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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, it could achieve cult status.
Five Point Someone—What Not To Do At IIT
By Chetan Bhagat
Rupa 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.

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AUTHORS: Devangshu Datta
SECTION: Books
SUBSECTION: Reviews
OUTLOOK: 21 June, 2004
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