Monday, April 14, 2014

The 3 Mistakes of My Life (Book) - Chetan Bhagat

Chetan Bhagat has a unique style of writing – more or less almost all his books are either inspired or the basic idea is definitely picked up from real life situations or people. I can say that for sure after reading his four books back to back but must add that they are pretty good rather very good to hold readers interest and keep him hooked till the very end. His first book “Five PointSomeone” was his IIT story, “2 States” is his own marriage’s story, “One Night @ The Call Center” is again his cousins at work and here in this one a businessman on verge of committing suicide emails him and he goes ahead to listen to his story – makes it into a book. Although you can’t deny the filmy treatment for sure and it does feel at times that he has deliberately written them all keeping the big picture (Movie Adaptations) in mind. I have no issues with that as long as they are entertaining and as my mom always said “it’s better to read (books) than watching a movie as books keep increasing your vocabulary and every book offers you so many things to learn”. No doubt on that front – the one word that struck a chord with me in this book was “Agnostic”. For almost two decades or more – I’ve been telling my friends that I am not a god fearing guy but neither am I an atheist – so who am I? Chetan Bhagat says I am an Agnostic. What does that mean? You’ve got to read the book to know that or go ahead pick up a dictionary and see what it means. Also, the way he uses real life situations, real cities, restaurants, places etc is commendable – if you’ve lived in any of those cities and gone to those places – It really helps a lot as well as connects you in a fantastic way with the narrative. Fortunately I have seen the movie based on this book by Abhishek Kapoor (Kai Po Che) not so long ago and it kept the visuals going in back of my head all the time but I must say that the book is too good (again) in comparison with the movie based on it. It definitely adds up more value to the characters than they could do the same in a movie (2.5 hrs). it is no doubt a fantastic book again from him as it unfortunately refreshes the horrific memories our generation will always live with and that is one reason why I was able to connect with it big time.

The Book: As I mentioned earlier – this one starts with Chetan Bhagat getting an email out of nowhere from a businessman in Ahmedabad (Gujarat)  – who is on the verge of committing suicide because of some of his grave mistakes and huge business losses. Since he had his sources in Ahmedabad (remember IIMA pass out) – they help him in tracing the guy and that’s how the story starts with a flashback. This businessman is no one but Govind and the whole book is narrated as his account of the “3 Mistakes” that he makes in his life and how they change is life upside down. Plus all that Gujarat / India goes through during that period, the Bhuj earthquake (which shook almost the whole of India) and the Godhra Train tragedy as well as the Ayodhya Ram Temple episode are all very important part of the story. It is an amazing story of three inseparable friends Govind, Omi and Ishaan, each one of them has his own separate story going on too. It has everything, action, suspense, comedy, masala, emotion, struggle, success and failure even a love angle too. What I loved about this as well as almost all his previous stories is that he does his homework pretty well – like the way these guys travel to Australia on a short trip – the way he has covered those days with authentic Aussie treatment – its seriously commendable, I wasn’t expecting that in-depth details which he actually did and it’s too good to be true. Author’s technical knowledge too comes handy in all his books but the interesting way he incorporates it in the story is too good.

As his other books – this one too is quite a racy one and kept me hooked till the very end. Although I wasn’t too happy with the three mistakes – barring one which of course was a big one – remaining too I guess weren’t that big (my two cents) – I was actually expecting some grave ones – I will surely not commit suicide for similar ones. Still it makes up for quite a read – I picked it up on Friday evening and finished it by Sunday night – to tell you something about its pace. I will recommend it to all book lovers especially for those from this part of the world – it makes more sense to us and is definitely a very good read (Twice as good as the movie was).

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