Five Point Someone: Magic through letters by Chetan Bhagat!


Five Point Someone, written by the Indian author Chetan Bhagat, is a story based on the wonderful college days of three young men who had their golden days in Indian Institute of Technology. This story was the trigger behind the movie “3 Idiots“.

The story mainly revolves around Ryan Oberoi, extremely brilliant free-spirited student. Ryan with his friends, Hari and Alok, are elated at being in IIT, but they end up with just five points something out of 10 points grade in the first semester which was a disaster. Will they be able to turn their academic career around? This book also points out the stress and strain; the students have upon them during the student life which obstructs the creativity in them.


Chetan Bhagat – Author

Chetan Bhagat, an Indian author, also established himself as a columnist, screenwriter, motivational and personality speaker in TV shows. He is also famous for his English-language dramedy novels on young urban middle-class Indians. He had his graduation from New Delhi IIT,  one of the topmost engineering college in India similar to MIT in America and, completed his IIM A & MBA from Indian Institute of Management Allahabad.

He is also known for his other famous works such as One night @ the Call Center, Two states– The story of my Marriage, The three mistakes in my life, Revolution 2020, What young India wants, Half Girl-friend, One Indian girl. He is living with his wife Anusha Bhagat and two sons. He quit his bank banking career in 2009 to focus on writing.


Five Point Someone is a fictional novel which is mainly narrated by Hari Kumar who recollects the four years of IIT life with his buddies Ryan Oberoi and Alok Gupta. IIT is such an elite Indian university where the competitive entrance exams are tough and incredibly competitive. Hari, Alok, and Ryan are elated with their admission to the IIT with All India Ranks 326, 453 and 91 respectively. Even though they belong to the cream of the Indian high school who managed their admissions to IIT, the college was a different matter where they could not perform spectacularly. They end up with just five points something grade on a scale where ten is a perfect score. And this made them be identified as mediocre students with little chance to improve their standing.

These three friends have different characters. Ryan is coming from a privileged rich family, with less family interaction due to his parent’s job and business whereas, Alok is highly desperate one with poor confidence and comes from a poor family where his father is invalid and his sister yet to get married. Hari is the narrator of the story, but there are some passages delivered in the voice of other characters also. It gives some insight into the characters but Hari being the narrator, he remained quiet about his family and background.

Rote learning is the only way for success in IIT, but Ryan is against this. He believes in practicality and the creativity of the students which is getting stifled in such campuses. The character of Ryan always encourages and wants his friends to enjoy the student life rather than mugging up the syllabus and materials, but that is what is needed in such campuses. In between Hari meets with Neha Cherian who is the daughter of their toughest professor Mr.Cherian, but she is very rarely seen in the story.

Ryan hatches so many ridiculous plans along with Alok and Hari to enjoy the student life with alternatives in academic life, but all the plans miserably fail. And finally, the trio decides to concentrate in studies.

Credit: Internet


Five Point Someone offers a speedy rewind of a four-year academic life of the trio in just less than 300 pages is something very appreciative. As in other books of Chetan Bhagat, this book also runs on the intimacy and connection between friends. It was not that much convincing for me that Ryan was the only student in the whole IIT university with an advanced thought to learn something new other than in the books which we need to do cramming. And a question got raised in my mind that why anyone among the other students wanted to learn nothing from their practical life?

Five Point Someone offers up enough drama, action, and entertainment at a steady and fast pace to keep the readers engaged without losing interest. Some of the messages it conveyed are profoundly terrible as in lacking moral codes, and some generous acts of friendship often involve deceit. But it’s still readable, and I guess even with all its cons it is a pretty charming story.




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