Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Five Point Someone!

After a longtime I had a pleasure to read a complete book in two days flat! Five Point Someone - By Chetan Bhagat

This book has three central characters - Hari, Ryan and Alok and their years at IIT Delhi. According to me though, whether it is IITD or any other engineering college (with a good hostel of course) it wouldn't have made that big a difference. Because atleast I am yet to find a college that does not have a totally screwed up system, professors (most of them professors because they had no better choice and yet) with an ego that is totally uncalled for, assignments, exams and the worst part of it all ... results!!! Probably that is why anyone who has gone thru these things during their college days cannot help but relate to the characters in the book!

FPS is set somewhere in the 90's and is the tale of the three friends, about their time together and alone, about their experiences ... scary and enjoyable! They are definitely not OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD people like any bollywood film heroes. They are extremely common people like us!

Alok - The boy next door! Coming from a family leading a barely hand-to-mouth existence, he is in IIT because that, he feels, is the best way to earn a good-paying job and get his family out of all their troubles. A guy who wants to get good GPAs only because if he does not get them he wont get a good job and his worries would continue! Someone who has never had good friends but wants to have them!

Ryan - The guy is a picture perfect! Born to rich NRI parents who keep filling him with money and hence all things he needs in life. He has been studying in boarding school and hence is not scared of things in life! For him life revolves only around friends! Handsome yet intelligent and yet wanting to enjoy life all the more ... thats Ryan!

Hari - the one who relates the whole story. Hari, I feel, is a passive guy. He is madly in love with ... guess who ... ... ... the daughter of the head of the department where he studies ... Neha! And that is reponsible for a lot of "happening" things in the story! Hari knows his limits and does not hesitate talking about them. He knows he wants to be someone like Ryan!

All the three join IIT - the most reputed of engineering instituted in the country, hoping to learn, make a career and enjoy the best years in life ... only to be disillusioned by the fact that life in IITs is governed by just one scaling measure - the GPAs ... so much so that the title of the book is a GPA rating! Chetan Bhagat relates an engrossing tale of memories of Hari of those days when all of them worked really hard but always settled for a Five-Point-Something GPA and yet did well in the end! Although Hari is the narrator, there is a chapter each for Alok, Neha and Ryan to tell their parts of the story ... which is indeed touching!

But if you ask me the best thing about the book ... its the way it is written - very simple, short crisp chapters and a very good style story telling that keeps you engrossed throughout. No where is the plot left loose and the reader does not want to keep the book down all through the end! The characters are really well defined and interestingly developed. The attention to detail is superb! The words just paint a virtual picture of every incident in front of your eyes! But the best part of the book is the language - colloquial, extremely informal as if its a conversation between Hari and the reader. Quite often the author used similes to make a point and these are are simply hilarious ... let me give an example and then I need not say anything more - "Alok went to the professor and asked if a re-test can be arranged and the prof looked back at him as though Alok was asking for both his kidneys"

All 'n all a fun book to read, if not anything else! I must say I loved reading it! The book says there is a movie being made with this story and I cannot wait to see it!