Review: 3 Mistakes of My Life by Chetan Bhagat

This article reviews Chetan Bhagat's "3 mistakes of my life" and also speaks about the role played by the different characters in it. Chetan has indeed found success in influencing the Indian crowd by his method of writing. But was the a success or a flop? Let's find out!

Review on: 3 Mistakes of My Life by Chetan Bhagat

cover The reason behind Chetan's books to be this successful is because, he finds happiness in writing, "about the Indians, for the Indians". No matter which of his stories you take, among all, the one thing that you can find a similarity is that in all his books, the characters are young and are ambitious. They are all passionate for the thing the love to do. Chetan's book, "The 3 mistakes of my life", has all these qualities in it and that's what makes it an interesting story to read.

About the author:

Chetan Bhagat, who is indeed one among the popular Indian authors in recent times, was born in New Delhi. He carried his studies as to Mechanical Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi during 1991 to 1995 and then at the Indian Institute of Management (IIM) Ahmadabad during 1995 to 1997. Chetan worked as an investment banker and was at Hong Kong for almost eleven years before he moved to Mumbai. At Mumbai, the writer in Chetan took shape and he started off his career as a writer with his first book, "Five Point Someone – What not to do at IIT", launched in May 2004, which in-turn was a sensation to all youngsters (including me) The fact is Chetan has managed to attract all kinds of people, especially the youngsters, to his books by his method of interacting with them through these books. Many people who are not that good or frequent readers have found time in reading his books and that indeed is a credit for Chetan that he can be boastful about. At IIM, he was given a designation as to the "Best Outgoing Student" that year.


In the late 2000, a young boy named Govind dreams of owning a huge successful business. Along with his friends Ishan and Omi, they open a cricket shop named "Team India Cricket Shop". However, nothing comes for free in a city like Ahmadabad. To make their dream come true, they will have to face different aspects such as religious politics, earthquakes, riots, unacceptable love and above all, their own mistakes. Will they be tough enough to make it all the way? Lets find out through this small review.

Main Characters:

1.Govind Patel:

He is an ordinary guy from Gujarat who is taken over by the idea for him to become a successful businessman. His best friends are Omi and Ishan. The guy is simply a mathematical genius. While going through the story, we find that Govind is the guy who commits the "3 Mistakes". To support his family whom his father had abandoned, Govind takes math tuition. Later we find him falling in love with his best friend's sister and the story gets better and better.



In one word – "The guy is a cricket Freak". He has a sister named Vidhya. Ishan was the one who suggested the name of their shop to be "Team India Cricket Shop". We find Ishan as a person who knows what he is doing. He is a person who is capable of handling responsibilities and that is why he took keen interest in teaching the young kids the ball game. He is a guy who just loves cricket. Cricket was like his religion to him.


In the story, we find Omi to be a kid who is a bit kind of religious among the three. He is the son of a Hindu priest. He also used to assist his father in his duties at the temple. Omi was ready to do anything, and i mean anything for the benefit of his friends Govind and Ishan. Later in the story we find Omi sacrificing his life in order to save Ali, a talented cricket player who was being coached by Ishan.


She is Ishan's younger sister. She was a it of out of the world girl and she was very week in mathematics. It is due to this Govind comes to take special tution classes for her at free time so that she would prosper in the subject. Later in the story, she and Govind fall in love and they do many things that are not to be done then. This leads to the breaking up of the friendship between Govind and Ishan.


Ali is a 12 year old child who has an amazing talent to hit every ball a six due to his super and magnified reflexes. Ishan was giving free coaching to Ali to help him improve his techniques. The child was a born cricketer. It was through this child that the story progresses as they go to Sydney along with Ali to showcase his talents to the Australian cricket team.

A Quick Overview :

Book starts off with the author receiving an E-mail, from an unknown person who is committing suicide by taking sleeping pill after each sentence he finishes in the e-mail. The author has started off very well and he has also correctly expressed the feeling of "Indians" for cricket. The setting is in the city of Ahmadabad. The story has the 'possessed' Govind with his passion to become a business, it has Ishan who has the copyright protection of the name Cricket Freak assigned to him and the story has Omi, good friend who is ready for anything his friends. The book is based on real life events. The entire story is based on the mistakes that the narrator commits in his life. Throughout the story we find a mix of cricket-religion-business-love-friendship. The story progresses as the narrator, Govind sets up a small cricket shop near the temple with the help from Omi's father who is a priest at that temple. The shop becomes famous as Ishaan start to give catching classes to small kids around the locality and also along with Omi's help who is willing to do anything for his beloved friends.

Later in the story, Ishan finds a boy named Ali who has an amazing ability to smash the ball for a six each time. Ishan takes great interest in this boy called as Ali and decides to train him. But Ishan finds out that the boy is least interested in cricket but by considering this as an opportunity, Ishan and his friends offer the boy free training. They also take him to Sydney. There, Ali is offered a contract on the condition that he becomes an Australian national, but he walks away from it. When they come back, things go a little out of hand as Govind makes out with Ishan's sister and they go "all the way" during her 18th birthday. Here Chetan has beautifully described the different temptations that a teenage boy and girl face during their teenage.

In the story, what I understood is that:

1. Govind's 1 lakh investment for a shop in a newly built mall which is ruined by the Gujarat earthquake is mistake number 1.

2. Govind violating the rules and falling in love with his best friend's sister is mistake number 2.

3. A split second delay from Govind's perspective in making a move which could save Ali from the hit is mistake number 3.

The conclusion of the story is indeed very touching. Any person reading the last chapter will find himself to be at the verge of curiosity as to what will happen to Ali after his operation. Here Chetan has beautifully illustrated the event as follows.
(From the story)

The next morning I woke up early. I had an SMS from Govind.

doc approves ali 2 play,
fingers X. pls pray,
v hit pitch 2mrow

I went to office the next day. London is eight hours behind Singapore, and 1 checked my phone during my evening coffee at 4 p.m. I had no message. I left office at 8 p.m. I was in the taxi when my phone beeped.

ish bowls 2 ali.
ali moves fwd & turns.
straight 6...!

According to me, this is the best part of the entire story were a curiosity is created in our minds as to what is going to happen to the young Ali. Will he or will he not be able to play cricket again.

Mistakes committed by Chetan :

While reading the book, one thing which caught my mind is that it was said that they watched the riots in "NDTV". But i think the Godhra incident and the riots associated with that incident took place in February in the year 2002, while the present NDTV was only launched in the month of April 2003. So they couldn't have watched NDTV for sure. Also in the story, each and every individual is having a mobile phone even the 17 year old Vidya. But at that time, mobiles were not that much into people and could be afforded only by very rich people as even the incoming calls had call rates. So Chetan giving a mobile to each and every character is not appropriate I guess. These are all just small mistakes that are committed by Chetan in the story. But the author could have done it purposely in order to give the readers a different reading experience and may be to also give the readers an experience never like before.

Readers Verdict :

"The 3 mistakes of my life" is a book that is specially targeted at the young generation in India. As any of Chetan's other books such as "1 Night at The Call Center", this book also gives the reader a complete satisfaction and curiosity which makes the reader to finish the book off in the first attempt itself. Is this a good book to read? Hell yeah! If you are a guy who loves crickets and reading stories about it, then i assure you that you are going to love this story from Chetan. While browsing through the internet, i saw many reviews on the same topic which stated that the book was indeed a mistake by Chetan but i honestly think that this book is a master piece from the author and is a gift to the young generation in India.

Other hands on approaches by Chetan Bhagat are:

1 Revolution 2020

A tale of childhood friends who struggle to find their way through love, success and corruption.


A witty and humorous take on inter-community marriages in India inspired from Chetan’s own marriage.

3 One Night @ the Call Center

As the name suggests, it’s the story of one night when six people working at a call center get a mysterious phone call.

4 Five Point Someone

How important are grades or broadly speaking, how important is success compared to other aspects of your life? A story about “what not to do at IIT!”

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