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Archive for August, 2006

It’s routinely pattern to connect a set of distinctive characteristics to one, harmonizing with the domicile milieu. Again a conspicuous observation that the discerning lineaments of a person or a society are pretty much dictated by the palisading environs. However, seems like I was vaguely nescient of the obvious nature of the above argument, till this rather dysphoric encounter with a chance female gave me an initiatory brush with realism!

I happened to be in a pub sometime last week, casually sipping on a can of Fosters, while this guy (with Indian looks and probably a faked vernacular) and a gorgeous NRI girl (with a definite svelte non-Hinglish accent) sat next to us, swallowed up in an ostensibly somber conversation with pedantic undertones or something mistily related to academic disciplines. I was positively sure of having not drunk enough to have missed them verbalizing “da da..IIT..blah blah”, with a remark-encouraging regularity and intensity! Naturally my IIT genes forced me to initiate a conversation with the not-so-drooling couple on the subject. I faintly remember letting out a wispy screech, loud enough to have just stymied myself from further speech, when I learnt the babe was a Swiss, and a probable (I’ll add potential to her kitty!) exchange student at IIT Delhi! Voila! I am blunt enough to accept that I saw in a matter of a few stimulated nanoseconds, a bleary but a fine vision of a radiant future with her as a swank girlfriend!

So that’s pretty much the positivistic part of the story. After the shocking discovery was made, and the dream bubble burst itself in the face of a long history of woolgathering ending up in naught, the guy made a speedy quip with truckloads of conviction backing his words up, that left me with a dropped jaw and popping eyes! I think the rum and vodka in my order had done their damage, which I realized when I found myself talking to the glam duo, with the Fosters still in my hand, in the most psychologically detrimental (which it later proved to be) gesture that redefined imbecility, and which ultimately turned into the motivation for this article!

You are an IIT’ian, and you are drinking beer!”

Squeeze me (read excuse me ..you are not drunk)!!! Never in my life was I this propelled to use the f-word, prefixing a ‘what the’ to the profanity! I mean what the hell! Where on earth does it say IIT’ians are indispensably hardcore puritans, with absolutely no indulgence in the booze-infested material world? In very short and sweetly precise set of arguments, I assayed to explicate my mortal status as just another average member of the congregation, hero-worshipped by those whose fortunes played spoilsport, and were only allowed to revere the institution and its birds from non-IIT realms! If I was able to convince him, is very much disputable though!

It was only when I returned to the sensible world later in the evening in the harshly real living of my room, that I invested few cerebral minutes, cogitating on the gravity of the upshot of such baseless conceptions people around us have nurtured for ages in their psyches! Only an insider would know this belief is not even closely in communion with the truth. Realism in this case has a starkly different nature, and probably has a microcosmic understanding from the wider perspective of the world. I’m one of the few who’ve expended the maximum stay here at IIT, and have seen and known and experienced the extremes of what life has to offer, in the limited domains of the campus. This is what I have to say about the place and its people –

An average IIT’ian would:

  • have an intake of spirits with a median alcohol content of 40 percent (beer has around 5 ..somebody tell that awry-disposed guy I was an eighth of an average IIT’ian while talking to him!).
  • smoke something like three cigarettes a day (it’s a liberal calculation assuming each one of us were to fag!). Smoking grass or drug intake is not rife, but is a definite activity in sparse quarters.
  • watch porn for roughly an hour a day (this differs from the preceding statement in terms of some who would not!).
  • have the latest numbers in music, would have seen the most unheard of the movies on his PC, and would extract maximal amusement in all obtainable forms.
  • indulge in incessant gibberish with multitudes of similar humbug-addicted creatures, and often making sense with inherent sensibilities.
  • have mentalities. No text-book material, but street-smart stuff.

My experiences have convinced me of the genuine versatility of IIT’ians when it comes to role-playing. They had dance, or sing, or play, or act, or write, or speak, or flirt, or love, or just about anything when it comes to rising for the occasion. May be it’s something in the way we are sculpted and engineered in the institute. Or perhaps it’s in the progressively conducive environs, replete with the flexible policies on offer. Perhaps we learn more from breaking the rules, than executing the usual. Probably one can never write a cookbook to closest perfection, that lists the ingredients of the system that produces the sublime species called “IIT’ians”!

Despite all the reverence imparted to us, with or without any intelligent reason notwithstanding, I guess we are confusedly understood. I began with the wisdom of associations to our surroundings, and I terminate with an intuitive settlement that perhaps the virus of bemused perplexities concerning our true identities comes bundled with the package of being in a premier institute of technical education, famed worldwide for its academic rollicks. And hence it’s nonsynthetic for cohabitating aliens to believe we lack a life beyond the academic muse.

It’s just you and me, who would agree on truth being indeed stranger than the fictional paradigms about us stamped in the general mindset. And as long as we are firm on having this knowledge, no amount of negative world opinion can change a thing about us.

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