Friday, February 03, 2006

Five Point someone:Not a Review

Well I just finished reading Five Point Someone(FPS) by Chetan Bhagat. Though i m myself from IIT but I didn't read it till now somehow because I was apprehensive of how it would have potrayed IITs, sort of defense mechanism at work. Read just because there was no other novel left in my wing which I had not read earlier.

But I found FPS funny and touching at the same time. It is a very well written book with very good characterizations. It breaks all stereotypes that ppl have about IITians. Now rest of my post contains spoils so if you haven't read the novel, do it now and then read my post. If you are from IIT you should definitely read it because it reflects on our lives. If you are not then also you should read it t know more about a group of colleges collectively called IIT.

If you have read that novel you would be knowing importance of CGPA in IITians' life. Well I m 7 point someone. Now at IITB, in Chem Dept we had a Professor named Prof Shenoy. He always told us that students who are very high pointers(toppers) in the class would enter into research and become Profs, thost in the middle range(CGPA 6-7) would end into jobs or management careers and the underperformers(<6) would venture into entreprenurships. At that time we didn't understand this point well. But now I m seeing this happening b4 my eyes. And FPS brings out this point very well.

The story of three freinds, Hari, Ryan and Alok, the novel explores all the different aspects of IIT life including induction, pressure to perform, desponess for girls, placements, night life, acads, treats etc. The pressure on underperformers is definitely very high in IIT. More so when they have consistently been toppers in their school days. Though not overtly but Profs do make distinctions among students based on CGPA.

But one part that I don't like in FPS is the characterization of 9.5 pointer Venkat. I have a number of very good 9 pointer freinds at IITB. Though some were unreasonable during exam times but none to such an extent as depicted in the novel. I found most of 9 pointers in IITB very helpful. Infact I passed IIT just because of their Xerox notes. But anyways this work is written from viewpoint of a 5 pointer and so its fine.

Your heart goes out for Prof Cherian. Here is a person who was 10 pointer during his time, chose teaching as an option when others went for lucrative jobs watched them buy BMws but still live by his principles. But to see such a person loose his son is heartbreaking. But IIT Profs are very passionate abt seeing their childeren through IITJEE and would do anything for it. Somehow this is a social problem in India and I dont know how it could be removed.

Affair b/w Hari and Neha is very well brought out. Neha's letter to her broher loathing all IITians is also close to reality. I have myself seen many IITian Prof's childeren somehow detesting IITians.

Now coming to the three freinds, Hari is more like me. He always tries to become pseud in life, copy Ryan, listen to Pink Floyd and do all that hip stuff. But somehow he is not able to cut back his roots. Alok is Muggoo yet Huggoo type, This guy is constantly in a state of tension abt acads and everyting else in life. But then he has a disturbed family and about his past he wanted to be an artist but to support his family he came to IIT. And then the pseud Ryan. A guy who has lived in hostels right from Class VIIIth. He loves his parents but outwardly show indifference towards them.

The novel has its own hilarious moments. But overall it does strike a chord in your heart. You identify with all the characters, you have met all of them one time or the other in your life. Most importantly it breaks the stereotypes abt IItians being too Muggoo and thankfully don't go too far to the other extreme. It does mantain balance.

For IAS we have English August. For IIT we have FPS. Now do I hear something coming for IIMs??

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15 Comments:

Anonymous amit g said...

Nice review :)
why don't u write one on IIMs ;-)

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