Going home has always been a much awaited occasion and coming back is indeed the most despised one. This is what happened to me 2 weeks back. I had to mentally prepare myself for a long tiresome journey ahead ; and coax & convince my stubborn mind of a “wonderful future” beckoning me from a not-so-far-away-land.

The big deal is not the long train journey. It infact can be quite interesting with the teaming crowd of people, booksellers, little kids singing & collecting what is their daily bread, vendors shrieking ”chai chai” . And if your fellow passengers are real specimens of character, you have all the more fun.

Now the real problem was , I reached my destination even before the sun god arose. It was pitch dark . Outside the station there are those autowallas, waiting there ,ready to pounce on their prey. I got into one auto. Travelling in auto alone through the half lit streets, even if it’s a so-called metropolitan city is great adventure. I looked at the autowalla. Now he really looks suspicious. His eyes looked disoriented, through the mirror & I mentally calculated he must be a drug addict. Though I never admitted, I’ve always had this “acute chronic suspicion syndrome” . All those forwarded emails depicting how people have been robbed , snatched , abused & murdered , surfaced my mind. Thanks to those well wisher friends who forwarded all these. Now my mind is total pandemonium of unfathomed doubts & fears. Wish I had obliged to my friend who once cajoled me to buy pepper spray. Mentally cursed my parents who never gave me training in martial arts for self defense.

Butterflies fluttered wildly in my stomach, till I reached my hostel. Now they always keep the big iron gates locked. I stood outside patiently , after buzzing the bell exactly once .Now if you ring more than once , the maid will turn wild & frenzy and decide to give you a piece of her mind via a verbal volley of unintelligible shouting in Tamil.

My patience is wearing off. The little doggie “Tommy” is apparently the only one happy to see me . It’s prancing & dancing around the grill whining. Now I can’t understand the over zeal & enthusiasm. Soon I heard a fierce growl & glanced back to see a pack of street dogs surrounding me, obviously attracted by the little devil inside. Now I clearly don’t mind Tommy having romantic indulgences. But I don’t entertain the idea of jeopardizing myself amidst a pack of wild street dogs, at the break of dawn.

I thanked my good luck, when the maid turned up with half closed eyes to open the gates. I rushed inside & Tommy taking it as a wonderful opportunity to freedom raced out like bullet. The maid shouted at me in bewilderment & anger. I, tired after the journey & all mental trauma hardly cared. I marched off, leaving the maid to tend to Tommy, who obviously thought it was some sort of ‘catch-me-if-you-can’ game……!!!!!

Five Point Someone- Chetan Bhagat:- A book review
[A national best seller by an ex-IITian on campus life @ IIT.The book tells you what NOT to do @ IIT]
My Rating:good[not excellent]

Since a long time, I had wanted to read this book. It is not often that one get to peek into the life & thoughts of the most elite & superior of our race - the IITians. I was dying to read about these Einsteins who in my wild imagination:
- were drowned in a tsunami of tech books;
- barely had time to breathe down , having to live at the cutting edge of technology & cutthroat competition;
- hardly ever spoke & opened their mouths only to mumble in technical jargon, unintelligible to the rest of the world.

Now the book had my imagination tumbling down. It goes on to tell the story of 3 friends Ryan, Alok & Hari. They are the five point somebody’s of IIT; somebody who scored a *GPA of 5 point something , which is below average according to IIT super standards. The story tells about the simple joys of campus life, right from ragging days to the convocation day. It makes a potpourri with all the right ingredients –intellect, friendship, romance & plots.

RYAN: He is smart, stylish, sporty & can be rightly termed as a daredevil and spoilt brat. He is the one who look at things in a different perspective. He comes up with innovative ideas like how to make boring classes interesting, what to gift Hari’s girlfriend, how to sneak out the question paper right under HOD’s nose etc etc…

ALOK: He is the sentimentalist amongst the three & dreams of making it high. He has a traumatized family background, with a father who is paralysed & a family looking forward to the day he gets campus selection. His character is exactly opposite to Ryan

HARI : He is the quite one,a passive onlooker. He is the one who gets all tongue tied during viva voce & the one who dances to all of Ryan’s whims & fancies. He balances the conflicting ideas of Alok & Ryan. But how he transforms into an entirely opposite character, when in company of his girlfriend Neha is really mind boggling.

They are the 3 protagonists of the story.The book comes down heavily on the relative grading system of IIT, that reduced an individual’s identity down to his/her GPA. The system with its overloaded schedules(exams,assignments & surprise quizzes), crams up the students’s lives & leave no space for open ideas or innovations

The narrative which is humorous, witty & hilarious , provides for light reading. But sometimes we wonder whether humour is a bit over done, especially when there are situations that call for atleast a grain of seriousness. Maybe that is why it is regarded as a book version of dil chahta hai.

*GPA- Grade Point Average