Five Point Someone by Chetan Bhagat
Name: Ashish Agrawal (11 years)
School: The Srijan School
The book, Five Point Someone, a big hit authored by Chetan Bhagat, an ex IITian himself takes up interesting facts and incidents from the life of students of the premier engineering college. It is a satire on the typical Indian education system.If you are an IITian, you will probably relate very well to this light-hearted narrative about the life of three average guys at the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (And if you are an IITian you would also know what “average” in IIT means). If you are not an IITian, you will still enjoy this book.
The book starts with adisclaimer that this book will not teach one 'How to get into an IIT' or even how to live there. Infact it describes how screwed up things can get if you dont think straight. This book features Hari, Ryan and Alok, who meet at the premier engineering institute, IIT Delhi. While Ryan is described as a confident and well built guy, Alok is meek and takes a lot of worries. Hari, the narrator, is a fun loving person.
It takes a while for these people to realize that if you try and screw with the IIT system, it comes back to double screw you. Before they know it. they are at the lowest echelons of IIT society.
The story opens when these three guys are dragged out of there beds at midnight with drowsy eyes by the seniors for a ragging session. This ragging session was the stepping stone of Jai and Veeru friendship. They then took every major and minor jolt of life together.
This book is a mockery of Indian educational system which leaves no stone unturned in churning out muggers and not identifying the real talent; let it be the premier institute of India or some ABC institute situated at the far end of the Indian frontiers. Chetan Bhagat stakes a direct challenge to the mythical equation - Study= Pass and tries to draw a clear demarcation as to how much is one supposed to bury him / herself in books.
Challenging the well established norms of the Indian educational system he argues that just books and their company don’t really make a good student. The sub-title reads what not to do at IIT, but the main point of attraction is that if Bhagat doesn’t want people to do this, why he took the pain to write these 300 pages. As my conscience allows me to establish, he just wants to show how boring the college life can be if one doesn’t venture to add colours to it.
Then of course there are elements which I don’t buy much such as - bedding with the daughter of head of the department and attending viva after a shot of vodka, but I believe it’s ok as we don’t mind item numbers in the mainstream cinema.Other surprising fact is that other IITian girls didn’t find a mention in this book, but then these were mechanical students. Then of course operation pendulum (don’t ask me what is that, for that you need to read it) and Alok’s metaphoric suicidal leap from the institute roof adds to the miserable wastage of life.
This book also explores(through the means of Neha's brother) the kind of pressure that could be on a student and how dejected he\she could be if they fails their parents expectations.
The title of book is also well justified as all three of the guys get five point something as their CGPA(out of ten) at the end of their college, ranking near the end of the class. This CGPA is a tattoo that will remain with them, and come in the way of anything else that matters.
Chetan Bhagat brings the element of surprise that while the world expects the IITians to conquer the world, these people just manages to survive.
This 300 odd pages book was so gluing that I went on reading from page one to three hundred in one reading, sipping the fun down the throat. This is what everyone, to whom this book went in circulation, did. I would definitely give this book more than a five point something on a five-point scale.