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Chappals, Cows and Keedas: Life at IIT-B

Life at IITB is very very different. First, the distances. I hadn’t imagined 200 hectares could be so large. The departments are 10 to 15 minutes walk away, the gate 20 min, library 10 min, etc.

The Institute campus at Powai is situated in picturesque surroundings with Vihar and Powai lake on either side and green hills strewn in between. An added attraction is the varied, colourful and noisy night life in the form of insects. Another things that hits you immediately on entering IIT are the cows (I mean the four legged ones). Can easily be located around the campus, with a beatific expression on their faces as they ruminate about the world and leave their offerings behind. On coming to IIT and enquiring about ragging we were told “There is no ragging in IIT and the moon is made of cheese”. Now I strongly subscribe to the theory of Extra Terrestrial Life. People are very lively and the days are just packed. Conversations are carried out mainly in slang and abbreviations : Insti, LT (Lecture theatre), Convo (Convocation Hall), CC (Computer Center), etc and a combination of words which have no resemblance to any living language.

Hostels : The soul of IIT Don’t be fooled by the peeling paint, these hostels actually boast of amenities like washing machines, canteen, mess, net connections and VCD! The average IITian spends 3/4ths of his college life here and develops a strong sense of attachment, esp to the guys in his “wing”. Can usually be found in the sanctity of his bed during the lecture hours. Initiation into the hostel includes a new name which sticks to you for the next 40 years. Alu, Baccha, Pondy – the weirder the better.

Academics and IIT: The Myth It is quite wrong to say that IITians are book worms. Throughout the year inter hostel competitions in sports, music, dramatics, lit events etc are held. Keeps one busy throughout the year and the hostel spirit alive. With active wildlife, mountaineering, astronomy clubs present in the institute academics can be kept at an arm’s length most of the time except near the exam time, when most people can be seen scurrying around for notes.

Dunking happens: With the temperature soaring to unbearable limits most of the year round, one of the great traditions in the hostels is the concept of dunking. People who refuse to co-operate in dunking fights are forcibly dragged out of their rooms and drenched to the sound of their abuses reverberating to the heavens. Dthe heavens. D bothers about what they wear.

Babes or lack of them: Girls, or rather non-males are negligible. Mostly stag scene. With an abysmal ratio of 1:40 it is not surprising that after Mood Indigo most people can be seen with a glazed look on their faces as to what hit them and a few lucky ones glued to the phones trying their level best to “patao” the babes they met during MI.

To conclude : Over the last 40 years some of the most prominent chief execs, presidents, entrepreneurs, and inventors in the world have graduated from IIT. With most IITians seeking greener pastures abroad it is hardly surprising that Businessweek magazine called the IIT grad one of the “hottest exports India has ever produced”. One thing’s for sure, even if I was given another chance to choose my college, it would still be IIT Bombay.

- Devashish Choudhry

Dream on..!!

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