The 3 Mistakes of my Life is the third novel written by Chetan Bhagat. The novel follows the story of three friends and is based in the city of Ahmadabad in western India. Each has a different motive: Govind’s goal is to make money; Ishaan desires to nurture Ali, a gifted batsman; Omi just wants to be with his friends. Govind is the narrator and the central character of the novel, and the story revolves around the three mistakes caused by him and the religious politics.
The story begins with the author receiving a suicide mail from a boy named Govind from Ahmadabad. The horrified author frantically contacts his ex-teacher,explains him the matter and asks for his help to save the boy. After a few hours the boy is found in a hospital being treated for consuming sleeping pills. The author decides to meet him to know the reason for taking this drastic step. He leaves for Gujarat the next day. The boy initially refuses to say anything but after a while speaks out.
Govind,Ishaan and Omi are freshly graduated,best friends. Govind comes from a poor family with only a mother who tries to meet ends by running a small homemade food shop. He contributes to the finances by giving tuition’s to students in maths. Ishaan is no good in studies. His only passion being cricket. His father is upset with him and always nags at him for his uselessness. Omi belongs to staunch hindu family,his father a pujari of a mandir. Omi is expected to carry this tradition of becoming a pujari which he wants to escape.
Govind one day comes up with the idea of installing a shop selling cricket stuff. Omi convinces his parents to rent a small place within the mandir premises. While Govind handles the accounts, Omi and Ishaan run the shop . Ishaan has a younger sister Vidya whom he is very possessive about. He requests Govind to tutor her in maths for her upcoming medical entrance exams. With reluctance he agrees. Vidya is an immature young girl who has no interest in maths or medicine she wants to be a PR and wants to have the freedom to live her life king size.
The shop runs well with occasional ups and downs. Govind Plans to expand his buisness. He saves money and pays an intial payment for a shop in a new mall which will be opening shortly(Govinds first mistake). In the midst of all this routine occurs a natural calamity-a devastaing earthquake which destroys many buildings and the mall with the dream shop. Govind is heartbroken,but after support from friends and mother he gets back to handling his small shop. They are often visited at their shop by Omi’s mama-Bitoo mama,who is a member of a Hindu Political Party and a devotee of Parekhji the leader of this party. He often drags these kids to his political meetings. Meanwhile Ishaan hears about a very talented boy named Ali who hits a six at every ball. Ishaan checks him out. But Ali gets tired after every fourth ball and has a terrible headache. He takes him to the doctor who says he’s blessed with exceptionally fast reflexes and this puts a pressure on his brain. Ishaan decides to coach him,build up his stamina and prepare him to be a national team player. He gives Omi the responsibility of his diet as he’s malnourished. Omi first refuses because he is a Muslim and the son of bitoo mama’s arch rival-a leader of Muslim Political Party. He later agrees to help Ali but keep it all a secret.
After considerable training there’s improvement in Ali’s stamina. Ishaan wishes to take him to an India-Australia match to introduce any influential person who could help Ali be a successful cricketer. The three along with Ali manage to reach the VIP lobby. There they meet an Australian cricketer who see’s Ali’s capability and promises to help them and arranges for their tickets to Australia. Govind after much cribbing spends his savings going to Australia. Ali gets a scholarship for cricket training but on condition that he plays for Australia which he denis saying he is too patriotic and will only play for India. One day while at a beach in Australia Govind realises he’s missing Vidya. He calls her and expresses his feelings. Love blossoms between the two. The trio along with Ali return Ahmedabad and get back to their routine. Romance peaks between Govind and Vidya and one day on her birthday they commit the unforgivable sin(Govinds second mistake). Govind is ashamed of having a coveted affair with his best friends sister. Omi doubt’s their relationship and warns Govind about the consequences.
Amidst all this drama breaks a religious unrest when a train bogie carrying a troupe of Hindu supporters along with Bitoo mama’s son-dheeraj were supposedly burnt by Muslims. Hindu agitators leaded by Bitoo mama burnt and killed several Muslims in neighboring villages. Ali came down for daily practice to Ishaan. He took the boy to a safer place;an old building where these friends would at time gather. Omi and Govind joined too. The mob reached the building demanding Ali be given to them so that they could finish him likewise they killed his parents. The three tried their level best to control the mob. Burnt a few by blowing up a cylinder,but the mob was frenzy. Finally Bitoo mama had Ali in his grip. Omi gets accidentally killed by his mama when he tries to save Ali. Govind misses rescuing Ali by a split second and Ali’s wrist get cut rendering him handicapped to play(Govinds third mistake). Bitoo mama gets killed in the fight. Ishaan is upset with Govind for thinking selfish and delaying protecting Ali. He also discovers his relationship with his sister and is mad at him. Govind blames himself for all the sad events and commits suicide but is saved.
His mother convinces Ishaan to forgive him. Ishaan with his sister come to meet Govind in the hospital and become friends again. Govind promises to pay for Ali’s treatment. Ali gets a surgery done which turns successful and he once again starts practicing cricket.
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