Patna: Internationally acclaimed author and youth icon, Chetan Bhagat made a sudden appearance here at a British Lingua during a whistle-stop tour to the city on Thursday.
Chetan Bhagat, whose new novel is scheduled to see the light of day by this year-end, made a sudden visit to the city’s spoken English institute to gain a hands-on experience on why youths think they should learn the language and the problems they face in doing so, said Birbal Jha managing director of British Lingua, Patna.
He divulged that the protagonist of his next novel would be an educated post graduate who faces numerous impediments due to his lack of spoken English skills.
“Chetan wowed the students at the institute with his disarming humility and came across as a self-effacing person, contrary to what people would imagine a star writer to be”, Jha told TOI.
He left his charming imprint on the minds of the students and members of the staff by mingling with them, having tea in a tiny glass, shook hands with anyone who wanted to, smiled and had himself photographed with the students and staff, gave suggestions as how to improve spoken English skills and walked away as if an ordinary man with scores of hearts won in a matter of some 40 minutes.
Chetan spent over 30 minutes interacting and listening patiently to the students of British Lingua. He walked into a classroom and said, “Well friends, I am Chetan Bhagat,” leaving the students speechless.
He then shook hands with each student in the classroom which made a student, Sneha Jha gush, “How can a celebrity be so humble?” Chetan then went on to shoot his first poser: “Why do you want to learn English?” As answers poured in, he painstakingly gave a patient ear to each speaker. Then came many other questions like “What are the problems you face while learning the English language in a state like Bihar?” “Why are you interested in learning English?” and “Should English be made compulsory at the primary level in schools in a Hindi-speaking state like Bihar?”
Some of the salubrious suggestions he gave included creating an English-speaking environment and getting over the hesitation in speaking the language. “Reading English newspapers aloud and being your own listener is a great way of improving fluency,” he opined.
To a suggestion made by students Sneha Jha and Saurav Kumar, Chetan agreed that watching Hollywood movies could also be an “interesting” way to learn the language as it would be tantamount to “learning through fun.”
From his first novel ‘Five Point Someone’ in 2004 to his latest, ‘What Young India Wants’, Chetan has, through his narratives, struck a chord with young population of India as he has dealt with issues that they think are pertinent to their lives.
With his sudden visit to British Lingua here at Boring road , he has proved that the importance of spoken English skills also figures prominently on his mind.