Wednesday, February 4, 2009

The 3 Mistakes of My Life: A Big Mistake!!!

The reason why you would want to read “The 3 Mistakes of My Life” is that the author of this book is “Chetan Bhagat”, who’s arguably one of the India’s most popular and (arguably) talented contemporary writers. Just like his two previous books, this book is also based on young people’s lives, their friendships, struggles, etc.

In this book, Chetan Bhagat has played himself. One fine day, a young boy from Ahmadabad writes to him and mentions that he is committing suicide. Chetan Bhagat rushes to Ahmadabad, and after some efforts, manages to locate the boy. Luckily, the boy was saved and he was still alive. Startled by the young boy’s reckless act, he demands an explanation from the boy. The boy then starts explaining 3 mistakes of his life which led him to take such an extreme step.

The boy’s name is Govind. He lives in Ahmadabad with his mother. Govind has two best pals, Ishaan and Omi who later become his business partners. The story revolves around struggles of the three friends, their love lives and their fights. Later in the story, the author weaves religion, cricket and politics which are considered India’s biggest national obsessions.

This book seems more like Chetan Bhagat’s effort to establish himself as a bollywood scriptwriter rather than a genuine fiction. The story is fast paced but the sequences are too implausible. We know that this is a fictional story and not the realistic one, but the fiction has to have logic to be able to impact readers. What one finds in this book is sheer exaggeration and several loop holes in the plot. Climax of the story, which involves a violent fight, is nauseating and gives the feel of a B grade bollywood movie sequence. What’s with the protagonists fighting and killing like criminals? Not convincing at all. The climax fight was meant to be tragic (by author at least!!) but ends up seeming stupid. Even the death of one of the protagonist fails to infuse sympathy in readers due to over dramatization of the scene.

The writing lacks elegance. From literary standards, this can be classified as substandard quality writing. Also, the way Chetan Bhagat describes the female characters in this novel is highly chauvinistic and degrading. Here are some examples:

“Confident women make terrible daughter in laws.”

“Indian mothers have two tasks - to tell children to eat more or study more.”

Many more disgusting sentences can be found out in the book. Such views were certainly not expected from someone who’s IIT and IIM graduate.

The scene where three protagonists visit a beach in Australia and discuss girls’ bodies playing on the beach is extremely sickening. There is a thin line between sexy narration and gross, vulgar description. The author is not literary mature enough to handle the bold inscriptions with grace. As a result, some conversations between protagonists which are meant to be naughty turn out as vulgar.

Chetan Bhagat’s first novel “Five point Someone” is his best work so far. That was the genuine effort from an author and not a wannabe bollywood script writer. Thereafter, the qualities of his novels are declining. Considering the Box Office performance of “Hello” which was adapted from “One night at Call Centre” by Chetan Bhagat, he is better off as an author rather than a script writer. Or maybe Five Point Someone was a mere fluke! We do not want to lose a good author to a mediocre scriptwriter.

Watch a good movie instead of reading this Time Waster.



V said...

Agree. I said the same thing long ago in a much shorter form here:

K3RV9N said...

And also i didn't like his take on Hinduism