Hit Wicket

Politics, religion and cricket blend in relationships marked by friendship, trust and betrayal make a right mix in Chetan Bhagat’s The 3 Mistakes Of My Life. Making a cameo appearance, Bhagat plays to the gallery.

The story begins with an e-mail that Chetan receives from Govind, a small-time businessman in Ahmedabad who has failed in an attempt to kill himself. Bhagat tracks down the hapless man and the story unfurls when Govind narrates his life like a flashback in a Bollywood film.

While three friends – Govind, Omi and Ishaan – appear as the boys next door who dream to make it big in life. Cricket is the mantra that will fulfill their aspirations. A little boy named Ali is an exceptional cricket player and the three friends want to groom and sponsor the prodigy to make their own dreams come true.

Putting their situation in the contemporary context correct, the attack on the World Trade Centre, the earthquake that shook Gujarat, Ayodhya and the Godhra incident are relived through the characters.

The aftershocks haunt them when the communal riots involve the friends and Ali. “Life will have many setbacks. People close to you will hurt you. But you don’t break it off. You don’t hurt them more. You try to heal it. It is a lesson not only you, but our country needs to learn.”

The 3 Mistakes… is predictable and a quick read. However, it offers little scope for reflection and thinking.

By Deeya Nayar-Nambiar, Published in June 2008, btw of Chitrakeha Publications

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