Thursday, Apr. 29, 2010

Chetan Bhagat

Many writers are successful at expressing what's in their hearts or articulating a particular point of view. Chetan Bhagat's books do both and more. A former investment banker, Chetan, 36, broke out as a writer with his novels One Night @ the Call Center and Five Point Someone, which inspired the film 3 Idiots, the biggest Indian hit in history. His latest book is about his marriage and the obstacles he and his wife faced coming from different regions of India. Many families go through this — I went through it — and Chetan conveys so well what happens when two worlds meet. The customs may be uniquely Indian, but the story is universal.

I've seen the effect Chetan has on his readers. He often writes about following your dreams and not bowing to others' expectations. That isn't easy in India, where family opinion matters and some professions are regarded as more serious than others. I run a music school, and people have quit their jobs to study music. It's great to see brave young people giving their dreams a chance. Chetan's writing inspires that kind of bravery.

Rahman, a composer, won two Academy Awards for Slumdog Millionaire

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