Monday, June 02, 2008

5 things I liked about 5 Point Someone

Chetan's first book was lately read by me in 2008, with the book being released way back in 2004. But the charm of the book is still not lost, even after 4 years of its first publication and it is still topping the best sellers list in India. So, I am not presenting the review of the book here, but things I liked about the book while reading, mostly drawing similarities between IITians and non-IITians. For the non-starters, Five Point Someone is a fictional work by Chetan Bhagat about 3 friends - Hari, Alok and Ryan in an IIT.

Our Language: Chetan speaks our language, language of youth which enables him to reach the majority of young indians through his writings. Though novel is set up in an IIT background, the scenarios depicted by him is pretty much similar to other engineering colleges in India, with most of the engineering under-graduates speaking the same lingo, as he has presented with over emphasis on some special 'key' words! Five Point Someone Cover PageDreaded Viva: I think atleast some of us, engineering students, used to shiver and most of us used to develop a healthy fear during those lab exam days. That is one of the reasons for Hari, one of the 3 characters to feel uncomfortable during the grilling viva-voce and he goes to the extent of attending viva after having vodka to overcome the fear, only possible in novels! This fear among students is not without reason as in the case of other engineeing colleges, professors from rival colleges who come for lab viva try to settle scores by means of this dreaded tool and make life miserable for the students like Hari. But the question always remains as who started the trend first: the professors from this college who had gone to other colleges or is it other way! Atleast IIT guys should be lucky in this regard as these institutions are autonomous and vivas are conducted by in-house faculty only! Is it right to assume so?

Placement Scenario: Placement scenario is almost the same in decent engineering colleges as in IITs nowadays, with software companies knocking the door of every possible engineering college to hire talent, leave alone the higher pay packages IITians get. Here, the cutoff aggregate percentages are 60-70% as they vary from company to company. This aspect do worry students at the beginning of 6th semester. Aggregate percentage below this is as good as five pointer in IIT but unlike in IITs there is no relative grading of students! Also, as in the case of novel's characters, Alok and Hari, companies arriving for recruitement last, relax the eligibility criteria little bit.

Lots of Ryans! Characters like Ryan can be found in almost every second guy you meet in any engineering college bashing their own college and then the University for the same reasons as Ryan's like mugging up the portions, no original thinking etc etc. The 'novel' idea of Cooperate to Dominate extended here as well, as assignments if at all given carried little or no weightage and so, mass copying was common and semester projects, that was another story in itself! Well, Chetan indicates how it is important to make a balance between the usual routine stuff in the colleges and the original thinking.

Other than IITs: At the end of the novel, Chetan does not forget to mention that it is not only the IITs which produces quality engineers in India. This has been depicted as a speech made by Prof.Cherian, Head of the Department, Mechanical Engineering in Hari's dreams, which might indicate how this viewpoint is not yet fully accepted. Also, he stresses on the point that it is not the end of the world, if you dont get into IITs.

Regards
Raveesh

16 comments:

  1. what u used to have before viva-voce.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hi Shande,

    Well, defintely not Vodka! Fruit Juice from the college canteen :D

    Raveesh

    ReplyDelete
  3. even after 4 years of its first publication and it is still topping the best sellers list in India??????

    is it a guess?? or based on some research????

    ReplyDelete
  4. @guruve,

    Five Point Someone was the bestseller in India Today. Specifically wikipedia entry for Chetan Bhagat says "This book has continued to stay on the India Today bestseller list ever since its publication (190 weeks in January 2008)". Check out the below link for details.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chetan_Bhagat

    ReplyDelete
  5. why no movie is made of this novel yet? guess work in underway

    ReplyDelete
  6. hi shrinidhi,

    Yes, movie based on this novel is being directed by Rajkumar Hirani and has Aamir Khan in the lead role.

    -Raveesh

    ReplyDelete
  7. Dear blogger,

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    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Vivek,

    Thanks for the invitation. I have registered for the seminar already.

    -Raveesh

    ReplyDelete
  9. Nice article Raveesh..
    Looks interesting; I need to read this book now :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. @Shridhar,

    Cool thats pretty impressive, I must say 'Five Point Someone' is a must read for engineering graduates to relive the college moments!

    -Raveesh

    ReplyDelete
  11. read the blog.. It's good..
    It made me remember some incidents in the book... You are saying that IITs and non-IITs match in the 5 aspects u choose to quote..

    I would also like to add another ;)
    which is about the girls :D
    In fact, that's one aspect Bhagat takes on (one related to Prof's daughter if i remember correctly)..
    Now you know what I am talking about..

    Perhaps u could have added some stuff related to ur engg life..I mean, masala stuff to make it more interesting and attractive...

    -Raghavendra

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Raghavendra,

    Thanks for the elaborative comment.:) You are right, book's important character is Neha, Prof.Cherian's daughter. She takes the story along and changes the course, with twist and turns. This also made the young readers to read the some paragraphs in the story few more times. :D May be this could have been 6th point here - 'Love Angle'. I will try to see how I can implement your suggestions in my future posts.

    Regards
    Raveesh

    ReplyDelete
  13. Nice post. What i liked here is its not a book review. You have put down your points very well.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Radhesh,

    You liked the format of the post. Nice to hear that :)

    Raveesh

    ReplyDelete
  15. good book to read and must for Indian parents, they will definitely know what the current Indian education system have in and the flaws present in it. Chetan Bhagat has done a great work in bringing out certainly some flaws in IIT's. It discusses various aspects in the livelihood of a student which changes as soon as he enters the most prestigious institute in the country - iit.

    ReplyDelete

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