Actor Madhavan and author Chetan Bhagat got into a playful spat, which later appeared to be a promotional gimmick for the recently-released Netflix show, Decoupled. In the series, Madhavan, who plays the second-bestselling author in India, is constantly in competition with Chetan, who plays himself.

It began when Chetan answered a ‘movies vs books’ question by tweeting, “My books, and the movies based on them.” Madhavan said that he is biased towards films, to which the author replied, “Have you ever heard anyone ever say the movie is better than the book?”

“YES! 3 Idiots,” Madhavan replied, with several laughing emoticons. The film, where he played an engineering student, was based on Chetan’s book Five Point Someone. Chetan requested Madhavan to not ‘preach to the choir’. “You’re flaunting 3 Idiots to me? Don’t try to preach to the choir, maybe you should actually go and read my books.” The actor asked the author why he acted in Decoupled if he was partial towards books.

“HAHAHAHAHA, what an unsubtle plug, maybe it’s just me, I prefer a Pulitzer over a pan masala branded award show,” Chetan said, while Madhavan retaliated with, “Well I prefer the 300 Crore Club over Bestseller.”

Chetan said that he prefers to be known by his name rather than ‘Farhan from that one movie’. Madhavan responded, “I’m not known just as Farhan. I’m also known as Manu from Tanu Weds Manu, Kartikh from Alaipayuthey, and my favourite, Maddy kyunki mein rehta hoon sab ke dil mein (because I live in everyone’s hearts).” The last line was a reference to Rehnaa Hai Terre Dil Mein, which was his debut Bollywood film.

Madhavan and Chetan ended their verbal jousting on a cordial note.  “WOW, if this was your writing test, I’d say you passed. But honestly what did you think about my Netflix debut?” Chetan wrote. Madhavan joked that the author is ‘better on the big screen’, just like his books, but added that he was actually ‘brilliant’ in the show.

Later Madhavan also said that they were ‘doing a publicity drill’ and that ‘of course it is scripted’. To which Chetan responded, “<3 you bro!”

Decoupled, starring Madhavan and Surveen Chawla, is now streaming on Netflix.

By William Regal

Used to think I was a tad indecisive, but now I’m not quite sure.

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