Chetan Bhagat – The three mistakes of my life.

June 7, 2008 at 10:50 pm | Posted in criticism, humour, literary, sarcasm | 58 Comments
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chetan Bhagat
The three mistakes of my life…….

  • chetan Bhagat
  • chetan Bhagat
  • chetan Bhagat

This is the primary reason why people don’t approach me for book-reviews…..

Anways, jokes apart. The reason his first book was good[ again, my opinion, shoot me], was because it was a novel attempt[ nah. no puns]. And primarily because, I’m an engineer and this book was about IIT. After that, friends, the charm has faded away.

I haven’t read the third book yet. Ah, A lying,nasty, cynical,hypocrite you say.
No. What prompted me to put this up, was some lame comments on a ‘genuine’ review page.

  • just loved it…….i hav only read three novels in my life…n they r all by chetan bhagat…         I sincerely hope that this guy is joking. Or is this Chetan Bhagat himself?
  • hi chetan i must say u always rokzzzzzzzzz n plz nxt time try to write something new not the same scripts yar waise i must say u r great. No Comments
  • i must say its a rocking come back chetan uncle i am a big fan of your i read your five point someone ,than a night at call center…….. but i must say that you are a perfect writer…. i am plnnin to take your book “three mistakes of my life” so how has been your experience for been the best seller for 70 weeks ?????? it must be fellin great ????? Chetan Uncle? Wtf. You btter be plnnin hard. I’m fellin awesome btw.
  • being a die hard fan of chetan..i can say dat dis book jus rockz…but a little less dan his previous books…its worth reading once..some ppl commented dat they can write better books dan this every week..dude..if u could have done dat..then u wud nt b here postin reviews for smeone else books….is dat clear???        Yes Sir. All- Clear. The job of a critic down the drain.

Ok. I thought I’d be unbiased and put some comments that actually dissected the book for what its worth. Some of them were too shallow, and most of them involved obscenities. Hence I present you the link.

What I didn’t like honestly was his division of reader-mentality on his blog.

  • Core Readers – hardcore fans who will read all CB books
  • Fringe Readers- My fringe readers are those who do not like my books, but read them anyway. They are “I’ve read all 3 books , all are crap” variety.

[ Sir, I thought your 1st book was good. and 2nd was bull-crap. I haven’t read the third one yet, Do I qualify?]

  • Critics – “the reviews were not as bad as I expected. Maybe they liked the book, or maybe they had a change of taste or maybe they realized that a few million, English speaking, educated Indians can’t be wrong.”

Mr. Bhagat- Sir,  witnessing the exquisite linguistic skills of your elite fan-base. I wouldn’t take that opinion for granted.
And he continues criticizing the critics….

  • “but if you call yourself a critic or an expert, you must offer some original, analytical insight about the work – good or bad, to justify your job. Summarizing the plot and repeating past interviews is not that. Anyway, less slamming this time, so I am happy. Thank you guys.”

The problem is the moment you end up slamming him, you’re automatically promoted to the 2nd set of readers.  What do we do?

Anyway. Go ahead. Read his book. He’s after all the “biggest-selling English-Language novelist in India’s History”.

P.S: Chetan Bhagat rokzzzzzzzzzzzz…..



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  1. I haven’t read _any_ of his books.. No, not even 5 point some one even my first year roomie pushed it thru my glasses..

    Some how I found the whole story nauseating… And the narration very ChicLitish… (I read the first 2/3 pages)

  2. I have read all three of his books and would fall into the category of ‘fringe readers’ as he calls it.
    It is really irritating to see how TYPE 1 people behave when they discuss his books. If you don’t like Chetan Bhagat books : a) you are either the type which cant read English and hence, not cool enough or
    b) you can and do read english books, but not liking Chetan Bhagat is being impatriotic

    One even went to the extent of telling me the underlying reason why I dont like his writing : C.B. went to IIT while I couldn’t. Supposedly I dont know this and eventually when I realise this, I will start liking him. Not liking his writing is a psychological problem??!!

    Now, who’s the fool ?

  3. @ Tuna: His first attempt was passable for a novel. Since there was this untapped market for such stories, and that generation. But three times, in a row, and people still buy that nonsense.. Stupid. Stupid.

    @ Shamanth: – First of all, I din’t know that you blogged. A nice read it is. Keep writing.
    Now, for the points that you addressed:
    1. @Can’t read english = I presume I’ve done enough justice to that. If anyone asks, just pass that link to them…
    2. @ Being Unpatriotic – This is a very valid issue. People try to guilt-trip you into various things. This is part of the whole ” Why haven’t you embraced the fad yet” thing?…
    Orkut, facebook, chetan bhagat.. The gen-x should learn to develop its own opinions, instead of just joining the herd…
    3. @ IIT rejection: Screw his IIT, IIM statistics. I’m rating his novelist credentials here. If anything the prologue of ” call center” hints at this…
    The lady says ” Mr. Bhagat, your first book was about IIT, surely, the next one is about your IIM life right?”

    This chap was dumb/honest to list his own stereotype.
    Some guys, 1 girl, chippy lifestyles, pre-marital sex… He’s drowning the whole nation in his repetitive pseudo-perverse behavioural perspectives.

    4. @pschological problem : Either this is a wicked marketing ploy, or his fan-base is one big bunch of loonies. I can’t seem to figure which is truer

  4. the books r out of the world.. honestly i m gr8 fan of yours as ur versatality , bygone days of your life , full of pranks,honestly i just love reading your books n hope to read your another book soon after 3mistakes…………..

  5. I happened to read ‘5 point someone’ becoz it claimed to offer an insight into an IITian’s life, but all I got was a bad bollywood story. I haven’t dared to touch his call center book though. And after reading the reviews of the third book, I’d gladly stay off it.

    I think Chetan’s just applying some management principle of “feeding the masses”. Way to go, Chetan!

  6. Great Man you are!!! I loved this not-review post.

    I fall in your category, I liked first book to some extent, I don’t tell anyone I read second book and I have just finished third and thinking what I read actually? I am trying to recover!!!


  7. Dear Lady Samriti – This is a parody post. Anyways, glad that you shared your immense love for Chetan Bhagat’s works. Thanks for stopping by.

    @Abhijeet: There was a primary drawback to “Five Point Someone” ===>Exaggeration.
    It was nice that he put in a list of “supposedly” bad qualities.. alcohol, insti-roof weed taking while listening to floyd, having nicee-time with the prof’s daughter, flunking, getting third-rate gpa’s… basically as he put it ” what not to do at IIT”. It was the selling point, and the main flaw in the script as well. People don’t relate to too much nonsense, what with a stereotypical “Happily ever after” ending. Granted its fiction. But I think we’re above the goody-goody crap, age now. He could have narrated and scripted it better.
    It just showed the lack of maturity in the writer. People expected this to improve, with future works. The readers are still hoping for that.

    And I’d assume calling it a Bollywood story is a bit harsh, an insult rather. The man did come up with something new. Credits to that.

    @ Suda : Don’t tell anyone eh?.. LoL
    Wishing you a speedy recovery..
    And Marathi blogging might be nice, try it out.. Some posts at least.. [ I don’t understand marathi, but more regional content is always welcome].

  8. i’ve read only his first one… and you know what, it feels the same as reading chicklit like “shopaholic” or “devil wears prada” or “everyone worth knowing”. one-time read, and if you consider any bit of it as food for thought, you need to see a shrink.
    a bit later, i got to know fps had spawned a whole new genre in india called Lad-lit. There are other IIT books like “Anything for you, ma’am”, which go on pretty much the same lines.

    i fully agree with the exaggeration bit. and one thing struck me as idiotic… he totally underrates extra curriculars at IITD – he says only people not interested in studies took them up. which im sure is as far from the truth as can get. or am i wrong there?

    what i hate about both chicklit and ladlit is that they all feature pseudofrustrated characters.

  9. Hi..u rock chetan…wud like to meet u in my life once n m sure this will happen…may be then u ll write a book on me…

  10. @Komal: Are you high?

    @Priya: I personally loved the physics and maths books written by IIT profs. Guess good IITian literature will have to wait.
    About the xtracurricular bit. I guess CBhagat went a bit overboard showing that the only people with a life @ IIT’s were the low-gpa kind. And the rest were all a bunch of nerdo-maggus. Typical sell-out tactic. Appealing to the mediocrity. The old “Back-bencher’s are the best” trick.

  11. SO let me generously add to this chain of thoughts trying to dole out comments and opinions…..
    First of all, Chetan Bhagat is a writer whose books have zero literary value. But that doesn’t matter in INdia because people who like his stories do not look for literary value in there.

    And thats as far as my generosity goes….

    But seriously, Komal must have been stoned or something….

    PS: Where the f*** is your now long due post on your trip to the annual tasters’ convention??? And when you getting your sorry ass to Bangalore?

  12. @N.R: You’ve got my entire point/intention wrong. The argument was never about the literary value of his books. It’s a given that there is none.
    The issue was about his story-telling capabilities. How good a tale he can spin?.
    I think I’m being too cynical, but that indeed is the whole gist of it.

    As for Komal, I’d have written ” Let the Komal Bashings begin’. But I don’t have an active fan-following to begin with. So I didn’t dare.

    Aha. Annual tasters? I’ve decided that I’ll not write a blogpost. I’ll only mail it to the official group. Heck, I’ll bcc it to you as well. There will be a post about the journey though. I presume you might find it interesting.

  13. one thing i wonder… did komal think logik was chetan? coz i dont understand the point of posting that here otherwise.

  14. @priya: Aaargh.. Such bitter insults…How you dares?

    Doesn’t Chetan have enough dumb plots of his own? Meet Komal and then write a book about him. Ya right.

    Any ideas on what the title might be?

  15. how about this… he’s a writer, and has a blog. suddenly one boring trite fancomment (ur2kul chtan) catches his attention… don’t ask me how that happens, it’s a chetan bhagat book after all. so he mails the commenter and she replies saying “your first book was about IIT, and your third book had something to do with Ahmedabad, where you did your PGDM… so your fifth should have something to do with Goldman Sachs, right?”
    Then she proceeds to tell him the story of her life which is the book.
    Title should have a number… 5ps, 1nite@cc, 3mistakes…. 5,1,3… what can the next one in the series be? 7 or -1? if it’s -1, maybe it’ll be called “square root of minus one” and talk about imaginary lands?

  16. Is Armchair inc recruiting?…. “Square root of minus one”.. What the…. too much…

    And why is the commenter a girl?.. writer’s motivation eh?

    Well, your continuing series assumes that he is going to write a fourth book. Nahi…….

    I hope the number chosen is 7. Because the series would close with that book.
    I would probably call it “The seven deadly Indian sins”

  17. armchair… well.. i’ll be downsizing soon considering i won’t be jobless. guess this is just the storm before the calm.
    commenter is a girl, or atleast pretends to be a girl online, coz it doesn’t make sense him replying otherwise, considering he’s an IITian, no offense meant.
    i suppose mr. bhagat will be churning out book after book till people stop buying them, or till he dies a painful death at the hands of an IITian, whichever is sooner…. and by the look of things, the latter is more probable.

  18. Ya. Mr.Bhagat and thousands of IITians. [ and NITians]….. No offense meant.

  19. i have not read ur any book bcus i live in hostle and i want to buy ur books but we r not allowed to go outside from hostel so how it is to get ur books

  20. @ PRATEEK
    There is a very simple solution to your problem:

  21. Dearest Prateek, I presume you’re 16.
    So take this advice from me. There is a reason you’re kept in that hostel. There are many things in the world so vile and repulsive, its best that kids do not get to see them. Stay put.

  22. wow, this post seems to be attracting niche comments 🙂
    these comments all seem to be directed at mr. bhagat… these buggers think logik is the iit-iim-gs author or what???
    couldn’t resist this… mr. bhagat’s moniker would probably be illogik.

  23. When the **** will you stop basking in the now-stale glory of your highly successful post and get ur ass to write another one?

  24. Ha ha.. Precisely put… But since i ain’t jobless no more, its kinda tough.let me settle down. A couple of ideas in the pipeline.. Nothing serious. By that i mean,they’d be wacky as well. This would probably be my longest hiatus… Glad to see that I’ve a fan following who actually wait to read this kinda stuff.. No…. Don’t leave.. Jus kidding..

  25. Dude logik… u r so damn jealous man!!
    Million copies sold,2 of his books being made into a Bollywood movies.. how many writers can boast of such achievements.. love him -hate him-u just cant ignore CB!!

  26. @ Darshan –

    1. Million copies sold – I think I mentioned about the nature of CB fans.
    Herd Mentality can sell lots of things. There are a million views of some really dumb Youtube videos. Doesn’t mean I should accept it at facevalue.

    2. Bollywood Movies: I did not know that this was a criteria for judging authors/content. Not with retarded movies like Dil, Dosti, etc ETC coming up. [ CB books are a similar genre btw , dumb youth flicks]

    3. I’m not ignoring him/ his sales/his ‘achievements’. I’m just ignoring his literary output. I don’t think thats so serious a crime.

  27. Man why don’t you just go commit suicide?
    That will be a very viable option for you…
    I strongly recommend that..
    Else why dont u write some non sense atleast?
    You could as well put up that stuff about ur tasters’ convention. Hell! There would have been a lot of people searching that on google all these times…

  28. @ N.R – Suicide . No. No.. I’m too busy…

    @writing some nonsense- What was I doing so far then?

    I’ve already written bout taster’s… I think I sent you a copy as well. Chk your mail.

    I don’t write for the googlebot. It doesn’t give me stupid feedback.

  29. Hi chethan

    frankly speaking three mistakes of life is my first book of your publication.
    actually i am a call center employee and willing to read one night@ the call center before this but still find this very intersting
    my wishes are always with u
    hope u would reply


  31. sir,
    i’ve read ur previous 2 books, they were as innocent as a 4yrs child. i read them over n over till “the 3 mistakes…” came my hand. i was stunned! like bollywood movies, like children of these days, ur story has also matured. then i thought, is this u; whom i respected for his innocent story telling! sir, there r thousands of writers who discuss serious serious topics like u have chosen, u at least dont indulge urself in this. n godhra s a much discussed n topic written about.this sucks.
    next time u choose a topic, plis keep reades like me in mind who r over saturated with politics, religious calamities, n sucking stuffs like them.
    though ur style kept me stick to d end of the last page last word.

  32. great job…….. a real nice book…………… i enjoyed it………….. the ending is superd i loved it……….. keep up the good work……… waiting 4 the nxt one…………

  33. hi.. chetu d grt IIT ian and that too mechie…….. wow ! i am very proud of him as I am also a mechanical enggr… I am expecting more stuff from this guy who is just down to earth…

    always loveeeeeeeeeeeeeeees uuuuuuuu

  34. Logik wake up man!
    These people think you are CB or his alter ego or something on those lines….
    Man this is scary shit!

  35. I think the big portrait pic of CB is the culprit.
    But I didn’t expect smartness from these idiots anyway..

    Honestly, can’t these people read english?
    Oh. sorry these are CB fans….Never mind.

  36. I think a lot of people will agree with you regarding the declining quality of the books. CB should’ve made a category for us too. I’ve only read the first book. That was all I could. Honestly I found his writing very irritating. His stories are fine, interesting. But his writing completely spoils it for me. I try to block it out of my head…but the silly narration gets to my nerves. Maybe he should be a script writer(If he’s not become that already, in a way). I read in a review that he inspires people to write like him. That would be a very sad day indeed.

  37. @Rineesh- Yes, him being a motivation for other people to write is fine, as long as we don’t have more of chetan bhagats…The writing, is especially horrible. That’s what happens when you try to subdue the content, just to appeal to the masses.
    [ and now with bollywood coming into the scheme, its getting worse].
    His next book, might have a planned song-dance sequence in the rain as well.

  38. hi bhagat sir i complete your novel in 2 days by studing it with taking a rest of 15 minutes after every 6 hours and i loves it too much[three mistakes of my life] i am here to tell u about that u is the best novalist of the world my aim is to became to stand prallel of u byeeeeee have a nice day

  39. i never tire of reading fan mail from folks who think logik is the blogging pseudonym of chetan bhagat.

  40. Woah man did u see the last comment by that Rahul guy?
    ANd more importantly did u see his f***in’ ENglish??!!!???
    Necessary and sufficient condition to be a CB fan!
    ANd god help you man! U are really thought to be CB blogging under the name of LOGIK!
    ANd guess what?
    I will popularize u even more with some bitti publiicity in my blog -exclusive post just on this comments saga!
    Coming up in a few days time…

  41. now im beginning to wonder if these guys are just playing a prank on logik.
    coz you have to be a certified idiot to not realize that this is a review, not chetan bhagat’s autobiography, and it isn’t flattering to mr. bhagat in the least, and hence can’t have been written by him, or by anyone who would be nice enough to forward these comments to mr. bhagat.
    and me and akshay have been laughing our heads off at these idiots for pretty long… you have to be an imbecile to ignore the number of comments here!
    either that, or they just go by the images here, and ignore the context.

    and mr. arbit srivastava… please realize this is not orkut!
    scraps indeed!!

  42. Ok. I accidentally deleted arpit’s comment.
    I honestly hope that a collective bunch of extremely wicked people are hatching this nasty plan, of writing lol-catish comments, just for kicks.
    Because, I shudder to think about the fate/IQ of a significant section of the Indian readership otherwise. I hope this is all one big joke.

  43. Hello there,

    For those who ‘think’ that the book Five Point Someone is all original, please note that the main characters are all closely based on J.D. Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye. The influence of J.D. Salinger CANNOT be missed, right upto the bad English. I was sorely irritated by the book which as many of you were clever enough to point was was basically written for instigating the youngsters and for mass selling. The same ploy used by J.D. Salinger: make the central character flawed, so that it relates to the weaknesses in the readers themselves, is a cunning way to get a book published. That the book is poor in literary quality is an obvious fact. Most humans read books not just for entertainment, but also for a subconscious improvement of language or associated skills. The book provides neither. It barely manages to interest the perverse weakness of the human mind. And worse, many of you have cleverly noted this: The potential danger of future writers being generated of this caliber..

  44. Hey y’all,
    Oh my….I laughed my !@# out after reading Logik’s review. No offense to Chetan’s fans, but those comments were ridiculous.

    @Clever Reader a.k.a Vids…haha…girl, let me quote a sentence of yours first “Most humans read books not just for entertainment, but also for a subconscious improvement of language or associated skills. The book provides neither.” I am not a die-hard fan of Chetan Bhagat, but I just felt like writing this.See, no one reads Chetan Bhagat’s book for an improvement of language or whatever. There are 1000 other books for all that. Do you think ppl read Sidney Sheldon novels for improving their “associated skills.” It is purely for entertainment….we all know that!….yeah!

  45. @ Clever Reader – I haven’t seen the resemblance to catcher in the rye. I’ll take your word for it, since you mentioned the bit about bad english. Seems familiar…
    “Keep the Central character flawed.” Nicely put. Basically, appealing to the mediocrity.

    @Diviz – I’m sure the clever reader wasn’t serious when she said that people read CB for language improvement.
    As for entertainment. I’m not betting on that either.

  46. @Diviz:
    If you really want to know the meaning of literary value or if you just want to marvel at how bad the gap between CB and actual literary value, read Ian McEwan’s Atonement. One of the best books ever written.

  47. @Akshay….thanks dude! Will read it.

    @Logik…… well, no comments. 🙂

  48. i don’t think mr. bhagat knows of salinger. he seems more the bollywood-watching pulp-reading populist types.
    for some reason holden caulfield seems the sort you identify with. i can’t say the same for chetan bhagat’s characters. They seem like walking metaphors. The ones in catcher in the rye seem more like people.
    catcher in the rye had something called depth. whereas CB’s books seem to be the potboiler-pulp sorts. not a single thought behind a single line, or so it seems.
    i felt a heavy English, August influence in five point someone. CB tries too hard to be Upamanyu Chatterjee, especially in the parts where his characters try to be sarcastic.
    They don’t match Agastya’s cynicism. ever.
    English August was something of a philosophical journey with bits about IAS thrown for entertainment. CB is tripe.

    BTW, ON@CC is released as Hello where Salman Khan plays CB, and is a star who dances and takes his shirt off, and is waiting for a helicopter(!!) when he meets Katrina Kaif who narrates the story….. Leave it to bollywood to make things worse than we can ever think they can be.

  49. These IIT guys should write “literature” books on “How to get in to an IIT” They can make loads of money from it, Along with the “glory” of adorning every high school kids book shelf/ birthday present/ and must read to crack jee books by some coaching class 😛

    BTW one TShirt quote from iit “Dont call this ATTITUDE, its only SUPERIORITY”
    and people actually wear and flaunt this

  50. […] I don’t want all that that comes with a Chetan Bhagat reputation, especially not fanmail like this, this and this. After reading these comments on Logik’s post on Mr. Bhagat, I began to […]

  51. chetan sir,….
    m ur craziest fan of reading buks..n i love the way u pen down the emotions of ones in words..its really hard to write with perfection but u done it sir……..i had read ur 3 mistakes of my lyf buk….wen i read ur buks i feel myself in that place…….in one nyt i read ur buk even i didnt done so wid my course books also……ur language used in books feel as if u r siting infront n interacting wid me……its marvelous….keep it up sir….

  52. A shame of a writer that just drags down the whole Indian literature. He should just focus on his banking for he cannot be tagged as more than a blogger, capable of writing “funny” “interactive” lines which offer no value to their reader at the end of the day. He hasn’t got a clue of what it takes to make a good writer and puts no visible effort in improving his cheapish style.

  53. The first book was a decent read, agreed. But having now spent three years at IITD, i honestly don’t find much as he described. Yes, floyd and dope do occasionally go hand in hand but smoking to the inimitable “Sutta” is much commoner. Also, profs’s daughters are few, hardly visble and almost always out of bounds. And no one, seriously no one, can manage just a five point something after slogging for three hours daily, as the trio do. Reality apart, as fiction, the text holds nothing of literary value, and reads more like casual conversation. The only reason I call it decent is because it was a quick, easy, not-really-boring read.

    Didn’t bother with the other two.. oops, three. (At the current rate, we will soon have whole bookstores dedicated to assorted CB bullshit.) The reviews were illuminating enough.



  55. I read a few pages of Revolution 2020….I stress just a few cause the logical section of my brain showed me the middle finger when I wished to continue.
    In my opinion this guy is like an “Adult-version story-writer with a Enid Blyton style of narration”.Apparently all my friends shove me off the moment I criticize (tell the truth)…and I hear replies “Whats wrong with you dude”….or…”its the language…its quite easy and not cheesy like the others”.However I feel smarter doing what I do…when I avoid the “bollywood flicks on paper”

  56. Though I agree that Chethan’s novels are somewhat Juvenile, I must say that this guy brought in a totally different form of writing to the fore- something we weren’t accustomed to! We loved Tagore, Arundhati Roy, Amitav Ghosh and the likes but how many people would actually understand their complicated novels? I think Chethan’s writing has actually broadened the base of novel readers as his writing is absolutely understood easily and can be related to well… I mean of course, in my opinion that is..

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