Saturday, October 3, 2009

What IITians do

This article in Outlook feels honest.
A few excerpts.

"Contrary to popular belief, the vast majority of IITians do nothing of note in their lives. Indeed, many of them became IITians because their parents told them that’s what they should mug their butts off for, and aim to hit the US of A, so that’s what they did. They attended classes, took notes, passed exams, took the gre, applied to a dozen American universities, and disappeared into that country’s vast technological underbelly, to reappear only in the matrimonial columns of Indian papers with a dollar salary multiplied diligently by the day’s exchange rate. Or they stayed in India, working at unexceptionable jobs, doing reasonably well. In either case, they got beautiful brides (often from rich families) and presumably lived happily ever after, meeting classmates once a month and chatting about their IIT days, and how Hippo has just changed jobs, and Zap is three rungs away from the top in Cisco Systems. Each of them had intelligence well above the average, and most, exceptional academic tenacity."
Something that I really agree with. And I wish my life is not like that. Though currently I am considering the belief that happiness comes from within, and you can be happy in any circumstance but damn, I am human.

"IIT was also a whole insular world in itself, complex and complete, and it sucked us in. As The Chosen, we lived a full life with no necessity of any contact with the outside world. Totally cut off from politics and "the bigger issues", our delights remained in competing fiercely on the field or the stage with other hostels or other colleges. There were few material pleasures. Lifestyles were spartan, the food abysmal. The vast majority of males were totally deprived of female company. The girls lived a strange life-on the one hand, they were hounded by dozens of would-be suitors; on the other, they faced the petulant hostility of the majority which saw them as undeserving of so much adulation and so many free lunches."
So true.

When we graduated, we went out into the world with a rare confidence and strong tribal loyalties. The confidence eroded a bit over the years, and we learnt some humility when we discovered non-IITians as smart as we were, and also people who could outwit us because they were intelligent in a different way-in a sly political way-an acumen we had not developed in our isolated environment which, above all, inculcated a sense of fairness and a respect for ability. We came to terms with a world that compared poorly with our beloved campus, and some of us even went ahead and conquered it. Others didn’t do well, but knew that the ties between them and the masters-of-the-universe classmates would never change. They were ties born of the pride of being an IITian. That pride would never diminish.
It never can.


Pratik Poddar said...

good article...

Infact I have read more articles by this guy...
Although he is an IIT/IIM alumnus, he has interesting views on increasing the number of IITs and IIMs.

Reisender said...

Ya, pretty nice article. Could you point me to other articles by this guy?

Pratik Poddar said...

Interesting articles..