Two mega successful writers!
Both catering to the youth of the country!
Yet, they are as different as chalk and cheese!
Yes, the older generation model turned writer Shobhaa De belonging to the feminist brigade and the young engineer turned writer Chetan Bhagat trying to cater to the masses are massively huge in their respective field, but the different sexes also differ in their thought processes!
What is similar between them?
Firstly, both write in English. Secondly, both have written books and continue to write articles, blogs, columns for top-notch publications of the country including The Times Of India, Asian Age, Dainik Bhaskar etc. Thirdly, both are related to films and TV as Shobha is responsible for writing Hindi TV’s second daily soap, Swabhimaan way back in 1990’s. On the other hand Chetan has become a film writer as well with Kai Po Che and Kick. Sorry to say, but the similarities end there!
How are they different?
Well, a 1000 page novel might not be enough to describe their differences! While Ms. De is all about feminism and talking about the upper society, Chetan is catering to the lowest common denominator of the society. While Shobha might cringe at the thought of someone talking in simple English, Chetan makes a poor English reader feel like he is reading no less than a Shakespeare! Being a woman, Shobhaa has explored sexuality in her books and articles to varying degrees, but always pushed the envelope. However, Chetan’s books don’t touch sex the way it needs to be for being a blockbuster. Just a bit of kissing and an indication of sex is enough for his books to go on and become bestsellers!
It was an era when filmy gossip ruled the roost and Shobhaa en-cashed on it to build her career carrying on even today to mint millions out of satisfying the common man’s urge to know what happens in a film star’s life! In a way she is offering exotic cappuccinos in expensive cups to her readers and only those who can afford it, are reading her. Chetan is on the other hand offering local cutting chai packaged in equally expensive cups so that his readers feel privileged as well, everyone believing that they can afford it and actually deserve it!
That could be one reason his earnings are so phenomenal and is easily being touted as the most successful novelist India has ever produced and that too in just a decade!
Ideally men and women can’t be compared and same goes true for writers as well, but given the fact that both these stalwarts of literary world are more or less catering to the same target segment, a comparison becomes necessary!
Let’s see what’s next for these two! Would they join hands to create something magical or walk their own paths? Either of them up for Rajya Sabha membership probably? Huh?