The 3 Mistakes of My Life is the third novel written by Chetan Bhagat. The book was published in May 2008 and had an initial print-run of 420,000. The novel follows the story of three friends and is based in the city of Ahmedabad in western India.
This is the third best seller novel by Chetan Bhagat.
Govind: Govind jaat Patel is an ordinary guy with whom anybody can relate. He has very few desires but he is obsessed with the ones he covets. His main ambition is to become a businessman as he thinks that, being a Gujarati, business is in his blood. His best friends are Omi and Ish (Ishaan). Govind is doubtful or noncommittal about something. His father has abandoned him and his mother runs a small business. He makes extra income by tutoring maths. He continues these sessions even after starting the cricket shop. He is the narrator of this story and the one who makes the title’s “Three Mistakes”. During the course of the story he falls in love with Vidya, Ishan’s younger sister for whom he is a private tutor. Govind looks after the financial part of the business as he has good business sense and mathematical skills.
Ishaan (Ish) is a big cricket freak and a patriot. Ishaan was the best cricketer in his locality and school. He suggests the name of their business as “Team India Cricket Shop”. He helps Govind’s business by organising daily cricket coaching camps. He has a younger sister, Vidya, about whom he is quite protective. When he discovers that a boy named Ali is a very talented batsman, he decides to go any length to give Ali proper training. Ishaan usually looks after day-to-day shop activities as he has genuine interest in anything cricket-related.
Omi is the son of the Hindu priest of the local temple. His family enjoys great respect among the people. Through Omi’s parents and maternal uncle (who own few shops as a part of the temple trust property), they readily get a place to start their business. He is a rather dumb boy and has not many dreams, but he likes to concentrate on having a healthy body. However, he resents growing up and being a saint like his father. He is a religious person and eventually takes active part in his maternal uncle’s religious politics. He is, however, confused about his religious views which are mainly influenced by Bittoo Mama.
Vidya is Ishan’s younger sister. She is a rebel at heart and dreams to break free from the constraints of a typical middle-class family and society, to go to Mumbai, do a course in PR and become independent. She, however, despises maths which is required for her medical entrance exams. Hence, Ish asks Govind to take her mathematics tuition. In between their tuition they fall in love which is kept a secret.
Ali is one of the students in Ish’s coaching classes and a great batsman because of a rare gift of nature. However, he doesn’t play much cricket as he gets tired after three or four balls; he enjoys playing marbles. He is a Muslim and respects Ish like a Guru. He, like Ishaan, is patriotic at heart. He denies the offer of Australian scholarship and wants to play on the Indian side.
Bittoo Mama is the maternal uncle of Omi. Mama runs the trust of the temple and agrees to rent the place to the three friends for the cricket shop. He is an active member of a Hindu political party. He follows the preachings of Parekh-ji, a political-cum-spiritual leader and has complete faith in him. He has locked his horns with Ali’s father who belongs to the Secular Party. He has a son, Dhiraj. Mama is not fond of Govind as he is an agnostic. He is the main antagonist of the story.
Govind’s mom wants her son to pursue a degree in Engineering. She runs a home-made food business. She cares about Govind a lot and supports him well through his hardships and struggles.
Ali’s father: He is a devout Muslim and works for a secular party. He is a very kind-hearted person who wants Ali to take his education seriously despite his mediocre financial condition. He treats the three friends very well when they go to visit Ali in his house. Overall he is a good person.
Fred Li: He is an Australian Cricket Team member and a fast bowler. He invites the three friends and Ali to Sydney when they travel to Goa to see India-Australia one day international and meet him in the stands. He spots talent in Ali and wants to help him getting a chance to be trained in his academy in Australia. Loosely based on Brett Lee.
The Three Mistakes
- Govind had paid a huge amount for buying a shop in Navrangpura shopping mall even though his friends tried to stop him. The mall later got destroyed due to 2001 Gujarat earthquakes .
- He fell in love with Vidya and he had physical intimacy with Vidya, Ish’s sister
- He waited a split second and dived too late to save Ali because of his own selfishness. Ali’s wrist was destroyed.