Book Review: Child/God by Ketan Bhagat

My Mother isn’t particularly fond of my reading habit and I understand why not. I get obsessive when I find a good book. I read Vir Sanghvi’s Mandate in about 24 hours and Harry Potter and the prisoner of Azkaban in about 30 hours. So, when a person like me reads a 350 page book in less than 20 hours, it means something.

Ketan Bhagat visited LPU recently. Along he brought ‘Child/God’, a beautifully written piece of literature. I got so engrossed in the book that I slept at 4 the first night, woke up at 10 and started reading again. The unadulterated, raw emotion is what makes the book so different from many others I’ve read. In a time when the world fights over religion, this book tells us why the Bhagwad Gita is not a religious book but a guide to positive living.

‘Child/God’ is the story of the protagonist, Raghav, a happy, healthy, ambitious man, brother to a famous author, son to a mother who always believed that he would amount to nothing and husband to a woman who wants to accept but not give. Raghav’s life takes unexpected turns and he end up being a depressed, unhappy drug-addict who is just managing to hold onto his job and visiting Mumbai’s largest brothel regularly. When his wife conceives and he has to be at the hospital, fate brings him to an encounter with a yogi who gives him the Gita, which, along with his newborn son, changes his world. Now this is the best I can do without spoiling the experience of reading the book for you.

Being a pretty non-religious person, I was greatly influenced by this book. It establishes that Gita teaches you how to live. The text was very well written. I am not a fan of Chetan Bhagat’s writing style but Ketan’s is impressive. The only problem I had was my personal confusion and curiosity about whether this was actually the story of the two brothers or not. Though none of my business but that was pretty distracting. Other than that, the wit, the sincerity and the enthusiasm that this book brings to the table is endearing. It is sarcastic in a very comfortable way, sexual in a very real way and it is written in a way that keeps  you interested. I am also very fond of the ending so do read it through.

In all, a great book. Something I am now keeping with my Paolo Coelho  and J.K. Rowling.

Thank you, Mr Bhagat.