Chetan, you've written the excellent book. Look, I am very skeptical about fictions. Many a times, fiction of emerging writers I choose to read doesn't allow me to flip more than few initial pages and I simply throw it off. But the case of 'Five Point Someone' became unique. When my daughter finished reading the book she brought from her school library, I gave cursory look at it and thought it to be the over the counter so called best seller. But I suddenly remembered what someone had told me - the hit movie Three Idiots is adaptation of the book. I had appreciated film. I decided to read first page. The first page lead to the second, second to the third and ultimately in one sitting the last one.
Chetan, I know I had dreams about IIT. Back then when I was higher secondary student in St Joseph's college Darjeeling, I along with friends, most of the time talked about IIT. We had seen IIT books much thicker than our textbooks. And to admit frankly there were very few in Darjeeling who actually dared to go for IIT and got admitted. Whoever did they hand ranks far below to choose the subject of their interest. But still, we dreamt. Above all who's stopped somebody from dreaming?
And Chetan what we didn't do? We bunked classes for the sake of IIT. We were a group of trio carrying bagful of books we ever read, visited library and asked for the books we never read, and treaded along the beautiful walkways surrounding nearby zoological park discussing about when to start serious study. We talked about the toughness of the course, talked about the type of questions asked, talked about exam centers and more interestingly talked about which course to choose. Believe me Chetan, I hated metallurgy then. It's because son of mathematics teacher was selected in IIT and had taken metallurgy. Rumors said his rank was far below than what he expected. Rumors also said that the metallurgy department was dumping site. I hope you got my point, man.
Just like your Kumaon hostel, we had Xavier hostel in Darjeeling. One of my Bengali friends with surname Ghosh occupied a hostel room on the third floor. We trio often visited him. He had all four walls of his room pasted with the nude pictures of Madonna. (We didn't have Sunny Leon then). And book racks full with the books of IIT. When we were together with him he used to laugh merrily and tell that Madonna is his dream girl just as IIT is his dream study. He lived in his own world. Unfortunately his room was raided one day and he was driven out from the hostel. Remember Disco?
I lived my youth again with my dreams through your book. Every moment I felt as if I am in the IIT, I am doing the projects, mugging up materials, doing assignments. I liked paranthas as your characters liked and our tri team visited Bene's Cafe in bazar for delicious parathas. I didn't know that a book can be so thrilling and full of life.
Although F in IIT, I could make myself a good teacher(People say). F in IIT entrance led to bachelors' degree in science. Thus earning a decent B.Sc. gave me the job of teacher. The life taught many things - to cope with hardships, deal with difficult people, live through insurgency, take the risks and ultimately to write stories.
Yes, I write stories in my native language. Your book 'Five Point Someone' has given me immense energy and enthusiasm to write, write and write.
Thank You Chetan for writing excellent book.