Thursday, July 3, 2008

I acknowledge

Here is my personal response, not book review, to 'the three mistakes of my life', a novel by Chetan Bhagat.

I am stunned.

I was in Ahmedabad during the riots, and I had cultivated some opinions, some fears, about the common man in the city.

I concluded that most of the non-minority group was against the minority. I believed that the businessmen were crude and selfish. And cricket, well, cricket was a game where one ball was tossed from one end of the TV screen to another. Whenever someone talked about the score, I'd ask without caring, does that mean we are winning or losing?

So when I started reading a novel about three hindu boys in Ahmedabad, who open a cricket shop next to a temple, well, I am simply being faithful to an earlier high of Chetan's first two books.

I think a writer bores you to establish your belief in the truth of the story. And then, when the ordinary bloke with whom you begin to identify becomes superhuman, the book has grabbed you. Your heart is stuck in the book, you and the book get into a bubble that is tighter than a spaceship hurtling in space. It is in the telling of the story lies the art. The telling of the story is the story.

Yes, I did ask myself, could this story really be true? I went back to Chetan's track record. God calling on the phone and all. But Five point someone was so so real. So Chetan gets fifty percent credibility. Thats no help.

The question still remains. Could this really be a true story?

Does it matter?

What is relevant is, the characters in the book have walked out of the book. I have met them. And they have changed my mind about certain stereotypes I carried in my baggage.

And for this, I can't thank him enough.

If you don't like browsing book shops, buy the book from here.

1 comment:

shydouchebag said...

i beg to differ. as a writer, stereotypes can be good AND bad for you. the fact that you COULDN'T step out of you shoes and consider for a second a world through someone else's eyes (say the crude and selfish businessman) and the fact that you think its so hard to do so, shows that even though you've grown old and matured, you writing hasnt. chetan bhagats books are mediocre, providing as much entertainment as reality shows do. the only reason the first book clicked was because it was about three boys from IIT. the subject was interesting, the writing? hardly worth a mention. infact in his second book the quality of language had left me nauseous. call me a literary snob, but i'd rather not even TRY his third attempt at this. finding a good story and a subject is never enough. in this vast worl they're are so many things to one can want to talk about. i know my problem is that i have too many of such things. its about how you tell the story that REALLY makes the difference. maybe you should consider this in you writings.
your sincerely.