On Monday, investment banker-turned-author-turned-reality show judge Chetan Bhagat tweeted a picture of his latest novel, One Indian Girl and asked people to send him photographs of the book with a beautiful backdrop.
Bhagat has put in a lot of effort to research his latest work, which is written from a female perspective. In order to understand the way women think, Bhagat had his legs waxed. As part of the book's publicity, the author personally delivered copies to several actors and celebrities.
In Bhagat's words, the book is about feminism: "Feminism is equal rights. There’s nothing too fancy about it. It gets a little complicated because men and women want different things out of life. Their core drives and motivations are different. Men controlled and designed the world earlier so clearly they didn’t keep women in mind as much.”
In a different world, Bhagat's words may have passed muster, but as it happens, the internet still remembers Bhagat's mansplaining piece on Women's Day in 2013, titled Five things women need to change about themselves. Among Bhagat's top tips: stop feeling jealous of other women, stop "faking it", dream bigger and don't get trapped in the drama of relationships.
In One Indian Girl, the protagonist, Radhika Mehta, apparently wonders, "How can a girl admit she's thinking about kissing? Isn't that what super sluts do?"
This may be why Bhagat's request for readers' pictures of his book, unleashed a storm of photoshop skills on social media.
While Bhagat's trolls had a field day photoshopping One Indian Girl onto everything from toilet paper to garbage bins, Bhagat remained unfazed, tweeting: "Yesterday, I deliberately baited trolls who then sprung into action. Resulted in dozen media stories,helping the book. Wanted to say thanks!"
In a plot twist, it turns out Bhagat's tweet may have been inspired by actor-turned-full time Twitter troll Kamaal R Khan.