Chetan Bhagat’s Novel Half Girlfriend Summery

Half Girlfriend

The story begins with Madhav Jha, a rural boy from Dumraon, a village in Buxar, Bihar, as he comes to meet the author Chetan Bhagat and leaves behind a few journals from his half-girlfriend who he believes has died. Chetan Bhagat calls him up the next morning to hear his story. He starts by describing his trouble entering St. Stephens, as his English was quite bad. Being a good basketball player, Madhav gets admission through his sports quota.

The rich and beautiful Riya Somani is a girl from Delhi and is also selected through the sports quota. Madhav and Riya become close friends due to their association with basketball. Madhav wants to make her his girlfriend, but she refuses. He demands that they get physical. Offended by his obscene ultimatum, Riya parts company with him and tells him not to talk to her anymore.

A year later, Riya marries her childhood friend Rohan and settles in London, where Rohan has a big business. Finding Delhi unbearable on grounds of losing Riya, Madhav settles in his hometown and helps his mother, Rani Sahiba, who runs her school. Seeing the condition of the school – no proper classes or toilets – Madhav decides to meet local MLA Ojha for financial help, but the MLA refuses to help. An opportunity comes when Ojha informs Madhav about Bill Gates’ visit to some schools in Bihar. Madhav tries his best to convince Gates to fund his school, but to do so he has to prepare a speech, preferably in English.

In the course of his struggle, he comes across Riya, who is a divorcee. Riya helps him prepare the speech. The two are successful in their fundraising, but, after the speech, Riya leaves a letter for him which states that she has lung cancer. Riya’s letter confesses her love for Madhav but states she has three months to live. When Madhav attempts to track her down, he finds that she has cut all ties with India and has disappeared.

After three years, it is revealed from Riya’s journals that she is alive and that she had faked her cancer. Madhav goes in search of her in New York. After three months of extensively searching, he finds her at a jazz event and the two reconcile.

The book ends with the author visiting the rural school in Dumraon, three and a half years later, and seeing that both Madhav and Riya are successfully running the school, and have a son, Shyam.

Sanket Patel

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