Book Title: The 3 Mistakes of my Life
Author: Chetan Bhagat
Genre: Romance, politics, fiction
Rating: 3 out of 5
Review: Chetan Bhagat, the most read English writer in India, pours a concoction of romance and politics on your platter with his ‘The 3 Mistakes of my Life’. It is not his best book but has all the ingredients of a Chetan Bhagat ‘masala’ with the flashback storytelling style, one of author’s most prominent trademarks.
‘The 3 Mistakes of my Life’ is largely a tale of 3 grown-up friends (Govind, Ishaan and Omi) and about their buddyhood which experiences its dose of ups & downs as their relationship goes through all the usual trajectories of mundane life. The story unfolds vividly as the three friends based in a small Gujarat town open up a cricket merchandise shop to pursue business as well as their common passion. Cricket, in fact, forms a major ingredient of the novel and the author takes full liberty in exploring the insatiable passion which runs in the veins of small town dwellers in regard to this holy game.
Thus, Bhagat inserts a dramatic description of the epic 2001 India-Australia test series and weaves it effortlessly with our trio and their fluctuating fortunes. Politics also plays a key subject in the premise with Omi’s uncle (‘Mama’) portraying a key political character and bringing in the various good & ugly traits of a politician. The political subplot, though subtle initially, takes the driver’s seat towards the end building up for an action-packed climax. Bhagat borrows heavily from the Godhra Riot and the Ayodhya Temple conflicts to fuse 50 shades (and more) of grey into this novel. The Hindu-Muslim agitation, the ubiquitous loathing (and respect) for the Australian cricketers and the political backstabbing are issues which are lifted directly from the real ‘India’. Thus, Bhagat, to quite an extent, blurs the line between fiction and reality.
If politics is not your genre, then you can look forward to oodles of romance which Bhagat serves you in copious amounts. The tale is told through the eyes of Govind who is the lead protagonist and also happens to be our lover-boy. Being the maths topper of the town, his best friend Ishaan requests him to provide tuition to his sister Vidya, who is to sit for her medical entrance exam. What starts off as an innocuous 1-hour mathematics lesson soon meanders into forbidden territories of friendship, affection, love and even promiscuity. The Govind-Vidya romance is the ultimate case of illicit love, the tabooed liaison and the forbidden apple which once Adam, and later Govind, chose to taste.
The narrative is penned in the typical Chetan style with pellucid language and a wisp of humour. Though, the story keeps you hooked right from page one, the climax seems hurried and a tad unpalatable. Yet, despite some pardonable shortcomings, ‘3 Mistakes of my life’ is a good read, especially for the Vidya-Govind romance.
Overall, it is a good book, even if not a great one. Its screen adaptation ‘Kai Po Che’ is slated to hit theatres this year. It promises to be an exhilarating watch!
[This review has been penned in association with MySmartPrice/Books, the best place to find out the lowest prices of books, mobiles and a whole lot of mercantile products.]