Friday, November 23, 2007

Five Point Someone

Author: Chetan Bhagat

Chetan Bhagat’s Five Point Someone is a kind of autobiography with a lot interesting excerpts from the life in an IIT. One need not be an IITian to understand the novel, though you may pick up some of their own jargons at the end of the novel. As the author clearly mentions, it is not about how to get into the IIT or what to do once you get into the IIT, it is about what not to do in the IIT. The book is narrated in the first person by Hari, with some small passages by his friends Ryan and Alok, as well as a letter by Hari's girlfriend Neha Cherian who happens to be the daughter of Prof.Cherian, the head of their department and the most orthodox of personalities one can ever see in real life.

It is more of reminiscences than a story. Three boys from completely different backgrounds meet at the IIT, and their life takes a new turn. Until the higher secondary level each of them was first in their own school, and they were pets of their teachers.As soon as they enter the IIT, they find themselves as five pointers. Five is their assessment mark out of ten, and Five is the minimum mark to clear a subject. They feel that IIT is inhibiting their freedom of creativity, make them mug unnecessary things just for the purpose of high grades. They wonder how such anti-creative alumni is making India proud.
The most important aspect of this book is the ability of the author to make a reader relate to the characters. We can see a part of Hari in each of us, one who does not believe in himself even to take a simple decision. Ryan is the one each of us would like to be, the super smart, gutsy, humorous character. We always mock at people like Alok, the fat, a little selfish, ungainly looking guy.

The romantic angle is provided by Neha and Hari. Though some part of their romantic story is slightly unacceptable, one can’t possibly shirk the possibility of such things happening in modern IndiaEven the overall structure of the novel is quite fresh and appealing, though there are some expected, unnecessary twists to make it clear that the story is going through its final phase.

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