Chetan Bhagat, one of India's bestselling authors, has announced his next book, and while on appearances it seems similar to his earlier works, there are certain ways in which this one is different from those that have come before.
The latest book is called 'The Girl In Room 105', and immediately, one can spot Chetan Bhagat's customary inclusion of a number. The sequence now reads:
The cover for the upcoming book that releases on October 9, for what is likely the first time in a Chetan Bhagat book, features an actual person's photo -- presumably the girl in Room 105. Earlier books, across editions, had mostly caricatures. The new book is also visibly a little darker, teasing a bit of mystery.
Chetan Bhagat's books' protagonists generally hold occupations related to his real life, and this one is no different. Keshav teaches at a tuition centre and in the book's promo (more on that later) he's seen scribbling a complicated equation involving some form of summation problem for 'JEE Mains'.
Earlier protagonists have been students at IIT Delhi and IIM Ahmedabad, IIT aspirants at Kota, and employees at Goldman Sachs -- which Bhagat too knows more than a bit about -- and employees at a call centre, entrepreneurs, students at St Stephen's Delhi -- which are likely based on the author's research.
This protagonist (Keshav, in this case) like all before him, as per Bhagat, are named after Lord Krishna.
The plot elements:
What's different about the upcoming book is something that had been alluded to in the cover -- that is may just be a mystery or a thriller. Generally, Chetan Bhagat's books have featured plot-lines that are pertinent to some ongoing societal or other mass trend, such as studying for Engineering (or founding an engineering college), facing pressure to get married, working at a call centre, wanting to play Cricket, moving to a big city in search of opportunity, and things along those lines. This one, however, seems to involve a little more politics than his previous novels, which makes sense as it will come out just ahead of critical state assembly elections and with about six months to go before Lok Sabha polls.
Coming to specifics, the father of the protagonist in The Girl In Room 105 is a senior RSS functionary and the eponymous 'Girl' is a Kashmiri Muslim.
Somewhat (but not exactly) pre-empting the book being turned into a movie, for the upcoming release, a theatrical promo has been revealed. Watch it here:
And here's the blurb, which is also the script for the book's promo:
"Hi, I’m Keshav, and my life is screwed. I hate my job and my girlfriend left me. Ah, the beautiful Zara. Zara is from Kashmir. She is a Muslim. And did I tell you my family is a bit, well, traditional? Anyway, leave that.
Zara and I broke up four years ago. She moved on in life. I didn’t. I drank every night to forget her. I called, messaged, and stalked her on social media. She just ignored me.
However, that night, on the eve of her birthday, Zara messaged me. She called me over, like old times, to her hostel room 105. I shouldn’t have gone, but I did… and my life changed forever.
This is not a love story. It is an unlove story.
From the author of Five Point Someone and 2 States, comes a fast-paced, funny and unputdownable thriller about obsessive love and finding purpose in life against the backdrop of contemporary India."