Five Point Someone—What Not To Do At IIT
By Chetan Bhagat
Pages: 270; Rs 95
Three disparate youths meet on their first day at IIT, Delhi. They become hostelmates and close friends. All three are bright enough to have qualified for mechanical engineering, B Tech (Hons); none has the blind dedication to mug away for a high GPA.
Their Grade Point Averages (GPAs ascend on a scale of 0-10) hover in the mediocre 5-point range as they cruise through four years of quizzes and assignments in between bouts of substance abuse and calculated bunking.
The protagonist, Hari Kumar, has a clandestine affair with the head of the department’s daughter. This leads to disaster when the trio engineer a break-in to the head’s office on a night of inspired lunacy that lands them in front of the Disco (Disciplinary Committee). With the aid of a sympathetic professor, they redeem themselves to eventually land jobs despite 5-point gpas and a "missing" semester.
In those terms, it’s a slight story. But the book captures some of the ambience of a residential engineering institution with a subculture defined by its own dictionary of acronyms. The arrhythmia of the narrative reflects the staccato nature of a life of lazy moments interspersed with frantic activity. If it strikes the right chord in JEE qualifiers, Five Point Someone could achieve cult status.