There has been widespread criticism of Chetan Bhagat's books for the poor quality of the writing in them, for peddling social stereotypes and for the author's propensity for putting his foot in mouth. Yet his books sell millions of copies. The first print run of his latest offering, Half Girlfriend, is 1.5 million copies. We asked a Chetan Bhagat fan to tell us why she loves reading him.

Please tell us a little about yourself and your interests?
I am Shreya Bhatia, doing Masters in Economics from Amity University Noida. I have done my graduation in Economics from Delhi University. I attended Queen Mary's school, New Delhi. I have a keen interest in reading fiction and some inspirational biographies. My hobbies are dancing and reading fiction.

How often do you read books? Who is your favourite author?
I do not read books frequently. I do that in my free time or while traveling or when really good book comes out. My favourite author is Chetan Bhagat.

Interesting. Have you read all his books? Which one is your favourite?
Yes, I have read all the books by Chetan Bhagat, except What Young India wants. My favourite is 2 States.

What do you like the most about his books?
I find Chetan Bhagat honest and raw. He writes for the people of his country, in the language they understand and converse in. He has an impeccable sense of humour which binds you to his writings. His books succeed to keep me away from my assignments and homework.

Did you read his latest book, Half Girlfriend? What do you think about the book?
Yes I read Half Girlfriend a few days back. It is a great starter book for a person who is getting into the habit of reading. Sheer rawness will force you to turn pages. Revolution 2020 did a better job in terms of social situations and common problems of Indian youth. It is simple yet engaging. The intricate details of human psychology in the end were laudable. It is a must buy for people who want to improve their English.

What do you mean when you say his stories are raw?
Chetan Bhagat writes stories for the masses. His stories are of common people and common situations. It takes courage to tell your own story but he did it in 2 States. He writes the stories that people can understand and they relate to.

What do you feel about the widespread criticism of Chetan Bhagat's writing?
I never expected Chetan Bhagat to be critically acclaimed by everybody. This is because people who read literature, are fond of pure novels and have great exposure to English, would find it too mainstream and childish. Chetan Bhagat is not the best writer but the best-selling writer, in his own words. Criticism makes a person touch the sky and come out of the comfort zone.

Did you like the movies adapted from his book?
I liked the movies a lot as I'm a Bollywood fan! Though the stories in the movies weren't exactly the ones as the book, but they gave remarkable plots to Bollywood. People who do not understand even simple English can read his books through the medium of cinema. He is able to reach the masses through the movies.

Are you looking forward to the movie based on the book Half Girlfriend?
Obviously I'm looking forward to it. It is said that Bhagat writes for the films. The truth is that the stories are so real and practical that directors have an eye on them.

Would you rather read his books or watch movies based on them?
Books for sure. The primary story is present only in the books. Movies are moulded according to the audience and Bollywood "masala" is added to them.