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Shvoong Home>Books>Five Point Someone Review

Five Point Someone

Book Review   by:sushmita     Original Author: Chetan Bhagat
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Well, well has anyone ever heard of a "fractional human-being"? I doubt. At least I have neither seen one nor have I heard of any such phenomenon. Even a neonate has a definite and "whole" existence. Then what does the heading of this piece imply, if not that. Clearly, it is trying to describe a person in decimals. Why? Or is it due to some reasons that a human-being is being decimated? There are very many questions that are evoked by the name of this book, of whose abstract I am launching into. With this prologue, if there can be one for an abstract ( I don''t know as I am not a purist of English literature), I am sure my readers will agree with me on the point that by writing this debut book and more so by giving it the name that he has, Chetan Bhagat has doled out a hooker (in the literary sense) so to say, because the mere name of the book is drawing people towards itself like swarming bees! Readers might feel as to why instead of getting into the subject matter I am beating around the bush! Then let me tell my new readers those who haven''t gone through my previous abstracts, that I am actually laying the foundation for my views. Views are like buildings requiring strong ground to hold forte.
This book has the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi as the site of the action. Now, Indians know that IIT''s churn out brilliant minds for the world. Even the foreign countries respect IIT''s. The minds graduating from these institutions are revered and employed by the best of companies, both national and international. In fact IIT grads more often than not prefer the greener pastures, overseas. If an institution produces such gems then one can jolly well guess as to how tough it is to get into such places. And that in turn means students, really brilliant get the scope to get in. As a backlash, these students come with a baggage of brightest of minds and this has a flip side. They being aware of this fact, thrive to live up to the high standards they set for themselves. In doing so, at times they put themselves through too much of pressure. Consequence: guess? The book deals with the trials and tribulations of the campus life, which seem simple, but when integrated can become dangerous. The characters pivotal to the story find initially that the life that they''d yearned for, an IITian''s life is a disillusion. Totally reverse of their anticipation.
Reason is very simple. They have brilliance of mind. Brilliance is of two types. One: in matters of curriculum, i.e., bookish. Second: creative brilliance. The second version defies dictation and conventional mode of education. The main players in the book basically fall in this category. Consequence: in spite of their brilliance, perform miserably in the examinations. Therein sets disillusion. They are not able/ allowed to work out things in their own ingenious ways. And this leads to the feeling that what sort of institution they have come into that doesn''t allow free thinking. When they get their grades, which are on a scale of 10, it is 3point something. With such poor result the fear of not getting job in a good company gnawed at their mind. If coming in at a new place, wasn''t enough, this added salt to the wound. This leads them to become all the more reckless and desperate, ensuring their result faltered all the more and in the meantime incurred the disciplinary wrath of the institution''s administration in their final year. Well now water was really over their head and drives one of them to even attempt suicide as he had certain duties to fulfill towards his family being not from an affluent background and feels he has failed them.
From here the constructive phase starts. The brush with death of one of the friends jolts the others to accept things as they are and try to make the most out of it. They take care of their friend until he can fend for himself and start tackling problems head-on instead of running away from it, and that too in the laid down format. Herein help comes from one of their professors, who was able to recognize their brilliance and potential. He guides their unbridled ideas; gaining wonderful outcome, by being a sympathetic listener of their confusions following it up with his own supporting ideas. As one thing leads to another, they become their teacher''s protégé, listening to his positive advice and gaining as a result. IIT is no longer a jail to them. They start liking their life! The self-belief comes back. Grades look upward and finally reach a respectable 5 point something. Though grades should never be the sole parameter of assessing one''s intellectual capabilities, still at places that mattered most, they scored securing jobs of their liking and got a feel of control over their own life.
This journey culminates in their becoming SOMEONE from SOMETHING. So from being fractional (5.something) human-beings, they graduate to whole humans. They are no longer inanimate things, having metamorphosed into "ONES". Ready to take on the world. This teaches us not to block a brilliant mind, but to guide it, just as scientists do. Society stands to gain from such attitude.
Published: April 23, 2007   
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