Thursday, March 5, 2009


An amateurish yet enthusing tale of three people (yet again!) by Chetan Bhagat.When I asked some of the guys who had read this book if I should read it they told me it was not in the same class as Chetan's earlier creation FIVE POINT SOMEONE.But after reading the book I thought I should beg to differ.This book is as interesting as Chetan Bhagat's earlier offering.In fact, intertwining of the main plot with real events makes THE THREE MISTAKES OF MY LIFE even more appealing.

THE THREE MISTAKES OF MY LIFE is the story of three close friends Govind,Ish and Omi.Govind loves business,Ish loves cricket and Omi is taken by religion.Govind wishes to start a business with Ish and Omi as partners.Together they establish a cricket store on land that belongs to Omi's family who own a temple in the vicinity.The shop rakes in good profits thanks to Ish's cricketing wisdom and Govind's business acumen.Govind decides to make his next big move by establishing a posh cricket store in an upcoming mall in the next city.Meanwhile Ish spots a Muslim boy named Ali who has exceptional talent as a batsman and wants to train him to be the next best thing that ever happened to Indian cricket.What follows forms the crux of the story.Ish's sister Vidya provides another twist to Govind's turbulent life.However it is the portrayal of Omi's religion fanatic uncle that steals the show.

What impressed me most was the way Chetan Bhagat combined fact and fiction.Govind's dreams of establishing a posh cricket store in an upcoming mall in the next city are crushed by the earthquake in Gujarat on the 26th of January,2001.The setting of the Sabarmati Express on fire by miscreants is also used by Chetan Bhagat and sadly the incident consumes Omi's cousin.And of course Chetan gives an interesting take on the memorable Kolkata test at Eden Gardens when Ganguly's men grasped victory from the jaws of defeat against Steve Waugh's world beating squad.Communal riots form a very important part of the story and ultimately lead to a gruesome climax.The conversation exchanges between Ish's sister Vidya and Govind that lead to their falling in love with each other are very fresh and captivating until the point when the author takes things a bit too far in the name of romance.

Overall if you enjoyed FIVE POINT SOMEONE my suggestion is that you should definitely give this book a try and dont be too surprised if it does impress you.

Friday, October 3, 2008


This is a story about the life of three youngsters who get into IIT(Indian Institute of Technology),Delhi.The most casual and brilliant of the three is Ryan whose parents are never with him and always abroad worrying about their business.Alok is the sincere guy whose father is paralyzed and he bears the burden of getting his sister married and becoming the sole breadwinner for the family.Though his Mom's a teacher her meagre salary is not enough.Hari is the narrator of the story and he is anything but extraordinary though he manages to attract his Head Of Department's daughter Neha.These three guys first get to know each other when they are ragged by seniors in the Kumaon hostel.After the ragging incident they stick together almost as if by instinct.Their GPA stands at five point something at the end of first year after which Alok decides to back off and goes behind a class topper.But somehow fate brings him back into the group again and the story goes on till the day they graduate and a little more to mention how and where they settled after graduation..

I really felt light after reading this novel.This is no Jeffrey Archer or Paulo Coelho stuff.It is different in its own way.Chetan Bhagat has written what cannot be termed as 'great' but 'heart rendering'.To put things straight its about life but seen through the eyes of a teenager exposed to all sorts of influence good or bad.At the end of the novel its a case of AND LIFE GOES ON..which happens to be more often than not the REALITY.

For those aspiring for the IITs, this book in no way tells you how to get there.It merely follows the lives of three students failing to cope up with the pace of the IITs and the wrong moves they make to bail out.

From a personal point of view,I should say that in a way the book has opened my eyes to embrace what is reality and carry on.As a high school student(I am in second year of college now) I did not attempt the IIT-JEE(Joint Entrance Examination).Coming from a top city school which is well known for producing people best suited for IITs, I always had the regret of not even taking my shot.I am now in another top college but you could never compare institutions with the IITs could you??I used to think that IITs are the place where innovation rules and people keep inventing things.


I realised after reading this novel that in the IITs too it is the same old story of mugging to get good GPAs and not worrying about being innovative.So the big lesson I learnt was that it doesn't matter where you study.You still have to think on your own and be innovative on your own accord to make a difference..The institution where you study can only make people turn or not turn their heads to notice but if you want to reach the top its you and you alone who can make the difference.

BOTTOMLINE:This book will take you through the experiences of three youngsters who do everything that ought not to be done at an IIT.

Friday, June 13, 2008

FIRST AMONG EQUALS:For The Politically Inclined

In FIRST AMONG EQUALS Jeffrey Archer simply delivers what he's good at.Take four men who are highly skilled, talented and come out of a top university with high honors ready to influence the world around them.Now pit these men against one another in a political backdrop.You have the underlying theme of FIRST AMONG EQUALS.

Raymond Gould, Andrew Fraser, Simon Kerslake and Charles Seymour are the four men who are portrayed as brilliant, shrewd and with a certain high level of political acumen only found in Jeffrey Archer novels.Though these four men are from totally different backgrounds their ambitions are the same:TO INFLUENCE BRITISH POLITICS AND DO THAT FROM THE HIGHEST POSITION OF POWER i.e. THE POSITION OF PRIME MINISTER.
Archer gives the reader deep accounts of the working of the British Parliament through the lives of the four protagonists. It is little wonder that the book would appeal to all those interested in the political sciences. Archer, a Member of Parliament himself, is able to use his experience to the fore when it comes to providing the reader with a feel of the actual routine that is followed inside the House of Commons.

The four protagonists share their political passion with their wives and families and ultimately one of them reaches the position of ultimate power.


Friday, June 6, 2008

THE DEVIL AND MISS PRYM: A Novel Of Temptation

The Devil And Miss Prym is yet another beautiful offering to the world from the philosophical Paulo Coelho. Those who have read The Alchemist can definitely understand what I am talking about.
In a nutshell, the story deals with the question whether mankind is Good or Evil.And Coelho does well to give us an acceptable solution at the end of the story.
The story takes place in the imaginary village of Viscos where a mysterious stranger arrives as a tourist and tests the very nature of the people of Viscos-whether Good or Evil.He brings with him eleven gold bars and buries them in the vast mountainside of the village of Viscos.He takes the girl Chantal Prym (the Miss Prym in the title) and tells her to communicate a challenge he would like to make to the people of Viscos.He says that he would be happy to give the village of Viscos the eleven gold bars if only one of them had the courage to commit a murder and that too in the next seven days after which the stranger would leave the village forever.

Well, what pleasure does the stranger derive from the challenge?Coelho gives a nice flashback which justifies the stranger's challenge.

The flashback goes as follows...
The stranger is the head of a large arms manufacturing company.He is a good man and leads life happily with his wife and two children. One day he gets a call from a terrorist gang that his wife and children have been kidnapped by them and he will have to supply them the arms they list out if he wants his family to survive. The man being a courageous soul decides to call the police.
The police succeed in finding the terrorist gang and shoot them to death but not before the gang has managed to murder the man's family..

So what the man wanted to know from life was that whether mankind was essentially evil enough to commit such kind of pointless excercises such as the terrorists murdering his family for no reason at all..

If the people of Viscos accepted his challenge and committed a murder they would confirm his belief that mankind was essentially evil and return happily to the place he came from..
But if they were noble enough not to commit such a crime he would return with a lump in his throat accepting that it was his fate and nothing else that led to the demise of his family and that people were still the manifestation of Good in this world...

Paulo Coelho has given his best ideas through the character of Miss Prym who happens to steal the show right through the story and more so at the very end..