NRI life isn’t like a Karan Johar movie. There are a lot of adjustments and sacrifices that one makes, says Ketan Bhagat who recently launched his debut novel
On his website’s homepage, Ketan Bhagat thanks his readers for picking up his debut novel. And below that, his corporate side takes over and gives you three reasons to read his book Complete/Convenient: There Is More To Men And Bromance; it's a realistic story, not chick-lit and portrays the transformation of a man. Reason enough to read Chetan Bhagat’s brother, who’s turned author.
When Ketan returned to India three years ago quitting a well-paying job in Australia, it was because something changed inside him. “I was compelled to tell this story. I see a lot of people my age go through this. They have great jobs, a cushy life abroad and then, they leave it all and come back home,” he says. And so Ketan began to pen his story.
Complete/Convenient… is about a young IT professional, who is doing what he loves, gets married to the love of his life and gets a transfer to Sydney. There he realises that while everyone back home sees NRI life as glamorous, it actually involves a lot of sacrifices. “The story is fiction but the incidents in the book are based on my experiences or those of people I know,” explains Ketan, “This book is easy for people to relate to because not many people write about what happens after the happily ever after.”
The book is about the decisions that a man has to take everyday. “I haven’t seen anyone here who hasn’t thought about going abroad. But is that life really worth the hype?” he wonders. “Writers usually tell love stories where the protagonist is a super hero. What about his life after he gets married, or has children? Everyone is caught off guard but there is no one to tell them what to do. This book is about those people.”
The name of the book is about the choice every Indian faces; a complete life at home or a life of convenience abroad? “It’s entertaining and relevant. NRI life isn’t like a Karan Johar movie. There are a lot of adjustments and sacrifices that one makes.”
So, is Ketan following his brother’s footsteps? “We’re very different people actually,” he laughs, “My book begins where Chetan’s stories usually end. He caters to a college-going crowd and my book targets people in their 20s, who are married and working. But obviously he’s a very successful writer so it wasn’t hard to tell my family I wanted to be one too.”
But does he still get compared to his brother? “Yes, it’s surprising because I found people criticising me even before my book came out. They were rather sceptical about how I would write. And now, after its release, I’m glad that no one has said it’s a bad book.”
Ketan is currently working on another idea that might become his second novel. “It’s going to take a few years though,” he admits, “I never thought I could write a book but then, the reactions that my first novel has got me has encouraged me to write again. So, we’ll see…”