Chetan…Chetan…Chetan…you know my friends think I am mad? After meeting Chetan Bhagat, I have been troubling, well actually harassing a lot of people…by just talking about him so much.
Probably it is an ambition I so rigidly follow and the manner in which he gets me read his books. I think his works are the fastest I have read, I have never read anyone’s work earlier with so much intensity. I usually read while lying on my bed, when I really have nothing to engage me. To read Chetans work…it is different… I actually wait for an oppurtunity to pick up his book and see what next??
Well too much about me…now back to CBs new book “The three mistakes of my life.”
I take the responsibilty of not completing it in a day, it took me three days…but they are the days…he again is a big hit….this time though he opts for a smaller town like Ahmedabad…Chetan has it bigger than 5 point someone and One night @ the call centre.
There is a lot of similarities in Chetans three books, the three most imporatant points that cannot go unoticed are:
a) The narrator: CB is undoubetedly a very good story teller. He is always involved somewhere, somehow….he starts the story and we sit there to listen to him. Heard of writers with this charisma? While in five point someone, we assume that Chetan was telling his story all the way, in the second half of ON@TCC and TMOML, Chetan and his readers become the listeners…coz there is someone else who wants share a story…an interesting story
b) Friendship, Romance and sex: Seems like CB has a strong friends circle, otherwise it is usually difficult to share with your audience a story about “friends” like the way CB has done in all his three books.
Well, about romance…. what shall i say about this, the lead character always ends up in a relationship which he is very confused about in the begining…and well they end up having sex (not morally right according to Indian standards). But it is not really uncommon in India either.
So…going the filmi way, something goes wrong in the relationship or it is effectively made part of the narrative and the readr is waiting to know what the climax of the relationship would be like. In the end in apna bollywood ishstyle the hero-heroine meet. Waah! Hum satisfied or aap?
c) He chooses a scenario:
Be it campus life, the call centre or religion, cricket and business, CB knows what he is talking about. He does not have to get into heavy details, his work is simple, he does not get into excessive research either. His research is simple enough to blend into his story. After all CB is not a non-fiction writer or researcher he is a “Story teller.”
I really like CBs work, because after reading his third book, I realised what novella (novel) is all about. It is not about being complex and heavy, it is not about using hi-fi grammar, it is about being you…expressive and being you. CB manages to do it everytime.
Govind, Omi and Ishant….they remind me of three friends I know of…one a so businessman like – overambitious-selfish-pros n cons infected, the other so religiously inclined and one who just doesn’t care a f*** about people and is obessessed about cricket.
An intresting story – based in a small town situation – Belrampur in Ahmedabad, a city that was brutually ripped by the earthquake and Godhra riots in 2001 and 2002.
The story is about how three freinds see it all, how they try to rise out of the ashes and build their lives again. It could cost them their life….
All the three friends weigh business, religion and cricket differently, but it is their friendship which gets them through even with their differences.
a) Omi and Ishant do not love business…but they help Govind fulfill his business ambitions.
b) Govind and Ishant care less about religion, but they give in to Omi’s faith and his Bitoo Mama’s political cum religion propoganda.
c) Govind and Omi follow cricket but not like Ishant who becomes a parasite on the day India plays a match.
They all start a business – a combo of their taste – a sports shop, rented inside Omi’s family temple. Business, Religion, Cricket…
Govind- is a mathematical genius who scored a 100 in his XII exam, and also starts tutoring while running the shop to earn an incentive for the shop. He loves Probability and weighs his possibilities in life all mathematically….even the number of times he has slept with his best friend, Ishants sister Vidya (9 times- he recounts in two months). Vidya, is his love, he starts off as her maths teacher, tutoring her for her medical entrance and then….it just happens…
Govind is narrating the story…and he speaks about his three mistakes…you need to figure those mistakes out?
Ishant- district level player, passionate about cricket, runs from the NDA (Defence school) to become a cricket player. He helps Ali start new, a young 12-year-old boy, whose talent can take team-India to heights
Omi-he loves his religion, he follows the saffron part closely – his Mama drags him into politics. But he never once allows his love for religion to hinder his friendship with his two friends and their love for Ali.
All in all, the book is packed with drama, you will cry, fall in love, rejoice and bite your toungue in pain…it is all about generating emotions….CB knows to do it well.
I have only one question for CB…since he has quite a female fan following…why doesn’t he have a Girl in the lead character the next time. Though it is challenging to write from a woman’s point of view, role playing is a part of a writers job. I think he needs to get out of his commoness…it seems to be his comfort zone, but too much of comfort makes one feel uncomfortable later.
Otherwise, Chetan has one big fan in me…I love his work and the manner he has drawn people to read his work…
5 stars for his third book