Chetan Bhagat has done it again and I must say there is an increased level of depth to his novels with each one of them as the years pass by, but there is also an increased commercial feel to his books, as though he was thinking what would look better as a scene in the script rather than allowing the story take its more natural course…
Maybe that’s just my opinion, and I would rather you came to your own conclusions after reading the book.
Half-Girlfriend reads like a romance novel with an interlude of inferiority complexes ,basketball and social work.
Madhav Jha  is a State level basketball player who gets into St.Stephen’s College with no knowledge of English, and this deficit plays to his advantage when it comes to getting the girl.
The book does give us some insight into the male conscience  which is just as complicated as its female counterpart and it also tells us that you should never ask your friends for relationship advice because they would give you the one solution that breaks every fragile relationship…
Riya Somani who is a rich girl, bored with her privileged life and who loves basketball, or so it seems in the beginning, but the plot thankfully, is deeper than that.
That said Madhav is also the Prince of Dumraon (near Patna),and wants to do something for his hometown but funds are low and corrupt officials do not help him with the pathetic conditions of this school which is run by his Mother ,the Queen of Dumraon.
Miraculously the Gates foundation tells him to try for a grant, but this means he would have to give a speech in English in front of Bill Gates himself.
It is said that Indian literature is most often tainted with the anger or resignation over the British Invasion..
That, which happened so many years ago was to an extent forgiven but not forgotten, and their words and their literature and their actions have changed the way we have evolved as a culture..
What really stood out for me was when he said, would Hindi or Bhojpuri be cool if the industrial revolution had begun in India?
Riya is a very strong character in the book and she represents almost every woman in the country, and Chetan Bhagat’s  take on various situations she faces is spot on..
When Riya was faced with a sadistic mother-in-law and an abusive husband, she speaks up about it to her mother who tell her to “adjust”, saying the much worn out, “Log kya kahenge” dialogue, to which Riya’s reply is priceless, “Let’s find out…”.
I won’t tell you if she lives because reading the book is worth it and I really don’t want to spoil it more for you…
A great one time read, might not become a classic, but you never know…
Chetan Bhagat in his interview once said he isn’t competing with other Indian authors but rather with Candy Crush and other apps that have caught the attention of this generation…
While I find this insulting on one level because it is not true that all of my generation is pre-occupied with the vices of technology but rather we let it fuel our ambitions with much needed information, you might have gotten it from books but we get it from blogs or Wikipedia…
It may not be the same, as one needs to sustain and follow a proper train of thought to read a book, while blogs might be a quick fix that is eroding the foundations of reading,(you can see this in the grammatical and other errors in twitter and other networking sites that people might hang out …) we just might be what the world needs, quick fixes, faster more innovative solutions that don’t need years of planning or meticulous attention to detail .
We are more interested in applying that information rather than analyzing it and this definitely makes for more problem solvers in our generation…