Five Point Everyone
It’s not everyday when you come across masterpieces which take you back to the glorious moments in your life – the days which you wished had never ended. It’s not everyday that you come across a novel like “Five Point Some – what not to do at IIT!” by Chetan Bhagat. As quoted rightly by the Times of India, it is a must read for both IITians and non-IITians, not only because of its captivating self or because of the unique style of Chetan, but also because as you penetrate deeper and deeper into the pages of this legend, you are amazed at the way Chetan touches the strings that bind you somewhere to the contents of the pages.
As the book portrays the system running down inside one of the Indian Institute of Technology, it circulates amongst the life of three not-so-typical students of the Institute – Hari Kumar (the author himself), Ryan Oberoi & Alok Gupta. Admitted in for Mechanical Engineering, the three of them discover the so-called Best Institute in India and arrive at the common conclusion that – as a student, life isn’t exactly royal once you get into IIT, rather, it’s the other way round and according to Ryan, the flaws in the IIT system made a student’s life even more miserable. Alok, at the beginning, chose the better option i.e. to surrender over to the system. Hari was quite neutral in his approach and chose to stay so. Ryan, on the other hand was quite a breath of fresh air and chose to rebel against the system to make life a bit easier. The three of them met on the first day of IIT by not-such-a-pleasant accident & thenceforth, stayed together.
As time proceeded, they got engaged into their syllabus, their genuine anti-IIT pranks until one day, they came across their first semester results. The three of them succeeded in getting titled as “five pointers”, which according to the IIT ranking system, is a title devoted to the below averages. This caused a kind of disturbances in between them, until, as usual, Ryan came across some really genuine plans, which caused further hindrances in their further curriculum. Their hangouts, Ryans Mice Theory, the alcoholic get togethers and more of such “naughty” incidents made them still some of the most “undesirable” students for IIT. Still ahead, as Alok separated himself from the group for a short period & Hari fell in love with the Head of the Depratment’s daughter, things worsened. Hari’s encounter with his girlfriend’s Dad is quite a humorous evidence of this.
Finally, the biggest mistake that anyone can do at IIT was committed by the trio and was suspended for a semester, which meant, their results will carry their deed & will fetch them no job in the industry. Still together, the trio made it out through the worse days and finally made out through IIT, never to look back at it (again).
Throughout the book, the reader finds himself engrossed into the perfect mixture of thrill, wit and reality, as the trio fights their way across the haunted years at IIT. As rightly said by Chetan, this book is not at all a guide on how to get into or through IIT, on the other hand, it tells you what all can happen if you put a toe out of line at IIT. The book is not about three friends, but it is about three attitudes (and altitudes) - Alok, who is quite fed up due to his critical family conditions and hence is forced to grab the best paying opportunity that IIT can give him; Ryan, who is a complete dude, though gifted with extra-ordinary talents and optimism and Hari, who is quite neutral and often confused (and hence jumbled up) with things. Their ingenious plans in order to get some recreation from the horrid student life remind each of the readers of the same which he did in his golden years. The ups and downs between the three of them relate ourselves with the ones we had in our days. The midnight cigarette-and-vodka meetings on the Insti Roof, the student-professor mess-ups, the hangouts and all of it are somewhere related to our own self. And as we proceed ahead deeper into the lives of the three, we come over to the conclusion that – somehow, somewhere deep inside, all of us are five-pointers and still loved the way we were, because there aren’t much people around, who actually broke inside the system of IIT – may the outcome be anything!
The last line of the book finds Hari stating “I might have passed out of IIT, but in some ways, my soul is till there. Maybe in the hostel corridors, or at Sasi’s, or at the insti roof…”. That’s when we are forced to think about all the places where we left our pieces of soul, somewhere back in the past, probably our college kattas, our hostel rooms, or somewhere else where we spent some of the most memorable days of life. At the end, after we put this book down, we ramble back into the pleasant reminiscences of the glorious places, where we did not study as such, but definitely “lived”! Note: Like Chetan, I too, would like to thank Microsoft Word without which, I would have been unable to correct the endless textual mistakes which I (often) commit.