The Other Side of Life: A FreeRider's Perspective

Monday, February 27, 2006

Link: A letter from Andaman Cellular Jail

In no position to comment on this one. Please visit the link yourself.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Black is Bright

On screen, the movie goes on. People are rivetted and don't move a bit. They cry, they laugh, they enjoy, they feel. Finally when the movie finishes, the audience give a standing ovation. Now you know this movie cann't be other than Black. Though I witnessed the scene in a Multiplex in Noida, but from the discussion with friends, I can say that the reaction was similar even from common Rickshawallahs in non-multiplex and cheap theatres across the country.

The 51st Annual Filmfare Awards have been announced. As expected, Black has sweeped across all the sections except obviously Music(since it had no songs). Specifically it has got the award for Best Movie(Popular and Critics), Best Actor(Popular and Critics), Best actress(Popular and Critics), Best Director, Best Supporting Actress and many Technical Awards.

The immediate thought that comes to mind is "Hope it had been nominated to the Oscars". It was adaptation of some Hollywood movie, but still I think that the movie itself had spirit of its own. Even if it was an adaptation I feel that it stood a better chance against Paheli. Not that Filmfare Award matter so much or the Oscars for that matter. But an entry into Oscars would have helped in popularizing the movie among Western audiences and hence they would have got the chance to watch this gem of a movie. Since most of the movie is in English there would also have not been much of a language barrier either.

The other argument that Paheli potrays Indian culture is somewhat valid but this should not be a criteria for Indian nomination to Oscars. Black was about an Anglo-Indian family which is normally not in mainstream India. But the movie is beyond all this Indian culture/non-indian culture thing.

Sanjay Leela Bhansali always improve upon himself. What he was not able to do with Khamoshi, he has done with Black. In b/w he has made 2 superhit yet sensitive movies: HDDCS and Devdaas. Somehow he identifies every movie of his with colour scheme. Khamoshi was White, HDDCS and Devdaas were multicoloured and Black is Black.

Amitabh Bachchan has reinvented himself in the movie. This is his role of a lifetime. Now as a ardent fan,I wish him Good health and hope to see him in many more good and meaningful movies. My obvious affection to Preity notwithstanding, Rani Mukherji is brilliant in the movie. The little girl, Ayesha has worked wonders. But it is Sanjay Leela Bhansali's movie all the way. The other characters don't matter.

Hope next years entry to Oscars is a better one. Hope it is not the tale of a few college boys and a gal murdering Defence Minister to avenge their friends' death.

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Saturday, February 25, 2006

US:I am Cumming

Finally going to Babcock School of Management(North Carolina, US) on Student Exchange Program(STEP). The course would start sometime in Mid-Aug and strech for 3.5 months.

At IITB, I always use to wonder what is it in US educational system and US univs that all the toppers from IIT land there. I mean ppl who can get good jobs/clear CAT anytime here leave that and go to US for MS/PhD. The education system in US is said to be excellent with very good interaction b/w students and faculty and emphasis on understanding rather than memorizing. Most of the US Tech colleges and B-School have awesome faculty because teaching is considered a very noble profession in US and it is not like India where the ppl who are not able to adjust to corporate world that enter teaching profession. Well since Rashmi has already commented much on Profs in Indian colleges and particularly the ethnicity of IIM Calcutta Profs I won't comment much on it.

Europe is picturesque. It is a perfect place to spend a 3 month Holiday.At IIMC, friends and seniors advised me to go to Europ. The curriculum in Europe is said to be not very rigorous and there would be weekend parties and booze galore. But I can explore Europe later in life also. In whatever company I work, I would surely get a chance to visit and enjoy Europe. But it would be my last chance to study in US(if I don't go for PhD in Economics later on, but obviously than it would be a different ballgame altogether).It would be a last chance to interact with that faculty, to compete with those students who work for sustaining their studies, to study in the country publishing most number of research papers. Babcock is a top ranked US B-school and one certainly gets a flavor of the US education system there. I am going there for the merits of the school rather than the beauty of the place. Also I would be able to test my temperament, whether I am suitable for going into a research based job and that type of life.

So US here I am cumming.

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Saturday, February 18, 2006

Clash of Civilizations

Woke up in the morning and saw the following link on my IP aboutWebchutney which is some interactive media company. There were a number of makemytrip ads with themes from Indian mythology where Ravana doesn't come to take Sita because he is enjoying travelling in the plane. Also the concept of Srilanka tour is shown as Ram going to Lanka with the Vanara Sena. I cannot stop wondering about the creativity of these ppl.

Then I took up the newspaper. I was shocked to read about UP cabinet minister and Samajwadi Party leader Mohammed Yaqoob Qureshi on calling for the beheading of the cartoonist who had sketched Prophet Mohammed for a Danish newspaper and announced that he would give "the avenger" Rs 51 crore and weigh him in gold. The difference between two cultures or two religions stunned me. When a person of rank of Cabinet minister can stoop to such low levels what to say of common Muslim folks. When Hindus, Christans and ppl of other religions are all so tolerant and open-minded about their religious beliefs why are Muslims alone so insecure.

Religion is there to provide a sense of security and strength of mind to believers. If Islam is under threat because of some stupid cartoons then I pause to wonder can Islam be called a religion. And frankly what is the use of such religion which has led to so much killing and bloodshed in the world. If Webchutney had made similar animations on Muhammad or something related to Islam, Indian Govt would surely had to order closing of the company. I salute Danish govt of standing by principles of freedom and liberty of Press.

I cann't compare the cartoon showing Muhammad as terrorist with the nude images of Hindu goddesses by Padamsree, padambhushan and PadamVibhushan M F Hussain(He actually is a contender for Bharat Ratna). And yet the most Hindu extremists have done is to raided his exhibition. Nowhere they have threatened to take his life. And here we have a Muslim Cabinet Minister calling for beheading of a cartoonist.

And the theory that these cartoons may lead to clash of civilizations is baseless. The war is already going on. The country that has given in most to Muslim extremists is India. We banned Lajja before anyone else. We fudge population census figures so as not to hurt Muslim feelings. And in return we are actually the biggest victims at heir ends. More number of ppl are killed in India by Muslim terrorists than in any other country of the world.

So the solution lies not in banning the cartoons, books, movies etc. but actually coming out in support of them. As long as we think of Muslims as forming a totally separate identity and continue to give in to their demands, we will continue to suffer at their ends. Anything should be open to criticism including religion. And when terrorist are killing innocent people in the name of religion what is so bad in depicting god as terrorist in a cartoon. Much less than depicting a goddess in nude.

The expected but sad reaction came out from Indian media. Most of them didn't come out in favor of the cartoons or freedom of press. Indian media is always hell-bound on showing the miniority community in India in good light. Alas they have done it again.

A rather hilarious aspect of the minister's speech was where he said that Muslim women would sold their gold and jewellery to pay to the murderer. The community who still have not been able to assert their natural rights and live behind the veiled burkha can become so organized to protect their god. And the Muslim population in UP is one of the poorest population in the whole world. First they should try to improve their condtion and give respect and dignity to their women. Humans are more important than God.

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Sunday, February 12, 2006

Formal Education

It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education

Read this quote on Pagalguy. Now as I am going ahead in Management Education, I am realizing the truth of this statement. This thought is triggered by two incidents today.

1)I was chatting with Khanna, my friend from IITB. He told me that he wants to open his own startup and asked me do he need to do MBA for this. I tried to convince him of utility of MBA for this but couldn't find compelling reasons. Finally I gave in and confessed to him that doing a MBA is actually detrimental to his entreprenureship dream.

2)In the break(ya we do have classes on sundays), the topic of discussion shifted to Paritrana. One of my friends here at IIMC told me that he was skeptical of success of this effort. Then he gave me 10 different reasons why the party is doomed to failure.

Now it is important in life to consider ifs/buts(not butts). But one must not go to the extreme of being totally risk averse. And this precisely is the problem of Management Education. In the case studies that we do, we have to spot a problem/difficulty even if none exists. We are taught to go beyond the obvious and in the process we miss out the holistic aspects of the design and look for problems in individual parts. Here we miss out on the beauty of life, the craving to do something new, the burning desire to change the world.

If Bill Gates had gone for all the documentation(B-Plan, Impact Analysis, Marketing design et al), I am sure he would never have dared to do what he has done. Nor would Gandhiji have ever opted for Salt satyagraha because the odds were clearly against this. Nothing can be perfect in life. But the importance lies in atleast trying. Management education kills that spirit of adventure. It destroys the philosophy on which Alchemist is based.

In one of my previous posts, I hypothesized that importance of placements leads to the herd-mentality in a MBA grad. But now I feel that whole concept of Management Education is responsible for this. Here we analyse a case so much from all perspectives that we tend to detest every new idea, concept or career. Ya a MBA grad can never fail, but this is because he seldom tries anything. From IITB I see Nandan Nilekani in Entreprenureship, Jayaram Ramesh, Manohar Parrikar and Paritrana guys in Politics, Jagmohan Mundhra in Filmmaking etc., but from all IIMs I just see 1 Harsha Bhogle who had lived upto his dreams.

So lets try to live upto our dreams. It is one time pain to fail, but it is lifelong pain not to have tried. And I have to write this famous quote from Alchemist:
When you really want something to happen, the whole universe conspires so that your wish comes true

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Thursday, February 09, 2006

Reflections of Calcutta: A City of...

I am leaving my post "Tribute to IITB Faculty" in between. Somehow when I read comments of Vivek of IFS fame on his experience in Kolkata, I am feeling compelled to write this post. So my tribute to IITB Chem Faculty in my next post.

Calcutta is a city with probably the largest number of modes of public transport. There are hand pulled ricshaws, cycle ricshaws, autos, taxis, bus, tram and metro. But though I have never tried metro, the buses are in very bad condition. It is more comfortable to stand in a bus in Calcutta that to sit in it. And the roads!!! The tram part is under trams dept and other part is under the Municipal Corp. So there is a kinda discontinuity in every road. Because of this traffic is extremely slow in Calcutta.

The lack of mall culture in calcutta is commented upon in vivek's thread. I mean the best malls in Calcutta can be found in every possible road in bombay/delhi. And the dcity looks straight out of Parinita or Devdaas. It seems no progress is made here since last 30 yrs.

The thought that every girl in Calcutta looks like Rani Mukherji is preponderous to say the least. I m not a fan of Rani but still yaar. How i miss delhi. Girls seem very conservative here. But anyways I m not expert on this topic so I leave it here.

The most disturbing thing in Calcutta is the attitude of its ppl. Somehow ppl have a very laidback attitude here. You fix Rs 200 for a taxi and when it takes u to ur destination, taxiwallah begin to demand 20 bucks extra. Shops are more close than open. When u ask smething to a shopkeeper he waits 2 whole minutes and then only gets up to give what u want. There are strikes every fortnight. PPL come to streets when sourav ganguly is dropped from team. I don't know how ppl don't have any other work here. The professionalism of mumbai, and the shrewdness of delhi, both are missing here. It is replaced by lethargy of common ppl. Hail communism.

~Comments are welcome.

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Wednesday, February 08, 2006

My tribute to IIT Faculty

Just reading the results of faculty evalation forms here at IIMC my thoughts drifted to IIT Bombay faculty. Now my previous post was abt my fav subjects, this one is abt my fav faculty, but don't think that I have suddenly become academically oriented or something but younhi kabhi kabhi....

I am talking about IITB faculty just because in IITs it is the faculty which is the prime mover. IIT is renowned today just because of its astounding faculty. They have influenced my life to a very significant extent. and some of the best brains in India are in IITs.

But sadly this is not the scenario in the management colleges. Here it is just the placements that matter and the faculty interests or acads are the least talked abt thing.

And some of the Profs I may not talk abt are those who maybe very good in research, may have done some excellent quality of research work, but mayn't be able to teach well. And I may miss out some just because of my poor memory. Apologies...

Well my first day at IIT Bombay. My father left me in that unknown world in the morning. And one has to study calculus, phi and delta then at LT. With tears flowing down my cheek, I somehow tried to decipher what was written on the slides. I mean I was always good at mathematics but uptil then maths has been all abt solving problems and getting answers. It was my first exposure towards abstract maths. If it hadn't been for Prof Limaye, my initiation at IITB had been much more painful. He treated us like childeren, explaining concepts many times to make us understand and grasp them, answering our stupid questions with great patience. The only good thing abt MA101 was Prof Limaye.

I like Physics from JEE Prep days. And the Physics faculty at IITB is simply superb. I specially remember Prof Umashankar and Prof Shivprasad. The Physics end term paper in 2nd Sem with its questions on relativity and quant mechanics was mind boggling. Never thought so much in a exam. The questions were very difficult and challenging.

Then comes the Humanities courses. I remember Prof Ghadially in Psychology with her famous quote("") style. Morgan is one of the best textbooks that I have come across in life. Somehow the examples she gave has still stuck to me. Again the exams were very challenging. Prof P R Bhatt taught us Philosophy. The discourse on Logic were very interesting.

Other than that there were Physics Lab, Chemistry Lab, Workshop and Engg Drawing. I never got correct setting for the optics experiment. The experiment on counting the number of fringes for calculating the Young's modulus was very demanding and strenuous for the eyes. But simultaneously they were enjoyable and challenging also.
I always messed up in Engg Drawing and Workshops. In Engg drawing I cann't even draw a straight line. Even when I draw a circle with a compass, somehow the ends don't meet. And in workshops there were lathe m/c, arc welding, carpentry, tin smithy, moulding etc.

These are some of my recollection of acads in 1st yr at IIT Bombay. More abt my later yrs and chem engg in the next post.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

My favourite Subject

Well I have done fair bit of studying. I mean Phy, Chem, Maths upto XII, Chem Engg at IITb and now Management. But strangely the subject that I have enjoyed most in my life is Economics. Now u would think where have I studied Eco? Bit here and there. Economics in Class XI and XII CBSE. 2 courses(one on general eco and 1 on indian eco) at IITB and 3 courses(micro, macro and indian eco) here at IIMC. I also try to follow through Eco Times every day.

I feel the economists are simple geniuses. The theories they propound, the techniques they use for arriving at the results and just simple economic jargon they use like inflation, fiscal deficit, current account convertiblity, money multiplier etc turn me on. When most of Engg and all of Management rest on just empirical studies, economics is simply the most logical subject. And the cause effect relationship b/w variables and their interaction with third variable that happens in Economics does not take place in any other subject.

Literature comes a close second. Though I haven't had any formal course in Lit but somehow I do think how authors come out with such great concepts. I mean if Einstein had not discovered Relativity someone else would have. If Bohr wouldn't have given the atomic model, someone else would have, some yrs later. But if Paul Coelho hadn't written Alchemist it would never had been thought abt. If Ayn Rand hadn't written Fountainhead we would never have pondered about such a revolutionary philosophy as Objectivism. And the examples could be multiplied for Yann Martel(Life of Pi), Premchand(Shatranj ke Khiladi) and many others.

Aside from Eco and Lit, no other subject interest me. I study them just for getting grades and securing a well-paying job. It is just external motivation for me towards these subjects.

I do want to know about other ppl's choices of different subjects. Do put in ur comment. It would be interesting to read.
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Saturday, February 04, 2006

Language Barrier

I went to Calcutta Book Fair along with Junglee(aka Amit Gupta) today. It was a nice collection of books but most of the stalls were of Bong books. So we just looked at some stalls with English titles.

The prices of most of the books was mindboggling. I mean I couldn't find many books below Rs300. Even the books that we never thought could have existed were highly priced. I just bought 100 yrs of Solitude by Gabriel Marquez and Hind Swaraj by M K Gandhi. Junglee didn't buy any.

Then we saw a stall with Hindi books. We were lucky to sneak in because it was closing as it was already 8:00 pm. As we begin to flip through books, we noticed a strange thing. The prices were all below Rs 100. And there were some poetry books of Mathilisharan Gupt for just Rs 10. Now we wonder why was there this language barieer. And mind u these were not books by some unknown writer but famous Hindi writers like Premchand and Dharamveer Bharti.

Immediately our thoughts shifted towards poor state of Hindi Literature. I dont mean to say that Hindi Lit is the best or anything but it definitely cann't be that bad as to so much difference. Most of us have not read any Hindi Lit after Class X. I still remember some poems and stories from my Hindi textbooks, but after going to IIT it was English everywhere. Everytime.

I bought Gunaahon Ke Devta by Dharamveer Bharti and Junglee bought 2 Premchand classics, Anandmath and 2 poetry books. And the total was somewhere around Rs 250. Equal to 100 Yrs of solitude. And believe me there were ppl who were sulking(bargaining) on that also. The same ppl who would have been ready to pay thrice the price for some arbit English stuff without any fuss.

Again I m cribbing without giving any possible soln. After starting the blog I have become more of a cribber and less of problem solver. But I cann't solve this problem also.

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Friday, February 03, 2006

IITB Lingo

here are a few interesting IITB slangs that I found on a site. For complete compilation click here.

app : To app is to quit Des for greener pastures (!) to the west of the atlantic. Every iitian worth his CPI or otherwise can app. Apping is a long drawn process beginning the summer of the penultimate year of your stay on campus (note it's not the third year always; as some of you might extrapolate) and culminating in maybe a schol towards the end of your final year. The steps involved are beyond the scope of this compilation and merits a page on its own.
arbit: An abbreviation of "arbitrary", it is a very flexible word. Basically, it is used to describe something/someone that is weird/strange/not the way it should be. eg. "That guy does arbit things" or "He's an arbit guy" implies that the person being referred to is a bit on the strange side.
avoid: Besides it's dictionary meaning, this word is also used in an admonitory tone, with people shouting it whenever they get irritated. eg. If someone is watching TV and someone else turns up the radio, then the standard reply is "Avoid, boss!!". If that fails to work, then "* [at] #$%^" are always there. However, due to extreme overuse these words have lost their cutting edge and are no longer taken seriously.
breaker: Slang for "breakfast", the most important meal of the day, beacuse it was the only one that was even remotely edible. The quality of the tea varied, however, from good to detergent-flavoured.
chinco/chinks: The Chinese joint (located outside H-8 when I joined IIT, and then moved to the NCC building ), where all the DNots andLukkhas ( these terms to be explained later ) used to hang out at night. Famous for serving the exact same preparation under atleast 5-6 different names.
chamkaa: The literal meaning of this word is "lit up" or "glowed", but in the IITian context, it is used to indicate an understanding of something that has been just explained/said/described to you. This use probably arose from the popular cartoon image of a bulb lighting up in a person's head when he/she got an idea.
cack: A short version of the word "cacophony", it signifies the act of verbal communication, viz. talking. To cack is to talk ( academic discussions do not qualify ). A group of people talking is having a "cack session".
Convo: The Convocation Hall, where degrees were awarded, and more importantly, where the weekly movie was shown.
crack: This word, whatever it's sinister connotations in the "real world", has a very positive meaning in IITB. Use of this term by an IITian implies that the person is referring to somebody's ( perhaps his own ) excellent performance/stroke of good fortune. eg. "I cracked the exam"..or "I cracked a schol"..or in true IITB style, "crack maar diyaa", or "crack scene hai boss..."
crib: To crib is to raise objection(s) to something. In IIT cribbing is carried to great lengths by certain people, who are given the title of "cribboos" in recognition of their achievements in this field.
dayaa: A Hindi word meaning "pity", it is used in a similar sense, when people beg someone to stop what he is doing by telling him "Dayaa boss ( have pity on us )". It's also used as an adjective ( for describing something/someone that is avoidable ) e.g. "That's a dayaa Prof".
despo: A corruption of the word "desperate", eg. that guy is despo for a schol. Also used as a nickname for people having the family name "Deshpande".
dhuk: An abbreviated version of "dhakkan", which is Hindi for "cap" or "lid", it denotes a stupid person. To do "dhakkangiri" is to do something stupid.
Diro: The Director of the Institute.. the BIG BOSS
ditch: To abandon something. Usage: "Ditch maar boss.."
DOSA: Dean of Student Affairs.. the guy who's supposed to be on the side of the students.. hmmmphh..
DryD:An acronym for "Dry Dinner", it was the day of the week when mildly tolerable food was likely to be served.
fart: This word has many subtle and interesting connotations, depending on the context in which it is being used. In IIT lingo, to fart means to say something patently untrue/wildly exaggerated/impossible. So when someone is farting he is essentially bullshitting big-time. Such people are known as "fartoos". Another usage of this word is: anything that is a fart Prof. ( Professor ), fart grub ( food ), fart movie/song, you name it.. anything which is not fundoo is fart.
fight: To "fight" over something means giving it your best shot. It's also used for encouraging people when they are under stress and have to do something very challenging and do it in a very short time.
Freshies' Night: A ritual signifying the end of the ragging period, it consisted of certain, shall we say "trans-gender" performances by the freshies.
Freshies' Social: The "cultural" high point of the Freshie Calendar, it was an Inter-Hostel talent show, where the freshies displayed their musical and choreographic talents, accompanied by a liberal dose of double entendre.
funda/fundaes: These words are just abbreviations of the word "fundamental(s)". The funda of something means the basic principle behind it. Fundaes are just a collection of several "fundas" and the person with the best fundaes is called the "funda man".
fundoo: Anything which is good/enjoyable is "fundoo". You can have a fundoo meal, watch a fundoo movie, meet a fundoo girl ( not very likely inside the IIT campus, and almost equally improbable outside it, due to the "not very hep" reputation of IITians ). In short, it's one of those multipurpose words which creeps into almost every sentence of the average IITian.
general: Something or someone that's vague or mediocre. e.g. Hostels 1-8 are pretty general hostels.
ghodagiri: Ironically, this word means "donkey work ", whereas "ghoda" means "horse" in Hindi. Ghodagiri refers to any kind of work that's very menial and/or involves very little brainwork ( just pure effort ). Those who do this thankless work are referred to as "ghodas".
give up: Give up can mean what it is supposed to, or
It can have the same meaning as "fart" in the sense of something that's bad/avoidable. eg. "That's a give up movie".
It's also used as an expression of defeat, when one realizes that one is facing impossible odds.
grub: Food, of which there was always a great shortage ( the edible variety that is ). Mess grub was there in plenty, though. The horror stories about it are legion, with each hostel having an anthology of it's own.
Hawa: Hindi word meaning "Air", it is something which every freshie is supposed to know, "hawa" being an acronym for AIR ( his All India Rank in the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) ).
hug: Hugging is the act of performing badly at something, making a stupid mistake or fouling up in general. The origins of this word, well.. they lie in one of the necessary acts which all people do in the morning..and which involves the expulsion of certain toxins from the body..I frankly don't know how the word came to mean what it does now..someone who hugs consistently is known as a huggoo.
junta: "Junta" means "The Common People" in Hindi. In IIT, any notice or act directed at everyone in general begins with the word "Junta" written on the notice or shouted out loud to attract everyone's attention.
khaach: To khaach something is to cancel/remove/destroy it; e.g. The concert got khaached because nobody turned up.
kuchh bhi kyaa: This phrase ( in Bombay Hindi, typically ungrammatical ) indicates a disbelief in what the person with whom one is talking is saying. It is also used to protest against an unreasonable request/demand made by someone.
Kusha: It's a relatively new chinese restaurant opposite YP (explained later ). It wasn't there in my time, so that's all I have to say about it.
LT: The Lecture Theatre, of which most IITians have fond memories, as being the location of the Freshies' Social, and also the place where a refreshing nap could be taken during the CS101 class.
MB: The Main Building, where the Institute's administrative and financial offices are housed, and where the omnipotent Director and Deans have their lairs.
Main-gate: Entrance to the ever-beautiful Powai and Vihar lakes of Bombay and the hill surrounding them. By bus, 45 min. from Andheri and 20 min. from Vikroli.
mug: To mug is to study/cram ..usually this activity is undertaken the night before the exam, but some people mug during other ( unseasonal ) times too..such characters are known as muggoos. However, muggoos who hug in exams are known as huggoo-muggoos.
nabard/nbd: This word's origins lie in "nervous breakdown". To take nbd over something is to get all worked up and worried about it. "Nabdus" are people who are always in this state. Such people are compulsive worriers. They need not be academic nabdus at all. In fact, there have been several people who are not in the least concerned about their grades , but go into spasms of worry before an inter-hostel sports or cultural event. So we can conclude that nabard is just a state of mind.
night out: As the name implies, a night-out is the act of staying awake the whole night, sometimes due to a cack session, sometimes due to a combination of cack and intoxicants, and sometimes due to exam nbds..
obscene: A word used to express a large amount/intensity of anything, e.g. An obscene dinner, an obscenely good grade etc. As the previous examples show, the adjective can be applied to positive things too.
ok types: Anything that is good or went off well. Basically this word can be used almost any place where a positive feeling/result is involved.
Panchii: A generic term used to refer to any general person
peace: A gesture of relief and happiness. When an IITian clears a course in which one had CTs, or when one cracks a schol,then he says, "PEACE", or "Peace ho gayaa". "Peace Life" can also be used in this context. It's close cousin "peaceful" is used to denote something easy, e.g. a peaceful exam, a peaceful prof ( one who doesn't harass his students ).
pseud: A derogatory term for anybody or anything that's very heavily westernised or has pretensions to be very sophisticated.
Punter: Another variant of "Panchii"
rg/rg-giri:Derived from the word "Relative Grading" ( supposedly ), this term defines the act of doing something for one's benefit at the expense of someone else. A good example is submitting an assignment/homework to the Professor before everyone else, and that too without informing them.
Schol: What almost every IITian used to live for, and something which is still in heavy demand, a schol is essentially a composite offer of Admission and Financial Aid from a US University. For many IITians, it is the culmination of their stay in IIT.
scope/scope kyaa: A word/phrase used to characterize something as being impossible or beyond the capacities of the person talking about doing it. A very commonly used word in IIT.
shady: Something or someone which/who is not as it/he should be. e.g. A shady prof, or a shady ( avoidable ) person. It's meaning varies a bit with regard to the context in which it is used.
sidey: A word which can mean "fart" or "shady" ( another one of those flexible context-dependent words ).
stud: Someone who extremely good at his/her field. Yes, even females are called studs in IIT.
slog: To work really hard is to slog. Big-time sloggoos literally solg their b***s off. Thankfully for most IITians, the perecentage of sloggoos is not too high ( unlike IITM and other pretenders ), just the level required to ensure a steady supply of class notes and assignments, and not so high that everyone becomes a sloggoo due to nbds.
suck: An inevitable part of the apping process, sucking involves sending letters/emails to the Professor(s) in the US in whose fields one is interested in working ( due to those fields being well-funded ) in which the writer raves about having been interested in say "Metal Matrix Composites" since the day he was born and that nothing would give him greater satisfaction than working under him ( the Prof. ). Usually roles are reversed for Dept. toppers, with the Univs/Depts sucking up to them.
Y-Point/YP: The gate of IIT closer to Kanjurmarg, YP was a far more heavily trafficked site than the "Main Gate", where people go only to collect their monthly cash infusions. YP boasts of the Campus bookstore, post office, and many other convenience outlets. It is also closer to the off-campus eateries, where junta is sometimes forced to go, due to the sheer inedibility of mess grub.

Feeling nostalgic, so am I..

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Five Point someone:Not a Review

Well I just finished reading Five Point Someone(FPS) by Chetan Bhagat. Though i m myself from IIT but I didn't read it till now somehow because I was apprehensive of how it would have potrayed IITs, sort of defense mechanism at work. Read just because there was no other novel left in my wing which I had not read earlier.

But I found FPS funny and touching at the same time. It is a very well written book with very good characterizations. It breaks all stereotypes that ppl have about IITians. Now rest of my post contains spoils so if you haven't read the novel, do it now and then read my post. If you are from IIT you should definitely read it because it reflects on our lives. If you are not then also you should read it t know more about a group of colleges collectively called IIT.

If you have read that novel you would be knowing importance of CGPA in IITians' life. Well I m 7 point someone. Now at IITB, in Chem Dept we had a Professor named Prof Shenoy. He always told us that students who are very high pointers(toppers) in the class would enter into research and become Profs, thost in the middle range(CGPA 6-7) would end into jobs or management careers and the underperformers(<6) would venture into entreprenurships. At that time we didn't understand this point well. But now I m seeing this happening b4 my eyes. And FPS brings out this point very well.

The story of three freinds, Hari, Ryan and Alok, the novel explores all the different aspects of IIT life including induction, pressure to perform, desponess for girls, placements, night life, acads, treats etc. The pressure on underperformers is definitely very high in IIT. More so when they have consistently been toppers in their school days. Though not overtly but Profs do make distinctions among students based on CGPA.

But one part that I don't like in FPS is the characterization of 9.5 pointer Venkat. I have a number of very good 9 pointer freinds at IITB. Though some were unreasonable during exam times but none to such an extent as depicted in the novel. I found most of 9 pointers in IITB very helpful. Infact I passed IIT just because of their Xerox notes. But anyways this work is written from viewpoint of a 5 pointer and so its fine.

Your heart goes out for Prof Cherian. Here is a person who was 10 pointer during his time, chose teaching as an option when others went for lucrative jobs watched them buy BMws but still live by his principles. But to see such a person loose his son is heartbreaking. But IIT Profs are very passionate abt seeing their childeren through IITJEE and would do anything for it. Somehow this is a social problem in India and I dont know how it could be removed.

Affair b/w Hari and Neha is very well brought out. Neha's letter to her broher loathing all IITians is also close to reality. I have myself seen many IITian Prof's childeren somehow detesting IITians.

Now coming to the three freinds, Hari is more like me. He always tries to become pseud in life, copy Ryan, listen to Pink Floyd and do all that hip stuff. But somehow he is not able to cut back his roots. Alok is Muggoo yet Huggoo type, This guy is constantly in a state of tension abt acads and everyting else in life. But then he has a disturbed family and about his past he wanted to be an artist but to support his family he came to IIT. And then the pseud Ryan. A guy who has lived in hostels right from Class VIIIth. He loves his parents but outwardly show indifference towards them.

The novel has its own hilarious moments. But overall it does strike a chord in your heart. You identify with all the characters, you have met all of them one time or the other in your life. Most importantly it breaks the stereotypes abt IItians being too Muggoo and thankfully don't go too far to the other extreme. It does mantain balance.

For IAS we have English August. For IIT we have FPS. Now do I hear something coming for IIMs??

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