Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The 3 mistakes of my life : Review

(Minor spoilers ahead)

What are the odds of you picking up the 3rd novel of an author and misunderstanding his purpose of writing since the novel is named “The 3 mistakes of my life”? Pretty good, I would say. However, despite the bad reviews, it was not bad as I had anticipated it to be. In fact I liked it for a number of reasons [but not drastically so], at times better than “2 States” [2S]. 2S, beyond a point, boiled down to nothing more than a very filmy version of boy meets girl from a different community, and the south Indians ripping on the north Indians and vice versa. Come on, when food served on a banana leaf, are you expected to eat the leaf as well? Anyway, I digress here.

Reasons I liked T3MOML: First, it gave me a nice perspective into the life in Gujarat. Sure it was nothing earth shattering, but the characters were a welcome change from the studs who made it to the IITs (FPS) and IIMs (2S) and screwed around with their GPAs and their girls. It was nice to know three very ordinary men for a change who start a business venture and strive to make it big. Not the usual investment bankers and the consultants CB likes to write about, but the owners of a sports goods store. The characters seemed more real this time, with their own fears, Omi fearing he will end up being the priest of the temple, Ish fearing he will never be able to live his dreams [of being a cricketer] through Ali, and Vidya fearing she will end up as one of those doctors who didn’t want to be a doctor in the first place. Amidst all these confused and disillusioned people, there is Govind, focused, ambitious, someone who has a plan in life, both for himself and for his directionless friends.
The events take place amidst a chronology of events that happened for real- the Bhuj earthquake, the Godhra riots. It does not do much value addition to the plot, but helps weave the story in the time frame that is visualized from the perspective of those events. How their lives are affected by the earthquake or by the riots? You would find out as the novel unfurls.

The story has its own off-putting moments, but those flaws are more attributed to CB’s style of writing in general than the story in itself. CB’s stories always involve a lot of drama and melodrama, especially at the end, and this one was no different. A fight scene that lasts for pages gets you thinking, does CB write books keeping in mind that someday a Bollywood movie would be made out of it and he would earn more recognition and money thus? It’s already happened with FPS [3 idiots] and ON@TCC [Hello]. Also, it’s an oversimplified style of narration, something that I wouldn’t attribute as a flaw but more as his own style of telling a story.

Something common amongst all the female characters of CB’s books are the fact that all of them are extremely forthright, liberated, and desperate to make the first move. Kissing [and sex following] are second nature to them, and so is flirting. While Ananya in 2S came from a conservative Tam bram family, yet boozed and ate meat, Vidya from T3MOML leaves no stone unturned to lure her tutor.
In any case, the lack of the words IIT and IIM in his story was a welcome change. Or did I miss those words?

Most wouldn’t agree with me, but I liked the book better than 2S. I like FPS most, followed by this one, 2S, and ON@TCC. The last one was a disaster. It shouldn’t have been written in the first place.
In any case, T3MOML isn’t that great, but is worth a read.



Anonymous said...

I would never recommend CB to anyone

Anu Russell said...

I agree...I liked this one better than 2S. It is the most cliched book you can ever find on South Indians and Punjabi. I am from South and not all Tam Bram kids go to IIT. If they did then IIT would have to open branches at every street corner. Not all Tam Bram people do the things he mentions...it is the cliched notions that people carry and he just put it down on paper.

After 3PS & ANACC got picked up for moives CB started to write books to make a movie and not the other way around. His books are more like scripts than a story...I liked the first two then it was like...blahhhhh

Anonymous said...

Why do you hate words like IIT/IIM. I am from IIT and I love them :D

sunshine said...

Anonymous- Well, I wouldn't really go to that extent :)

Anu- Oh so I finally find someone who liked this one more than 2S. And I do agree with your points :)

Anonymous- Good question !! I think I'll have a conversation with myself about this :)

vijay SAMRAT said...

Ya i liked it, but not as much as 5pt some1..