“Five Point someone is a story about wonders
years of college – of friendship, love, and grades.”
Five Point Someone is a novel written by Chetan Bhagat. It is the debut novel of Chetan Bhagat, set in the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi in the period of 1991 to 1995. Through the novel author describes various facets of IIT life – the Academics, The Professors, Campus Life, and The Rat Race to get better grades.
This novel narrates the story of three IIT graduates and about their friendship and differences, study and enjoyment career and ambition, parental pressure and peer pressure and love. As the subtitle of the novel what not to do at IIT – suggests “This is not a book to teach you how to get into IIT or even how to live in college. In fact, it describes how screwed up things can get if you don’t think straight.” Chetan Bhagat points all that getting into IIT is not all that difficult as is made out to be. As he put it,
“If you can lock yourself in a room with books for two years and throws away the key, you can probably make it here”.
It was published in 2004 and this book story was made into two films 3 Idiots in Bollywood and Nanban in Tamil.
Characters of Five Point Someone
Hari Kumar is the narrator of the story. He loves Neha Samir Cherian who is Mr. Cherian’s daughter. He is average in his study and seems confused but he keeps all three friends together.
Ryan Oberoi is the son of rich parents. He hates his parents as he feels neglected by them. He wants to be an innovator. He likes science and discoveries and new ideas. He is an extremely friendly, caring, and loving person, he also loves making friends.
Alok Gupta belongs to a typical lower Indian middle-class family, burdened with lots of expectations and responsibilities. His father is paralyzed and his mother teaches school as a biology teacher. He wants to get a good GPA so he can get a job and support his family.
Mr. Cherian is the head of the IIT department. He is very strict and possessive about his daughter. He imposes his dreams on his son’s shoulder. Samir is his son and he commits suicide due to the pressure created by him.
Neha & Samir Cherian
Neha Samir Cherian is Mr. Cherian’s daughter. She loves her brother a lot but is not alive. Samir meets an accident on a railway track. She falls in love with Hari Kumar.
Mr. Vira works at the laboratory. He hires Ryan to work with him in the laboratory with just a salary of 2000 rupees.
Venkat is the topper of the class. He is very good student.
About Chetan Bhagat
Chetan Bhagat is an Indian author, Columnist, and screenwriter. His novels are adapted into successful movies. Most of his views are focused on Youth and issues based on national development which occupies the most important part of society. He is one of the most successful authors and his novels awarded as best-selling novels. Chetan Bhagat has introduced some unique trends in Indian English Literature. He has focused on the interest of the youth and has written about their aspirations. He is also considered as a youth icon. Among his world-famous works included –
- One Night the Call Centre
- The Three Mistakes of My life
- 2 States
- Revolution 2020
- Half Girlfriend
- One Indian Girl
- What Young Lady Wants
About The Title
The novel gets its title from the GPA system used in IIT, to rank students, Students who get five points are considered average, and don’t usually get the choice of job offers.
Summary Of “Five Point Someone” Novel
The novel starts with three friends, Ryan, Hari, and Alok. Ryan belongs to an affluent family. He is very smart, innovative, and daring. He raises his voice against justice and he is also a blunt guy. Hari belongs to a mediocre family. He suffers from a lack of confidence. He wants to become an engineer and earn a lot of money. Whereas Alok is completely different from the other two. He belongs to a poor family. His mother is a biology teacher and his father is paralyzed. His family has a lot of expectations from him, and Alok does not want to disappoint them.
The book brings out the sheer brilliance of IIT students in a very subtle way. One professor mentions, “The Definition of A Machine”. It is anything that reduces human effort. Anything so, see the world around you and it is full of machines. A student Ryan asks: “Sir, what about a gym machine, like a bench press or something? That doesn’t reduce human effort. In fact, it increases it.” The professor does not know how to respond.
People who have studied in IITs know how students can pose fairly challenging questions based on their common sense and without any prior knowledge and unsettle teachers in the class. This example shows that many professors at the IITs are totally unequipped to handle the brilliant students who study these.
Ryan concludes that the IIT system is unfair because –
- It suppresses talent and individual spirit.
- It extracts the best years of one’s life from the country’s brightest minds.
- It judges students with a draconian GPA system that destroys the relationship.
- The Professor doesn’t care for the students.
- IITs have hardly contributed to the country.
The College life
In college Har, Ryan, and Alok meet and best friends of each other. Alok studies all time and does not compromise on it. He wants to get a degree with good grades so that he gets a superb job and helps his family get prosperous. He can do anything to make his dreams true. He does not care about practical knowledge.
Ryan is completely contrary to him. He believes in acquiring knowledge and understanding about the concept behind everything he studies. Hari supports Ryan for having such a kind approach toward the purpose of acquiring knowledge. One night, they plan to go for a movie but Alok is bothered about the next day’s paper. But at last, he joins them. After a few days when the results come out and all of them get very poor marks. Alok gets super angry at Ryan, who decided to go to the movie on the previous day of the exam. Finally, they decide to study regularly for 2-3 hours every day.
One morning, Hari was strolling on the college campus and met Neha. She was so aesthetic and gorgeous. Hari falls in love with her. She offers to drop him and Hari accepts it. She introduces herself as Neha who is Mr. Cherian’s daughter. Mr. Cherian is the head of the department.
One day, Ryan gets a piece of good news. He has been credited a hefty amount in his account. He pays the semester fee and the rest of the remained amount, he spends on buying a new scooter. Thereafter they do a lot of fun together. Alok would not participate in their every time. One day Alok’s father gets serious and was required to be hospitalized Ryan and Hari join Alok in his trouble and assures him to help him.
Alok Left the Group
Again some months of constant enjoyment the exam starts and again they get poor marks. Alok was again disappointed with himself this time and he decides to shift himself to Venkat. Venkat was the topper of his class. Alok getting improve due to his differences from Ryan and Hari.
But again, One day Alok’s father needed his help. Ryan forgets all the bitterness and helps him to get his father hospitalizes. Ryan’s nice gesture impress Alok and he again joins the group.
Neha Accepts Hari
One day Hari meets Neha and decides to talk to her. They move to an ice cream parlor where they start a casual talk. Neha tells Hari about her brother Samir, who was no more alive. She starts feeling comfortable with him.
Neha’s birthday is coming; hence Ryan decides to surprise her on his friend, Hari’s behalf. Hari, Alok, and Ryan visit there at night when she would be sleeping. Ryan gives a beautiful flower to Neha on the behalf of Hari. Neha thanks them to give her such a great surprise.
4th Semester is nearby. Hari Ryan and Alok are also not preparing for it. Finally the exam starts and on the first, it was Viva. Hari is not prepared for the Viva. Ryan notices him there worrying about Viva. He suggests Hari have a small pack of Vodka. Hari does the same but during the Viva, Mr. Cherian senses the Odour of alcohol coming from his mouth and gives him zero marks in the viva. When Ryan gets to know about it, he plans to steal the question papers. Hari meets Neha and they get prepared a duplicate key to Mr. Cherian’s office.
But during the theft, a guard catches them and calls Mr. Cherian. While the investigation Ryan tells him about Neha’s involvement in it. Thereby Mr. Cherian does not investigate further but drops them from the 4th sem.
The Realization Of the Mistakes
Hearing this Alok tries to suicide and jumps from the top floor of the terrace. Luckily, he was alive but maimed with some severe injuries. Ryan and Hari stood by him unless he recovered completely. A few days later Hari and Neha meet in a canteen. They were talking about Samir. Mr. Cherian sees them talking about the letter, he thinks that it was a love letter. Thereby he snatches the letter from Hari’s hand and starts reading the suicide note himself.
As he finished it, he could not resist crying. He then also realizes his mistake of imposing his fake expectations on someone who was not interested in fulfilling them. After college was over, Alok and Hari get a satisfying jobs. But Ryan does not get any job. Finally, Mr. Venu hires him as a lab assistant on a salary of just 2000 rupees per month.
Thus, Five Point Someone unearths the dark side of our education system. Indian education system emphasizes more on cramping more than understanding the concept behind the topic. Although there are plenty of good things about the Indian Education system too nonetheless it also has some major faults.
The story of this novel deals with the fears and insecurities of the students. The author Chetan Bhagat himself is the victim of this type of system. So he has tried to bring into the limelight the major issues related to the youth and his prime notion with regard to Education.