FiVe Point Someone – Chetan Bhagat
“This is the only that I ever did in IIT. It is my passion, my sweat, and my belief. No, how could I give it up?”
So far, all we know about IITs is their righteous greatness, tall achievements and other so called elating panegyrics like IITians-are-the-best. Getting into IIT is like a dream-come-true for many. For? For the assured success ahead backed up by the brand IIT itself and one added fillip is its eminent alumnus. Pick any big multinational company and you would find at least three IITians among the top ten there. It’s a mecca of engineers. True to its stature IITs do imbue a sharp edge into its disciples through its stringent, disciplined and demanding pedagogy but one thing that we almost have never thought of is the life about staying there. How is it?Fun, drama, awe and excitement? Chetan Bhagat (author – himself a graduate from IIT-Delhi) has a different say. As per him, it’s about pressure, assignments, lectures, GPAs and above all mugging up to the throat if you want a certain job later and recognition among Profs through. But, as the two sided coin has it, IITs too have it there – people like, Hari, Ryan and Alok.
There are two kinds of creatures in the menagerie of IITs. First are of type Vekatesh, a respectable figure among IIT Profs, sitting in front of the lecture auditorium while second are the underperformers (the protagonists of the Book), unimportant entities with negligible GPAs, who prefer to avoid limelight by filling up the last rows. This story is about the condemned underperformers – their ventures, their philosophies, their life, their friendship and their love. “…it is not just a praise-filled work about IIT. It is more real – and real life doesn’t work that way” Says the author.
The story starts with a ragging scene where Ryan saves two of his wing-mates from a horrendous coca-cola event only to discover a true friendship among them later. They fall prey to the trap of GPA system – which once screwed offers no further chance to improvements – mustering enough reasons for them to grow intimate. Besides, they were in the same department – Mechanical Engineering. Soon, after continuous failures, they harbor an inexplicable hate for the system that, according to them, allows no room for originality and creativity, and ploy against it. Some ripples and they take a vital decision of procuring the question papers. Why do they do it? How do they do it? This manoeuvre makes it an interesting read. Author promises a hilarious journey through – the ups and downs of their lives for the entire four years. To add a pink tinge to its flavor, we have a female lead Neha, daughter of Prof Cherian – who coincidently happens to be the Head of the Mechanical department. No! It’s not a written version of “MOHABATEIN” or “DIL CHAHTA HAI”. It’s different. Not merely because of the brand IIT but because of the “witticism” and the “marvelous one-liners” of the author that took him more than 3 years to compile.
This book doesn’t teach you how to get into IITs rather tells about the myths associated with it. The author says, “The primary idea of this book is to entertain the reader. The genre is humor, and it attempts to bring the reader back into their college days where money was scarce, friends were plenty and even when facing deep life issues – you were having fun.” His attempt goes unquestionably successful. IITians might be the study-freaks of the greatest kind but some of them are – indeed – normal and this escapade appropriately bolsters this opinion.
It’s a fun book. Anyone who has seen the hostel life would be able to relate with the story. This book scores well in dealing with the insight of adolescent temptations but leaves some questions un-answered. Perhaps, to urge reader to dwell more in it!
Besides all quipping, the book comes with a moral. Think Stright and never stop making friends. You might discover something precious. Who knows?