Just today I read the latest book by Chetan Bhagat- The 3 Mistakes of My Life. Now, if you have read him before you know what his style is. I would call it the male equivalent of a chick flick. The protagonist is a young man whose brain is hard-wired for logic, numbers, science, of course women and other stereo typically male dominated areas (just as a chick flick heroine would be all about beauty and romance). So I found this repetition to be a bit tedious in the third one as well. It is like this one character was first in IIT, then went to a call centre and now is a businessman in Ahmedabad. Maybe it is just Bhagat doing character-hopping himself. Nonetheless, the claim that the book is based upon real events, just makes it much more real-life and interesting.
I am skipping giving you a quick synopsis of the book as you can read it off Bhagat’s Site . Now, coming to the actual review of the novel, the best thing about any work of Bhagat’s is the fluidity in his words. You can pick up any of his books and lick it off within a few hours. For most urban Indians he writes in the language we think in. so obviously, 3 Mistakes too scores for being an easy, comfortable read. I like his absolutely natural humor, which really takes you by surprise and actually makes you Laugh Out Loud. 3 Mistakes too contains a few such great moments. To share a couple with you:
“I think it is only in my generation that Indian women started slamming their husbands.”
“Yes, the cover was scary and dull at the same time, something possible only in physics books.”
“There is an unspoken rule among Indian men…..You don’t hit upon your best friend’s sister. You just don’t.”
“Why does every male in the family of the girl you care about instill a fear in your soul?”
Another great thing about the book is the subject matter. I feel Bhagat with each book is dealing with more pertinent issues. Better still, he manages to keep his style and attitude of that of a member of the Gen X (or are we Gen Y?). Religion, politics, money and friendship are the major themes of the novel, all experienced through the senses of a youth.
The book is very Indian, yet thankfully lacks the sanskritized texture of the language which Indian authors tend to give to English. Though I found the climax a little too filmy for my taste, yet I am giving it benefit of doubt for being based on real events. The end is nice and happy, maybe not as happy as a chick flick, yet happy enough.
To end, I would say, it’s a very decent Indian summer read.
Ratings - ***/*****