Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Five Point someone - Racy

How would you feel if you are travelling in a train at a speed of 500km/hr! yes, that's how I would describe Five Point Someone. A racy book with all the fun elements integrated in a neat package. Chetan Bhagat has come up with a superb debut. What exactly is the kind of life that is being lead behind the doors of the best technological school in India and one of the elite in the world cannot be handled in a more entertaining way.

It is a story of three youngsters, Hari, Alok and Ryan. I wouldn't be going into their academics. Nothing more suffices to explain their academic brilliance than getting into IIT. Obviously they are among the best in the country. It is about life beyond academics. Their friendhsip gels to a nicety on the first day at the hostel when they are ensnared in a ragging session with two seniors. Their bare intentions exposed, Ryan takes the plunge in getting the other two out of the rut from the seniors. This brings the three of them close. To describe the three of them, Alok is a studious guy, who always puts his family before himself. All his thoughts ultimately converge to his parents and his unmarried sister. The decisions taken by him are a clear influence of the kind of middle class environment he has been brought up in. Ryan is more dynamic and can be attributed to have good(or bad!!) leadership qualities. Ryan invariably is the decision maker. He is the one the other two in the group look up to solve the issues. Of course, Alok can get murky at times thanks to his family commitments but Hari is a total Ryan follower. Hari, basically doesn't want to get on the wrong side of Ryan and Alok. He tries to maintain a neutral stand whenever Ryan and Alok have a standoff. Overall, Hari is a very simple person who has a lot of inhibitions about his looks. His static response to a viva question would be in total contrast to the dynamic response of the daredevil of the group, Ryan.

How mechanical can life at IIT be? Anybody would think that life at IIT is only full of studies if you go by what Ryan says in the book. He is totally frustrated with life and feels that the best brains of the country cannot spend four years of their prime time behind these closed walls without any original thinking. The other two do not have to express these views, and Ryan would definitely not get behind their views(literally!). Life changes and so do for these guys, when Ryan decides that one cannot waste away their best days of their life, and they should look for all round development of the self rather than go in for bookish knowledge. So, he comes up with a daily program that has only three hours of studies, while the rest would be devoted for fun. This forms the daily routine upto the first semester, when after the first semester results, this leads to a set of three Five Pointers.

Life just cannot improve for five-pointers at IIT. When you are branded as a five pointer, you are looking at the under-achievers of a great institute. What can they do to get themselves out of the rut? Hari, in the meanwhile, falls in love with the Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Professor Cherian's daughter, Neha. His romantic trysts with her is fascinating and fun filled. Whether Hari can hold on to this relationship in spite of the many blunders that he commits, and whether these guys can beat the system at IIT to herald a good future forms the crux of this fast paced book. I refrain myself from using the words novel or an autobiography, simply because it is neither fictious nor it is an autobiography according to the author. Chetan Bhagat has put himself in Hari's shoes, but goes on to say that not everything what is written is true. So, this is a blend of facts and fiction. Obviously not everything is true simply because of the extraordinary incidents that are written in the book. Such things are unimaginable to take place in an institution of the reputation of the IITs.

Chetan Bhagat has come up with a neat book that can be made into an equally neat movie. A lot of reviews have compared this book to the DCH version of a movie. Being a first time author, it is very difficult to guage the pulse of the readers and I think he has got the equations right amidst the young readers. Ryan is the most difficult character for us to guage his identity. He makes himself to be a rigid persona and stamps his authority convincingly on the other two. His C2D model (Co-operate to Dominate) is his idea when they enter the final year of study. Hari is a subtle version of Ryan. The way he gifts Neha on her birthday makes it too exciting. His regular rendezvous with Professor Cherian keeps the reader in splits. Alok's character is to put in simple words - boring.

Overall this book makes for exceptional reading. This is a book that can be absorbed in less than four hours. This makes for continous reading because this book is just unputdownable. Let us see whether Bhagat can keep up his magic in his next venture One night at the call center. Grab a copy of this book for an afternoon bout!!

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