The Three Mistakes of My Life (Summary) :
It 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 Vidhya
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 from a very important part of
the story and ultimately lead to a gruesome climax. The
conversation exchanges between Ish’s sister Vidhya 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
• Govind : Govind Patel is an ordinary guy with
whom anybody can relate. He has very few
desires but he is obsessed with the desires 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 an agnostic. His
father has abandoned him and his mother runs a
small business. He makes extra income by
giving mathematics tuitions. He continues these
tuitions even after starting the cricket shop
business. He is the narrator of this story and the
one who makes the titular "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 is the one who looks after
the financial part of the business as he has good
business sense and mathematical skills.
• Ishaan (Ish) : He is a big cricket freak and also a
patriot at heart. Ishaan has been 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
Omi : He 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 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 : She 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. However, in between their tuition they fall in
love, have sexual relations, which is kept a secret
Ishaan usually looks after day-to-day shop activities as he
has genuine interest in anything cricket-related.
Ali : 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 too much cricket
as he gets tired really fast and enjoys playing
marbles. He is a Muslim boy and respects Ish like a
Guru. He too, like Ish is patriotic at heart. He
denies the offer of Australian scholarship and wants
to play in the Indian side.
Bittoo Mama : He 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 business. 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
Govind's mom : Gujarati woman. She 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
Only Omi figures out the relationship Govind and Vidya
share and also reminds Govind about the consequences of
Ish finding out about the love birds.
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.
About the Author
Bhagat was born in New Delhi to a middle-class family.
His father was officer in the army (Lt Col) and his
mother was a government employee in the agricultural
department. Bhagat's education was mostly in Delhi. He
attended the Birla Vidhya Niketan, Pushp Vihar, New Delhi
(1978–1991). He studied Mechanical Engineering at
the Indian Institute of Technology Delhi (IIT-D)(1991–1995).
He graduated from the Indian Institute of Management
Ahmedabad (1995–1997). After graduation he worked as an
investment banker in Hong Kong. He had been working in
Hong Kong for 11 years before shifting to Mumbai to pursue
his passion for writing. He has written six books, all of which
are bestsellers. His two novels were written during his tenure
as an investment banker.
This English National Bestseller has been published in Gujarati
language by a leading Gujarati book publisher, M.B.D. based
in Ahmedabad & Mumbai. This book has been also translated
into Tamil and is published by Diamond Pocket Books. The
French translation was released by Cherche Midi publisher in
March 2010 under "Les 3 erreurs de ma vie" title.
Main article : Kai Po Che!
The movie version of the novel is Kai Po Che! Directed
by Abhishek Kapoor starring Sushant Singh Rajput, Raj Kumar
Yadav, Amit Sadh was released in February 2013. The film and
the book are set in Gujarat, hence the title Kai Po Che!.
I love Chetan Bhagat's ability to connect with his reader, his
simple language flow just grips you... yeah, there sure are
some limitations, but highly ignorable. I found his choice of
women to be of just one type... the "sweet, simple and pretty,
salwar kameez clad" kinds.. Neha of Five Point someone and
Vidya of this book are exactly similar. The hero is always in a
group of 3 friends... the thinking pattern somehow remains
One more point I would like to add. The mistakes the narrator
talks about are not really such big ones. Anyone would act
the same way he did in his situation. I could sympathize with
the character fully
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