.
“It takes two stars to carry my name,” says Bhagat about the protagonists in Rascals — Sanjay Dutt and Ajay Devgn — who were called Chetan and Bhagat respectively. “I think it’s interesting to note that an English author’s name can be used as a joke in a movie meant for such a mass marke. I mean it’s David Dhawan’s audience. If the joke works there, it says something. It really must,” he says.
And within two weeks of the release of his latest book, Revolution 2020, Bhagat has already been approached for its film adaptation rights. “Yes, there are some talks going on, but it’s too early to say who will make it. The person who has spoken to me has read it and liked it.” Bollywood has shown keen interest in his last four books. 'Five Point Someone' somewhat inspired 3 Idiots (2009) and 'One Night At A Call Centre' led to the box-office disaster Hello (2008). Farhan Akhtar recently bought the rights to 'The 3 Mistakes Of My Life' and reports claim that Vishal Bhardwaj is working on a 'Two States' adaptation. “I think my stories are interesting, humourous, emotional and fast-paced. They have all the elements that fit into a film,” says the writer, adding that he has learnt from the experience he had with 3 Idiots. “I was more trusting then, I am more demanding now.”
Bhagat claims his skin is now five inches thick. Undeterred by the criticism he receives for his writing and influence on young readers, he says, “Every time I do anything, I get a whole lot of criticism. It’s so common now that my readers and I don’t take it seriously.” But Bhagat is planning on taking off from writing. “I don’t want to work for a while. I’m getting burnt out. Five books in seven years, films and columns. I want to think about what I really want from life.” Take all the time you need.