This day was same for DU (Delhi University or University of Delhi)-same corridors, same classes, same books, same syllabus, except for English literature students. A surprise was awaiting them in their classrooms. It was only 7 in the morning; there still were couple of hours for students to crash into their lecture halls.
Meanwhile, when the classrooms were vacant with no students in there, someone new made his entry into the room. As soon as that someone new entered in, murmurs started-“Who is this new fellow?”, “We never saw him before.”
All nervous and shy, that someone new found an empty desk in the corner and tried hard to not to get bothered with all those staring eyes on him.
Oliver Twist sitting right across the other end of the room along with Pride and Prejudice went to the new fellow.
“Hey! You seem new here. Is this your first day?”, asked Oliver Twist.
First the nervous smile and then a nod made it clear to Oliver Twist that the fellow was definitely new in there.
“So, what is your name?”
“I am Five point someone. Thanks for asking.”
“Humm! Interesting. Where are you from?”
“I too have a few friends from India. They are sitting right there.” Oliver Twist pointed to the backside of Five Point Someone ; there were two-Hungry Tide and The Interpreter of Maladies.
Only a minute must have passed when Animal Farm dragged Oliver Twist through his arm, giving a look of disgust to Five Point Someone.
“I just had a small conversation with Hungry Tide and learned that this funky new fellow is way beneath our level. And nobody out there is happy about him being here among the elite like us”, whispered Animal Farm to Oliver Twist. But the whispers didn’t help as Five Point Someone did hear about him being called as a low-level fellow.
“Come on! Don’t be so rude. Let us at least give him a chance. I have never heard of him”, replied Oliver Twist with concern in his voice.
Hungry Tide was in no mood to relent over the fact. His raised eyebrows implied how unreasonable he found Oliver Twist. “That is the point, sir. We never even heard of him. If he had some quality stuff we’d have at least heard of him. Even his own countrymen don’t know much about him.”
Five Point Someone knew how tough it was going to be to gel up with the elite but the situation was getting worse by every passing minute. Constant rubbing of hands and sweat tickling down the hairline were the signs of how uncomfortable the cold behavior around was making him.
The moment Five Point Someone decided to get out of the room he noticed Pride and Prejudice approaching him. Seeing such a beauty coming in the direction of his desk, he pushed his thought aside for a few moments. He closed his eyes lightly and took deep breaths to calm himself down. But when he opened his eyes, he realized the world was better when his eyes were closed. The beautiful lady was coming in his direction but wasn’t coming to him; she had stopped halfway to join Animal Farm and Oliver Twist.
“This is it!”, cried Five Point Someone. “What is the issue with you people? Why can’t I be accepted here?”
A crackle of laughter from Macbeth marked the response. Rest all of them gave a stern look to Five Point Someone as if it were not him but they who were being treated coldly.
“Don’t you really know why you are not being welcomed or as you said being accepted here?” asked someone among corps d’ elite.
“Yes. Please.” The delirious Five Point Someone said. But nobody answered. A minute passed and whispers were swapped with silence.
Five Point Someone continued. “I know I do not belong here. I probably will never belong to this place but my presence here is for other reasons. Has anybody of you even ever read me? How could you have read me if you never even heard of me! I might not hold the deep social issues like you.” He said pointing towards A Tale of Two Cities. “Or I might not have beautiful sentence structures and dialogues like you.” This time Pride and Prejudice was at the receiving end of his finger. “But why am I being judged on the basis of what I never intended to be?
“I never said that I hold the deep teachings or I am embellished with the poetic sentences or words. All I hold is a light subject line with the relatable characters carrying a story forward.”
“If you don’t claim to be of any value to literature then you aren’t supposed to be here”, came a voice from the far end of the room. Grapes of Wrath, who was observing the whole scene silently from his place wanted to know the relevance of the new fellow’s presence in their room.
“With due respect, I’d like to ask you a question”, replied Five Point Someone. “Have you ever read me?”
Everybody in the room nodded their head in negation.
“Then how can you be so sure that I am nothing but low-grade? That I don’t deserve to be here.” A reasonable question posed by Five Point Someone put everybody into thinking. “I know I am nothing near to the profoundness and beauty that you all hold but it is still I who gets place in most of the bookshelves of today’s young generation. They like reading me. I’m given to patients in hospitals, not any of you. You all need to know that you are heck of a pressure on the reader’s mind. Huff!”
“Only unreasonable minds must be going through you”, whispered Animal Farm in his breath.
“If the classics like you are being analyzed by the students then why not I? How can they compare or conclude what factors can demean or advance their work if they don’t get to go through the contemporaries as well? I’m not one of those not-worth-readings; I’m just different. I have a different purpose to serve.”
Pride and Prejudice thought of how rational Five Point Someone was being. How can students compare us with the contemporaries if they don’t get to analyze both the sections critically!
Nobody even realized but it was already ten minutes to nine. Everybody in the room got back to their places.
The moment clock struck nine, swarms of students started filling the vacant room and the new member, Five Point Someone , in the house surprised shocked them. Unaware of the just-ended sweltering argument in the room a student held Five point someone in his hand and exclaimed, “Who in the world included this kind of book in syllabus?!”
DISCLAIMER – Names of the books included in here are mixture of syllabus of DU’s MA and BA. As per my knowledge Bhagat’s Five Point Someone has been included only in the syllabus of BA’s second-year. For the detailed and factual data on the news have a look at this or this.
P.S. – I am not much of a fan of Bhagat’s work. Neither am I too happy with his work’s inclusion in DU’s syllabus.
His books might not be adding any literary value but, as I have read his work during college time, they, at times, do end up feeling like stories, light stories. He writes for his audience who likes his
writings stories; he doesn’t write for me. And if his work doesn’t go down well with me, nobody is at fault. I don’t like his book; I head towards the ones that I like. No big deal. Right?
If somebody likes his work, I don’t look at him or her with contempt (because I know of many who do.) Not everybody reads to explore literature or to feel the beauty of sentences and prose; many read only to lighten their mood and that is when contemporaries like him come into picture.
Do you like Bhagat’s books? How do you feel about his work being taught among other classics?
IF YOU ARE A FIRST- TIME VISITOR OF MY BLOG, DO REFER ‘First-Timers‘. IT WOULD HELP YOU IN EXPLORING THE PLACE.
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