Friday, September 5, 2008

The 3 Mistakes of my life - Chetan Bhagat

India has seen quite a few English writers in the past, from R. K. Narayan known for his simple, yet lively writing to Shashi Tharoor whose breadth and variety has captured people's imagination. Though I wouldn't place Chetan Bhagat in the same league, he has managed to capture a pretty big audience, the youth of India, between 15 and 30 years of age, by targeting his writing to their needs and basing his works on their lifestyle. After a hugely popular "Five Point Someone" and a popular "One Night at the call center", Chetan Bhagat presents his 3rd book, "The 3 mistakes of my life". Having read "One night at the call center", I wasn't very impressed with his writing style nor his "God speak" theme in the book. But I must give credit to his simple writing style, use of appropriate lingo and realistic description of details. I chanced upon this book, it has been a while since I read a book, so I thought this 250-pager story could be breezed through and would also provide me the required warm-up to bootstrap my reading habit again.

This book is a story that delves deep into the life, emotions and aspirations of a young Gujarati businessman. The story is set in the early part of this millenium and covers many news events like the earthquake at Bhuj, the Godhra train incident, India's spectacular series triumph against Australia and the Gujarat communal violence. Chethan Bhagat narrates the Gujarati lifestyle in good detail with emphasis on the psyche of the Gujarati youth. The story is pretty gripping in the second half of the book. Though Brett Lee becomes Fred Li and Modiji is Parekhji, the essence comes through pretty well in the book. On the flip side, the book reminds me of a typical bollywood movie, love story to fight scenes and all the melodrama in between. I wouldn't put this book in the must read category, but do read it if you want a peek into the society one of the most enigmatic states in India, a state flanked with phenomenal progress on one side and communal bias on the other.
Overall, a light read that can be raced through, if you have nothing else to do.


sandeep said...

Nice to see this review, have heard about this author might be a good read during the winter days.

Now that you have bootstrapped your reading we will get to know about more interesting books !

bubbles said...

ah! after a loooong time!

Harini Sridharan said...

Ah, you have revived this ailing blog! :)
Yea, I am not so impressed with Chetan Bhagat's writing style either. But decent time pass stuff.