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The 3 Mistakes of My Life

They say perfection is a habit and I actually believed it after reading the earlier two works of Chetan Bhagat.But ‘3 mistakes of my life’ the latest offering by Chetan Bhagat changed my notions….

Set in Ahmadabad one of the fastest growing cities in India, ‘The 3 Mistakes of My Life’ is the story of 3 friends and their struggle for existence through the thick and thin of life.The plot revolves around protagonist Govind Patel, a middle class boy with his passion  for business, Ishan,a cricket freak and Omi, a priest’s son and a loyal friend who is in for anything that his friends root for. An ambitious Govind with good brains actually feels that the only way of earning good bucks is through business.So much so that he strongly believes that a true Gujarati should only aim towards being a successful businessman. Ishann on the other hand is like any other Indian youth … a cricket freak.It doesn’t take a min for him to blame the cricket board and their useless selection procedures for his plight. Omi is much simple a person among the three. Being a priest’s son he is more into religious activities than the  other two.  Vidya (Ishann’s sister) is Govind’s love interest and Bitto mama (Omi’s maternal uncle) who turns out to be the villain of the novel.With an uncanny sense of accounts and  business Govind sets up a sports shop with help from Omi’s family in the temple premises. In this endeavor all his three friends support him. In order to expand the business Ishan starts cricket coaching  for young boys and ends up discovering an unusual talent in Ali, a 12 yr old kid and a very gifted batsman. Ishan  unknowingly starts living his cricket dream through him.Meanwhile a secret romance blooms up between Govind and Vidya,  who happens to be Govind’s student..

The plot revolves around these guys, there unassuming lives and their fight for existence . Romance, betrayal, failure, anger, friendship, loyalty ..every shade of emotion is available for taste. If I tell you the crux..Govind’s business fails, Omi dies while saving Ali during the  Godhra riots and Ishaan’s anger on discovering his sister’s romance with his best friend Govind are the three major incidents which turn around the lives of these three men, in short the three mistakes.

Disappointed ?? Yes !! I will stand by what i began with. First of all, the mistakes the author talked about,I don’t even consider them as mistakes. They are to me events that can happen to anyone anytime. The first half of the novel is interesting.But the second half is dark and dragging. The narration lacked its natural flow at places and the situations were predictable.Typical Chetan Bhagat style. I feel that Mr.Bhagat had our dear Bollywood in his mind when he decided to scribble his thoughts. The Godhra riots, one of the worst in Indian history and the earthquake could have been dealt a little more sensitively. Only using it as an alleby to take the story forward was not a matured call by an author like him whose previous two novels are bestsellers.  And just to sensationalize the plot some characters and events were penned. The sex scenes and over emotions were absolutely unnecessary and exaggerated at places. The flow was unnatural and it came across more as a movie script than a novel. Mr.Bhagat very well had in his mind how will a dream sequence in bondi beech, a sex scene on the roof top and on the other hand a communal riot will look in that 70mm screen. A complete movie masala I say.
The element of cricket !!!  Am not surprised. In India practically everything sells in the name of cricket, then why not a novel??? And when an Amir Khan starrer ‘Lagan’ on one hand and Imran Hasmi’s ‘Jannat’ both can hit the box-office with cricket, why not a story about a unsuccessful cricket aspirant, a gifted kid, a India Australia test series  coupled with romance, humour, emotion, riots !!!

Too much dissection is bad, I believe.the thing which touched me the most in this novel is the fact that its about India and for the Indians. The novel  explores the three obsessions of our country- cricket, religion and business. And also how religion and politics are deep rooted in the Indian society.The language he uses is simple and lucid. ‘He speaks our language’ a friend of mine quoted. Characters are ‘boy next door’ types, which one can relate to very easily.And his one liners are very interesting to read.Certain events are so authentically described that for once you actually feel like being in that situation. And few lines makes you feels that you would have wanted to say the same thing but could never phrase it out well.This book surely makes reading a enjoyable experience. Cannot compare it though with the previous two…but in someplace it does manage to strike a chord with its target audience – the youth. will not say its a must buy but with a price tag of Rs.95, it can always prove to be a good munch on a lazy weekend.  A good at temp but could have been much better with little more sensitivity, realistic depiction and cutting down unnecessary emotions.Better luck next time  !!!!

Oh!! last but not the least…Mr.Bhagat are you by any chance a Lord Krishna devotee??? First it was Hari, then Shaym and now Govind !!!  Are we to expect some Kishan or Kahnaiya or may be Gopal in the next ???

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