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Nature Sao Tome and Principe
~~~Not 3 Idiots but 3 Stupids~~~
Jun 04, 2011 12:44 PM 13494 Views
(Updated Jun 04, 2011 12:47 PM)



Now this is a let down. After completing Chetan Bhagat's Five Point Someone, I am thoroughly disappointed. No. It is not that my expectations were sky high. I had read the One Night.......already and had an idea of what I could expect. The book however failed for huge margin.

The book, I have to admit has presented in an interesting manner. The story may feel appealing in general. Probably with the 3 Idiots the suspense factor was not there. Then, I disliked Five Point Someone for two basic reasons.

First of all, the story idea is taken from Charles Dickens's Hard Times or some of its inspiration. It definitely is not a direct copy but the basic story and whatever part is there as attractive in it is already there in the classic. I had mentioned earlier that the classics are somehow getting me its inspired copies. I was reading Hard Times the other day and finished reading it for 100 plus pages. I found the book was an inspiration for a famous Malayalam movie, 'Sphadikam' (Crystal). That movie was a superb one and how I wished to complete reading the book. However, during my house shift I lost the book somehow and yet to find out where it is. Then, I got this Chetan Books collection and to my surprise, I can make out the influence of Charles Dickens in this book. I have to admit I had to read together the Hard Times and Sphadikam. (Or is it further a copy of Snapshot from Hell as mentioned in Smitha's review? In any case, since movies were not around during Charles Dickenses' time, chances are that the movie too is an insPiration.) (Here I will say, Amir Khan lost an excellence opportunity to remake an excellent film which is 10 times better than 3 Idiots.) So, I think my first reason of dislike is that there is hardly any new interesting story told by Chetan in Five Point Someone, instead he diluted the existing one.

Getting insPired by classic is not new and I may say it is acceptable even in the literary world. Most of the books we acclaim as classics had its own hangovers from classics of those times. Then how it is presented does matter. That is my second reason for dislike. Given the insPiration, Chetan nearly diluted & destroyed situations, characters and emotions. That is the writing is absolute non starter or say in Chetan style, CRAP. Since I have already read ONACC, I can say Chetan has improved a lot after FPS as a writer. The reason for the success of FPS is not its writer but the story. The writing style is such that, it can tempt and make believe any budding writer that he/she can write similarly or better.

Ok, now some may question my above two points. So, let me put a shield before arrows come to me. If you are an avid reader, read Chetan's professor describes 'M A C H I N E' and Charles's professor describes 'H O R S E' just to get an easy comparison. Compare the poverty and misery described by Charles and the poverty mocked by Chetan. Here the humanity and its suffering takes a back seat. Death of professor's son, love by the daughter of professor, invention of useful Sphadikam to see the difference. (This I am writing since I am yet to complete reading the book, but the film is another inspiration from Hard Times). Watch the movie if you have already read the book to see the difference.

The author urgently has to take the help of a good editor if he wants to improve his status as a serious writer. Oh yes, if only want to maintain the status quo, the present routine may be sufficient.

The writer don't permit the emotions to get stamped in reader's mind but move from one emotion to a contrasting emotion without knowing that all emotions don't have the same wavelength. Probably success may wipe out many minuses but quantity cannot buy quality.

The author completely let down his characters at one point or other. At the end, he doesn't say anything. Whether to follow the system or not to follow? The professor's confession was real or not? If not real then how come he pardon so easily? If real what were the two loafers trying to say at the end? The way the author let down Alok's and his mother's character is pathetic. One poor lady teaches to look after her bed ridden husband, getting her son studied in IIT and worried about the marriage of her daughter etc. need a better treatment. It is an insult to humanity. If his father was faking the illness, then what is Alok's sufferings and hardship worth? So he is not faking the illness. The son knows the struggles he has to take while looking after his father. He needed to be little more compassionate to his mother. The Ryan story too is not well explained. At the end of the story, I am yet to find out why Ryan is so? Here Amir Khan did a wonderful job in giving some kind of identity to it.

The author applies the convenient policy almost all the time. Here the imagination of a creator is completely missing. Why Hari had to smoke after his first sex? (That too after driving a long way) Why he want to wear the professor's shirt in place of his? Oh yes, the cozy daughter like to smoke a cigar as well and she want to wear his shirt as well. Ok, then why the professor returned early? Only to get them caught red handed. Convenience of the author! Why Alok has to call home while they are doing the paper looting in process? Otherwise how they get caught? Convenience! Here Amir Khan failed to identify the nature of characters where they were not idiots, but stupid. I think the writer has to work hard next time to create situations which is logical. Chetan may read A Thousand Splendid Suns by Khalid Hossaini where he gives a Two Point Something tip which exactly is the short coming of FPS.

To the merit of FPS, Chetan Bhagat tries to present a new life style for IITns. He has a lot of valid points there. It may be an eye opener if the authorities are ready to reflect a bit on the few concerns expressed by Chetan. The average grading definitely is the first culprit which guarantees that even from 100 winners they can make 50 losers. The need for nurturing the pleasure side of life is stressed as well. The call to become smart (not hard working) with the Corporate to Dominate way is also interesting.

Despite few plus points, sorry Chetan, I do not recommend this book of yours. I am off to your next book, and probably I will like it better as I liked the ONACC to a great extend.

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Five Point Someone - Chetan Bhagat