Child God By Ketan Bhagat was the book I picked up not because it’s written by Chetan Bhagat’s brother but because of its title.
A few months ago, I read a parenting book Spiritual Parenting by Gopika Kapoor. One of the chapter in book was on the life lesson which the author, who was a new mother, learned from her twins. I was very intrigued by this chapter.
Child God by Ketan Bhagat was also written on this concept. Or at least this was something the blurb of the book was suggesting. So I picked up the book.
Blurb in my words
Child God is about a man Raghav who was sidelined from his childhood due to average in studies. The life of grown up Raghav is no easy. He is facing many major upheavals in his career, married life, family life. In fact at one stage he has completely lost himself.
It is at this stage comes a child in his life. Observing that child who happens to be his son, Raghav learns many life lessons and implements them in his life. This result in a complete transformations of Raghav. A son teaching his father how to live the life in true way.
Reading this blurb at the back of the book anyone could find it interesting enough to pick up and read. But the book fails to hold the interest. It is good in patches but overall it is difficult to complete the book without skipping here and there.
Raghav has a brother Rishi who is completely opposite of him. He is intelligent, bright, successful and rich. Rishi is a pass out of IIT and IIM an ex-banker, bestseller writer of India, motivational speaker, script writer, businessman and an aspiring politician. Doesn’t it sound familiar.
As if Rishi is inspired by Chetan Bhagat. Rishi is also portrayed as a self centered, highly ambitious, cunning, opportunist, sort of grey shaded celebrity for whom his career and aspirations comes first. He shatters his brother’s dream of becoming a writer.
There is another character Aparna, wife of Rishi whose character also seems to be inspired by Chetan Bhagat’s wife. IIM pass out, flourishing career, adept in marketing skills, top level manager of a reputed FMCG company. Only difference is she comes from a Bengali family.
Why are two of the main characters of the story so heavily inspired from his own family members and painted them as grey shaded? Is Child God author’s own story? Is Rishi and Raghav’s story is the real story of Chetan and Ketan?All these questions will plunder your mind while reading the novel and will divert from enjoying the real essence of the novel that is what are the things one can learn from child.
Raghav’s character in general is not inspiring but Raghav as a father is very mother of a new born’s dream. Every women will secretly wish their husband be like Raghav.
Characterization is the strength of the novel. Ketan has given space to every character to grow and emote. Characters develops along with story. In fact their transformation was smooth and gradual supporting the plot. This led to a shortcoming as well.
Ketan was so busy in developing the characters that he only concentrated on narration and did not bother with the description which was generally missing from novel. Apart from characters going to Delhi, Mumbai or Pune, there was nothing as such date, year climate to give the idea of time which has lapsed in the book.
The book includes many real timeline events in the book but the fusion of reality with plot did not gel well as the author shy away to give the time frame to the readers.
There are loads of conversations in the book. The one which are philosophical and spiritual one were over the board. I couldn’t understand them easily except one which really made me ponder was one between Aparna and Raghav. It’s in this conversation Raghav speaks about Ego, Attachment and Hopes. Mindblowing was the entire explanations.
It is not an easy book to read. Like daily soap of Ikta Kapoor it just go on and on. The book has every possible drama which could be seen on TV. Intially first half of the book was about the messy life of Raghav and it also written in the messy way. I kept waiting when the child will born.
Once the child of Raghav and Leela is born some anchor comes in Raghav’s life so does in the writing of the author. Ketan’s writing appears to be calm like he is penning his own sentiments when his child was born. Raghav started minutely observing his son.
Child becomes guru
To be very honest we all are so overwrought in bringing up our children that we fail to notice their purity, serenity, unconditional love, innocence, forgetfulness, carefree, free spirit in them. Ketan has strive hard to pen them all down in the book and through Raghav have shown that what happens when adults start imbibing these traits of children. Life becomes blissful in spite of all crookedness.
Huge book in size
Also the book has around 350 pages but it has a big dimension which makes it a huge book to read which is not the normal size of fiction in this category.
Tedious to read but a positive message
Apart from learning from the new born, Bhagwat Geeta also comes into picture. Now together they makes reading the book even more tedious. Except one I couldn’t understand any of his philosophies inspired by his son and Geeta.
That one is to forget past, focus on present and no worries for future. These three things comes so easily to kids. But adults can forgive but can’t forget. They live present with that baggage and worry about the future which is not in anyone’s hand. That’s why it is said live life child like but we adults want to live life king size and suffer.
Lastly, regarding writing style, Ketan has a different style. While Chetan writes books in very bollywood movie styles. Ketan Bhagat writes book let say in daily soap style.
The end is the beginning
The end of the book was also not Chetan Bhagat’s style as happy ending but Ketan ended it like the real story will begin now. Both the brothers were now face to face ready to compete with each other. The story has just begun. May be a squeal will come who knows.
An average book to read. Not really a self help book or parenting book.
I know it is a big review but the book was also huge.